In addition to panic, fear and loneliness, boredom may sound pretty harmless right now. But here's the thing: Depression can often appear as boredom.
When I was worst with my mental health, I would have described myself as "bored" – bored with my degree, bored with my hobbies, bored with my work. What I actually experienced was the joy of being sucked out of everything I normally loved. (Depression sometimes does.)
Even if there is no depression, boredom can still be bad for your mental health. Monotony and lack of stimulation can make you feel lethargic, useless, and miserable. Boredom can change the mask to show irritation or even anger, which can be difficult to handle when you're stuck in the house.
To keep boredom at bay, two things helped me: productivity and variety. The feeling of working towards a goal gives me a sense of direction, and if I change my daily routine, I can distinguish one day from the next.
Because boredom often leads to lethargy and you feel unmotivated, most of these suggestions require very little energy. But don't hesitate to be more ambitious and adventurous with your routine.
. Have a different breakfast every morning
To prevent every day from feeling the same, try to prevent every morning from feeling the same. As someone who has worked from home for about 4 years, I firmly believe that the simple act of changing your environment can completely change your mood.
It's easy to sit at your desk with every meal, but just sitting in another room can break the monotony of the routine. If you're lucky enough to have a balcony or garden, eat out there. If not, have breakfast in bed one day, go to the couch another day, and sit at your table or desk the next day.
2. Try to get some exercise in
. If you start your day with a little exercise, you can fight this "ugh" feeling and release your body from this growing tension. A full workout is great, but if you're not ready for it, a dance sesh or some jumping jacks will do.
Do you have problems getting motivated? Remember: If you do not injure yourself or push too hard, it is unlikely that you will feel worse after training .
3. Beautify your morning shower
We live in a time when many of us focus on hygiene – but just because showering is an essential task doesn't mean it can't be uplifting. When I'm in a bad mood, I find that using a different shower gel lifts my mood.
This is my energy-saving method to clear my mind, as changing the smell or texture helps me fight brain fog. I recommend refreshing scents such as citrus, eucalyptus or peppermint that make me feel energized and concentrated. Now it's time to dig out the fancy soaps you got for your birthday!
4. Blow up music while doing your evening chores.
Optimistic music can shake you out of a bad mood, and a great playlist can turn the monotony of cleaning up into something more exciting. It is hard to hate washing the dishes when you play cheesy karaoke tunes.
Try out music for bonus points that will evoke special, positive memories for you. I relived my frightening emo years by playing a pop punk playlist of the 00s.
5. Do Something Creative
Netflix is great, but if you're tired of staring at a screen every night, try a different handling activity. A repetitive craft like knitting or dyeing can help you relax and decompress, while painting or sketching is a great way to express yourself.
Remember that everything you create doesn't have to be beautiful or perfect – it's just about having fun.
6. Eat something fantastic
Snack bars and grocery deliveries are currently prohibited in my country – and as a foodie, I miss restaurants a lot . On the plus side, this gave me the opportunity to try out some new recipes. I think that eating makes my life more diverse and can give me something to look forward to at the end of the day.
If you don't have the energy or the will to prepare a meal at the "MasterChef" level, that's fine! Just make something delicious, whether it's a divine, creamy soup or your favorite kid made of baked beans on toast.
You have probably heard that practicing gratitude is good for your mental health – and yes, some research seems to prove it. Journaling is a great way to do this.
You do not have to write a full diary entry. Just write down three good things that happened every day. This helps you not only to appreciate joyful moments, but also to distinguish one day's events from the next, so you don't feel like every day is the same.
Try a larger project.
This doesn't have to be as big as writing a book or starting a new business. Do you have a list of things you need to fix around the house? A list of films you've always wanted to see? A book you wanted to delve into? A recipe you wanted to try ?
It's a good idea to work towards a goal no matter how small it is. You can work towards it step by step. For example, if you're watching a list of the movies you want to watch, you can prolong the fun by watching one after the other instead of seeing several.
These activities can be entertaining. and you will feel a sense of accomplishment when you have completed the entire list.
Hosting a virtual party
Social connections can be incredibly important during this time, especially if you feel lonely. A regular video call is great, but they can get monotonous for a few weeks if they're isolated.
To get it a little confused, try hosting a virtual party – or a virtual date if that's your thing. But keep it super creative. Organize a powerpoint party. Play charades over zoom. Organize a virtual book club. Have a Skype based dinner club where you can create interesting dishes and show them to your friends as you catch up.
Chatting casually can be fun, but something more structured and unique could be what you need to avoid boredom.
Siân Ferguson is a freelance writer and journalist based in Grahamstown, South Africa. Your letter addresses issues related to social justice and health. Find her on Twitter .