Part 1 of a 2 part story
At the time of writing, millions of people globally are in lockdown. This sudden stop of normal life is stressful and constricting for many and the situation surrounding it is undeniably tragic. Many people are not looking forward to a long weekend for Easter coming up because they will be bored – 5 whole days of staying at home! Isn’t it amazing how the shift of value changes because we can’t do the things we “normally” do!
Lockdown has restricted our stimulation to the basics of our home and social media. Whereas before the pandemic, there was so much external stimulation on tap… cafes, nightclubs, and sport, shopping, holidays, and of course now we only have the contents and members of our homes, as well as anybody we can reach through technology.
Boredom is best described as a feeling of emptiness and no meaning so we cannot find the motivation to take action.
On a normal day, pre lockdown, generally people were on the treadmill of life and definitely not thinking about the meaning of life or what their purpose is. Our new experience of life today has taken that treadmill away, has taken the distractions away and there is very little spam as I call it for distraction and filling of time.
For many suddenly we are just faced with ourselves and our minds start pondering how we create meaning and purpose in our day. For many this is a confronting time and will only get stronger the longer lockdown goes on.
As a result the boredom forces people to seek out other forms of stimulation. Unable to find it externally because of lockdown, the focus shifts to internal thoughts and feelings. And this is where the struggle begins.
When your mind is empty and not stimulated negative thoughts can wander in but so too can creativity and self improvement!
Boredom can lead to self-destruction. Boredom is uncomfortable. Research shows that boredom was the single biggest reason more people drank alcohol, smoked more, went to social media and reached for food more often. It’s a way of filling time but also comforting at a time when you might feel a little out of balance.
Next time you get on a bus, train or ferry or stand in a queue notice that everyone would rather look at their phone than just be with nothing to do.
So this lockdown is a fantastic time for some self reflection and development!
Until my next issue ponder these questions:
- What does your life mean? Why are you here?
- What interests do you have now given lockdown stops you from external experience filling?
- What are the first 3 things you deeply want to do as soon as lockdown is over?
- What does this say to you about the meaning of these things in your life?
Keep peeling back the onion as I call it until you find some meaningful answers – i don’t know isn’t one and nor is just because!
Please share this with the many people in your network as I know this is a time of struggle for many and each week brings new challenges.
And just so you have lots of options this weekend check out this website – A list of free, online, boredom-busting resources! Enjoy and make this time the best it can be. You will look back at this time one day and say I miss the lockdown!!