Embrace your boredom and get creative
At a time when we are isolating to stay safe, we are having to adapt and explore new ways to pass the time. For most of us, we are having to completely change the way we work as well as how we look after ourselves and this can be a real challenge.
Understandably, the situation that we’re in is surfacing many feelings: frustration, sadness, anger, stress, anxiety, boredom, worry, discomfort, confusion. As always, it’s important that we can express these feelings in one way or another. How we do this is a personal choice. For some this is through talking and connecting with people, for others through journaling, cooking, writing poetry or creating music or art.
I recently discovered that the Chinese word for ‘crisis’ is made up of two words in English, one meaning danger and the other meaning chance or opportunity. Of course, in the current crisis we are in, we don’t have as many opportunities as we perhaps had before. But I am finding it interesting to reflect on – what opportunities do I currently have that I didn’t before?
Having more time on our hands is something that most of us will be experiencing right now; this inevitably does lead to more boredom than usual. But what if this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing? Sandi Mann, a Senior Psychology lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire has researched how boredom can actually spark creativity. When we are bored, Mann says “There’s no other way of getting that stimulation, so you have to go into your head”. If we can learn to sit with our thoughts a bit more, who knows what kind of new and exciting ideas might spring to mind?
So, next time you’re bored, rather than turning to your phone for a scroll, why not let your mind wander and see what happens? Perhaps now is the time to try your hand at a new skill and explore the creativity within you? Perhaps you will surprise yourself with what you create whilst also finding a new way to express what’s going on for you right now.
If you’re interested in getting creative, try some (or all!) of the following:
· Sign up free with Create to Connect to take part in a month of daily creative challenges this May
· Get crafty using the contents of your cupboards: make prints using fruits and vegetables or shaving foam and food colouring, paint using tea or coffee, make sculptures out of recycling or by mixing newspaper with flour and water.
· Visit Firstsite to get inspired with their free artist packs
· Visit The March Network to see an extensive list of organisations hosting online performances, classes, workshops and challenges you can get involved with.
It’s Ok to express yourself privately, but sometimes we just need to talk to someone. Here are some places you can find support if you need it:
By Molly Phillips
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Hammersmith, Fulham, Ealing & Hounslow Mind
Sources: Sandi Mann – The Upside of Downtime: Why Boredom Is Good
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Author: Molly Phillips
Posted on: 7th May 2020