Boredom – When you are sick or just have nothing to do!


Bored and tired Kate-as-Angel at Mardi Gras 20...
Bored and tired Kate-as-Angel at Mardi Gras 2008, New Orleans, Louisiana (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Boredom is an emotional state experienced when an individual is left without anything in particular to do, and is not interested in their surroundings. The first recorded use of the word boredom is in the novel Bleak House by Charles Dickens, written in 1852,[1] in which it appears six times, although the expression to be a bore had been used in the sense of “to be tiresome or dull” since 1768.[2] The French term for boredom, ennui, is sometimes used in English as well. (Wikipedia 1).

To be bored; what  a tiresome awful way to feel. But of course, the problem is that everyone at some time or another has been bored.

For me boredom became a way of life about 3 years ago when I became sick. Suddenly, I had all this time that I had not had before. Before I was sick, I worked, hung out with my friends all night, worked out, and spent my remaining time hanging with my family and reading – there was simply not enough time in the day to do everything I wanted! But once I became sick, I could painfully feel each minute ticking by and there was never enough things that I could do to fill my time. Part of my feeling this way was dealing with a depressive episode that I had just had; I became a great deal more impatient and did not have the energy to do anything for very long. I was also irritable and sleepy. Not to mention I had 8.5 hours a day which I had worked that I now had to fill with different activities – and nobody was home to do most of these activities with me.

The first thing my mom told me to do when I told her about how long and boring my days felt was to develop a routein. She told me to make a list of the things I wanted to do and whatever I could accomplish on this list, that I would do. If I did not have the energy or motivation to do all of that list than those items I could not do were carried over to the next day. At first this was very hard to do, I was not use to watching much TV so I did not watch it much at first and I managed to break my day into 1 hour or so blocks of time that I spent doing different activities: I woke up at 9 am and got ready until 11 am (because yes even blow drying your hair and putting on makeup was hard at first). Then I read for an hour until lunch at 12pm. From 12:30 to to 2 pm I would paint or scrapbook, do something easy like that and then nap from 2 to 4 pm. At 4 pm I got up to watch What Not To Wear and by five everybody else was home from work and I spent the night making dinner, talking with my family, and watching television. Some afternoons I would go to the gym instead of scrapbooking etc. and some evenings I would spend a few hours with a friend or two having coffee or eating supper. I was pretty sick and this was all I could manage. Nevertheless, having a routein really helped me get through the day, made each day worth getting through, and gave me something to look forward to.

Now over the past couple years, my health has improved and I have become better able to manage a normal routein. I fill my time going to class, working on projects for school, going to various social gatherings, shopping, doing yoga, walking my dog, along with many of the other activities I did when I first became sick. Eventually, I hope to add some other activities to my routein such as being able to go out past 10:00 pm again and stay awake, going to they gym 2 or 3 times a week, and of course working full or part time. But these things will come in time. The important thing is that I maintain a routein and that is how I get through my day, what keeps me from becoming bored. Having a routein does not mean that I cannot change it up – some days I excercise different ways – do pilates, go on the elliptical, rollerblade, walk a different route. Some days I just spend having fun with a friend, somedays I just have to spend doing school work, and somedays I go somewhere I like to go like a different mall, any kind of coffee shop, book shop, a different gym, or any type of unique shop or business. Somedays I am so fatigued and just have to rest. When you are sick for a long time you have to find lots of different ways and places and people to talk to, you have to make an effort not be bored. Having a routein helps this, but so does keeping it interesting. Whatever, you can do thats what you do, all on the road back to better health.

Moreover, if you are just someone with a lot of time on your hands a routein can work too. You can routeinly take different classes, join different clubs, volunteer at places such as The Rock in Edmonton, AB (serving breakfast to the homeless in the inner city). You can also spend time with all those people you’ve been meaning to see, but just have not gotten around to seeing – like your grandma. As much as I hate to say it, there is definatly something good about just staying home one or two days and catching up on the newest episodes of shows you have missed on TV, online or Ondemand; or downloading or renting movies off of Itunes, Ondemand, or Netflix. There is so much going on, too much going on to be bored. No matter how sick you are, or how bored you think you are, just get out there and try anything.

In conclusion, by having a routein and keeping your routein interesting I believe anyone can avoid, Charles Dicken’s dreaded boredom from Bleak House, maybe not all the time, but atleast most of the time.

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