Crushing Boredom Productively in 2020

Written By - The Young Vision Ambassador, Radhika Marwaha, Global Disease Biology, University of California Davis, USA.

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As you wonderful readers go through our new issue of The Young Vision, I am hoping you are staying safe and have ensured a good supply of food and medicines for yourself and your loved ones in the last few months. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us were compelled to work/study from home, cancel holidays and travel plans, and lose out on multiple business avenues.

As someone working from home for the past 6 months and someone who has (tried) to brave her way through boredom, I hope to inspire some ideas that you can adopt to uplift your mood. Inter-relationship solidarity during the pandemic has also highlighted a need for our community to come together: to be there for our friends and families. While being at home, it is also vital for us to take out time to check our feelings and mental state. And once you’ve begun to identify disturbances in your behaviour, irritation, or boredom from having to be restricted within four walls, you’re going to want to fight this feeling away. So, let’s dive right into some strategies that we are going to be practicing for the next few years, as well as disinfecting and organising surfaces at home!

Create a workspace

You’ve probably heard this one – but I cannot stress enough the importance of this strategy in reminding you of your idea of a work-life balance. Once you begin to compartmentalise your worktime and your fun-time, you will be able to engage with these activities in a better way, helping you to address that feeling of boredom creeping over your shoulder every few hours in the day. Make sure you’re opening your windows and curtains for a regular dose of fresh air and sunlight!

Connect with friends & family

Even for those of us who are working at home, we’ve cut down on our travel time alongside other activities that require us to leave our homes. On the bright side, the same is true for many of our friends who we haven’t caught up with for a few weeks or months now! Now is the perfect time to reach out to them, let them know what you’ve been up to, and spend a few moments reminding each other of your special bond. My friends and I have also tried to play games together, such as Ludo, Trivia, Quizzes, and challenge each other via several online platforms. Family board or card game nights are an attractive opportunity for everyone at home to take a break from always staring at a screen.

Home workouts are not (a)lone workouts

Set a daily time slot to work out with your family or even find an online routine that you can share with your friends and perform at the same time. This will help you stay active, kill boredom, and further improve the bonding experience. Don’t forget to share sweaty selfies later! You can also take some time to practice mindfulness and short meditation exercises. YouTube offers multiple guided meditation options for you to refresh your mind and soul. These practices should both tire and calm you down, ensuring that you get a good night’s sleep every day and fix your cycle.

Read, learn & grow

Pick up where you left the novel you were reading a few months ago! This is also a great time to catch up on news bytes from your favourite fashion or technology magazines. A word of caution for those on a quest for keeping up to date with the news in these times: make sure you’re visiting credible sources of information and not letting the vocabulary of sensational news stories increase your anxiety. Know that some things are not in your control and continue to practice healthy habits. You can also binge shows and documentaries alone or with your friends using extensions such as Netflix Party. On the flip side, this is also an excellent time to take quick (and free) lessons on Coursera or edX to gain professional skills that you’ve wanted to learn for a while! Update your LinkedIn and even pay attention to opportunities such as crowdsourcing data collection and analysis for when global lockdowns start to get lifted and people go back to school or work, if that is your area of interest.

In line with growing professionally, this could be an excellent time to try your hand at baking some banana bread or painting the scenery you are longing for. Build your website or start a blog. Create playlists, browse famous podcasts, or start your own! Again, stay safe and continue to exercise caution, but share your top ideas on crushing boredom with us!