A common feeling that has plagued humankind since its existence is boredom.
With so much to do in today’s world, how can we possibly still feel the same concerns as cavemen with nothing but nearby nature to entertain them?
Yet, we do.
We try so hard to avoid boredom by staying consistently busy. Running from activity to activity gives us no time to think and rest, though. It’s easy to lose the connection between rest and mindfulness when we believe we need to be going, going, going all the time.
By using your downtime to allow your body and mind to rest, you may find the joy in mindfulness. But how can you do this when you’re stuck at home?
It is possible, especially if you have access to a few tools and a little imagination. These five relaxing activities will help you fight boredom while accessing a whole new world of mindfulness!
1. Take Up Gardening
Mindless repetitive tasks, like gardening, are good for the body and mind. Gardening is a light exercise activity that comes with long-term benefits!
Whether you choose to plant a vegetable garden or beautiful flowers and shrubs, tending to the beds is rewarding. Once you fall in love with the task of gardening, it becomes a pleasure instead of a chore.
As your garden grows, you’ll reap the reward of a job well done. The extrinsic benefits are impressive, too!
Gardening helps you:
- Avoid boredom through mindfulness
- Burn calories and stretch your muscles
- Lower your blood pressure by reducing stress
- Grow your own food for a healthier diet
- Spend time outside with fresh air and vitamin D
There’s no need to save this activity for retirement. Gardening is a smart hobby to pick up to improve your way of life at any age!
2. Learn Yoga
A day in the life for the average person is full of multitasking, dozens of hats to juggle, and a side helping of stress. If you’re used to that and then find yourself dealing with some unexpected free time, boredom sets in quickly.
This would be a great time to take up yoga!
It’s a hobby that reduces your boredom level now and can also be stress relieving before your busy days kick back in.
Yoga is excellent for you, physically and mentally. It teaches you to control your breathing and stretches and builds muscle. Through the practice of it, you’ll learn mindfulness, which helps lower blood pressure and reduce stress.
Since it’s a lightweight exercise, just about anyone can do it. There are many ways to learn how, without leaving the comfort of your home!
Start by getting a yoga mat and comfortable clothes you can move in freely. Then download an app on your device or choose a YouTube video at your skill level. If you prefer, you can sign up to watch a live class online, too!
3. Indulge in Music
Music soothes the wild beast, and sometimes that beast is your mind. When it seems like your brain won’t stop churning with worries, the solution might be a good tune.
Listen to your favorite songs or learn a new instrument, but indulge in some sounds to distract yourself from your stresses or boredom.
Music has a wide range of therapeutic effects. Studies have shown that playing or hearing music increases your happiness and decreases stress.
Physically, it can improve your performance when you’re exercising, too! The right song jumpstarts your heart rate and motivates you to keep moving.
Whether you are trying to stave off depression, get better sleep, or even reduce your boredom eating, music could be the key.
4. Create With Art
Art is an almost magical way to ease boredom and increase happiness. Any time you’re creating something, you’re activating a part of the brain that sparks joy and peace.
According to some researchers, creativity through artwork builds connections in your mind. These neural pathways strengthen and protect your brain from memory loss and keep your fine motor skills sharp.
Emotionally, art lets you express your feelings when you can’t put them in words. It helps you let go of your stresses and anxieties, allowing for a cathartic release.
And, at its foundation — art is fun. That’s why we loved it so much as children, and as adults, this connects us back to our childhood memories.
Color with adult coloring books, paint, or learn a new technique. But the next time you’re bored, consider passing the time with creative artwork.
5. Meditate on It
You may not know how to meditate in the “expert” way, but any time you sit quietly and try not to think is a form of meditation.
There is a school of thought that considers meditation to be hogwash, but many scientists say otherwise. In fact, there are significant science-based benefits to this activity.
Downtime, when you’re bored, is the perfect opportunity to practice learning how to meditate.
As you do this consistently, you’ll notice improvements in your daily life, such as:
- Diminished stress and anxiety
- Improved self-awareness and impulse control
- Better sleep quality
- Reduced blood pressure
Apps like Headspace guide you as you learn how to quiet your mind strategically. There is no right or wrong way to meditate, as long as you’re giving your brain a quiet space to recharge.
The constant rat-race we often feel caught up in makes many of us hesitant to embrace boredom. But this downtime is often the opportunity that we need to relax, refresh, and re-engage with things that matter the most.
The next time you’re feeling bored, instead of hitting the power on the TV, try one of these five activities to relax with a side-effect of productivity.
One of them may even end up being a passionate lifelong hobby for you!
Dominique Daniels has five years of Property Management experience working primarily in high-end apartment community living. Her ability to consistently deliver white-glove service to her residents and prospects has propelled her in a successful career that now finds her leading the team at Vida at Daybreak.