Kierkegaard once said, “Boredom is the root of all evil — the despairing refusal to be oneself.” Even if you don’t share his radical and romanticized dislike of boredom, everyone can probably agree that being bored is, at the very least, super annoying. In extremes, this frustrating mental state can lead to — or be a sign of — mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Luckily, boredom can be easy to cure: All you need to do is discover the amazing and exciting possibilities all around you. At Cambridge Court, we want life to continue being adventurous (and not boring) for our residents, so here are five ways to cure boredom on the spot.
There’s always something to make. Whether it’s a painting, music, a scrapbook or a book, creating something can stop boredom in its tracks. Being creative is a great way to inject excitement into life because there are always new ideas to explore. It’s also a functional pastime, because art projects and other crafts can make great gifts or be something you can sell online.
If you don’t know where to start with making things, begin by finding some inspiration. Social media sites, such as Instagram or Pinterest, are a good place to start looking for ideas. After a few minutes of looking at what other people are doing, you might be overflowing with ideas and projects you want to try. Another place to find inspiration is the craft store. Just walk around until you see something you want to try. Many times, you can find starter sets that include everything you need — even instructions.
You can also check the assisted living activities calendar to find out if a crafting session or art lesson is going on soon. Gear up and join in to stave off boredom while making new friends as well as fun projects.
Everyone around you is a library of stories and thoughts. Once you get past the pleasantries, conversations can be an endless adventure through each other's minds. Talking to people always creates new experiences, because everyone you meet is unique. Here are a few ideas to try for having deep and unique conversations that help you get to know other residents or even long-standing acquaintances better.
• Ask a unique question to get your conversation partner on their toes or break the ice, such as what meal they remember their mom making that they always enjoyed.
• Talk about topics you might generally avoid because they’re too controversial, such as faith or politics — but only if everyone involved is able to have an intelligent discussion and allow other people to have their own beliefs.
• Ask your conversation partner to regale you with a story from his or her life that you've never heard or don't remember. They might enjoy sharing a fond memory with you, and you can learn something new about them.
• Play the questions game. This one is simple: You ask a question. They answer it, and then they ask a question. Repeat until you run out of questions or time.
For some reason, many people think learning stops when school does, but that’s not the case. A great way to start learning again is to pick up a topic you used to be interested in. Maybe you took Spanish in college but forgot it over the years, or you used to be fascinated by Japanese history. Or, you could start a completely new pursuit and find a whole world you didn’t even know existed. Joining a Facebook group for what you’re interested in can help you find people to talk to about the topic.
The sky is the limit here, with options ranging from a casual round of Go-Fish to epic battles on the chessboard. You can get as involved or intense as you like. Games can also help keep your mind sharp, promoting cognitive functions such as memory and focus.
When you start feeling bored, grab a deck of cards or a board game and a few friends. There are also a lot of games to play online. The classics, such as chess, hearts, gin and backgammon, are all just a click away, and you can even play against real people in online settings.
There's nothing like a new color scheme to reinvigorate daily life. Sometimes, everything feels like it's become too routine, but changing up your living space can make the day feel different. Consider trying a new piece of furniture or different curtains. It doesn’t even have to be a huge change — just something to remind you to live each day a little differently.
Whether you truly think boredom is the root of all evil or you’re just a little annoyed by it, give one of these options a try. Or, reach out to the staff at Cambridge Court assisted living in Kearney to find out whether there's a cultural trip planned, a group shopping option or something fun on the activity calendar for you.