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How to Cope with Being Bored

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Updated: May 7, 2019

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Being bored is possibly one of the worst ways to spend any given amount of time. However, with a little bit of imagination and some boredom you can turn some unproductive time into something with fun injected into it.



Ouch. If you are craving your down time away from your partner, chances are they're either stressing you out of boring the pants off of you, neither of which is a great look. The fact that you don't want to adventure together with your partner suggests that something is off. (Though I totally respect the fact that you are also an #independentwoman.)



...and started asking you, "How are things with Brian?" If your friends used to coo about how sweet you and your boo were, and said things like "you seem so happy" and that's changed, take note. Maybe you aren't as happy as you always were. Boredom and sadness are close cousins. (If your friends are less feelings-y and more withholding and never complimented your relaysh, this does not apply to you.)



Go talk to someone you've never met.[7]
Look through your Facebook friends list. Message 5 people you haven't caught up with in a long time.
Conspire with some friends to do something really nice (really significant and heartfelt) for another friend that deserves it. Make this a regular thing.
Do not approach strangers, even if they look nice.


Eliminate Boredom With These 12 Tips

May, 2007
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I don’t believe boredom is caused by a lack of things to do. I don’t think that it is even caused by a lack of things you want to do. Rather I’ve found boredom is usually mislabeled to disguise a different problem. This is why most attempts to stop boredom don’t work, because they don’t address the real problem.

Here are some tricks I’ve found to help expose the real culprit behind a feeling of boredom and get back to your normal self:

Figure out what you really want to do. Boredom often masks a problem where you want to do a particular activity but something is preventing you. This could happen when you want to watch your favorite television show, but the cable is out. When this happens, the first step to killing boredom is to simply recognize the activity that you truly want to be doing.
Nuke procrastination. Procrastination can cause boredom if there aren’t any distractions available to take your mind off your task. If this is the case, try one of these tips to eliminate the wait and get busy again.
Get your compass straight. Boredom can just as easily be caused by a lack of direction. Spend a few minutes identifying your goals, desires or passions. Sometimes simply bringing up these can get you motivated again.
Socialize. Get out and meet some friends, or make some new friends. Boredom can often disguise a lack of social energy. Even if you can’t see how to meet new people in your area and your friends are busy, go to an online forum that shares one of your interests or pick up a phone.
Put off your boredom. Take a look at your to-do list. Commit to doing just one tiny task on that list before you find something fun to do. Often putting off your boredom for a few minutes by being productive can kick the feeling.
Learn something new. Perhaps what you need is some mental stimulation. Here are some fast things you can do to start learning something new:

Read a book
Research a topic your interested in online
Write a short story
Pull up photoshop (or download GIMP if you don’t have it) and practice your artistic skills.

Cut off distractions. Boredom can happen when you are doing a low value task, like random internet surfing or watching television shows that don’t interest you. Distractions can be a black hole, sucking you into a prolonged state of disinterest. Turn off the television or computer and start moving around until you find something better to occupy you.
Fill schedule holes. Too much time is often worse than no time at all. It can be difficult to adjust to the boredom when you suddenly have a schedule vacuum. I often find myself getting irritated during holiday periods where my normally busy schedule empties. Spend a few minutes to fill schedule holes to prevent boredom in the first place.
Become your own cheerleader. I’ve been bored due to a temporary lack of confidence. Who wants to work hard towards a goal when you’ve been dealt an upsetting blow to your belief that you will succeed? Take some time to review your wins and high points so that you can restore some confidence and keep moving.
Meditate. This has become my default activity in cases of extreme boredom. Check out the popular article I wrote for ZenHabits about how to do it (and why).
Journal. Open up a word document and just start writing. This works similarly to meditation, although it is a bit more active and less imaginative.
Add a new challenge. If you find yourself consistently bored, this usually means you have a section of time where you don’t have an activity that meets your needs. Add a new goal, challenge or hobby to fill up the time.

These are just a few of the methods I use regularly when I have to combat boredom. But these are just suggestions. The best way to combat boredom is to understand why your bored.


Start moving.

Go for a jog.[12] Don't step on any cracks in the pavement. Grass is now hot lava.
Choreograph a dance to your favorite song...even if it's only in your head. Bonus points if you actually do the dance.
Balance on one leg for as long as you can. Then do the other.

Online Time

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Get your internet on.

Try out popular websites that collect awesome things, like the Frogman blog, BoingBoing, Digg or StumbleUpon.
Educate yourself on websites like TED, Snopes, or Upworthy.
Browse wikiHow. Find the three most ridiculous or worst articles you can. Post your collection in the discussion section. This way they'll get noticed and fixed.

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YouTube the boredom away.

Watch fail compilation videos.
Watch videos from when America's Funniest Home Videos was still good.
Take the Afro Circus Challenge. This clip will supposedly drive you insane after a few minutes. How long can you stand it before you have to turn it off?
Watch some DIY, Life Hack, or Buzzfeed videos

Going Back In Time

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Go back to your childhood.

Take a nap.[13] You know, the second you get too old to take naps is about the same time where you start to really appreciate them.
Take a bubble bath. Reenact Master and Command with the bar of soap. Or sing as much of Rubber Ducky as you can remember.
Build a fort. Come on. Forts are awesome. Do you still have the best pillow construction skills in the West?


Even if you are Anthony Bourdain, a job is a job. We usually go to them for as long as we need to get our work done, and then escape to spend time with friends and lovers because it's fun to relax. If you find yourself spending late hours at work so that you can avoid spending awake-time with your partner, there's a pretty enormous chance you're bored in your relationship.



When you're married for 30 years, and you've spent every night eating dinner together, a quiet night every once in a while makes sense. If you sit down for dinner together, at home or out in the world, and you go through the whole roasted chicken without exchanging a word, you're bored AF.



Or making time to hit happy hour with that cutie from work. Or staring at billboards featuring Channing Tatum for extra long periods of time. Yearning for other people if you are in a relationship is pretty normal, but if your eyes are constantly wandering, that's a definitely sign that you are bored with the bae you currently have.



Or any questions, really. When you lose interest in what your partner is up to when you are not around, you're not staying engaged in their life. That's a major sign you're bored by them. We usually ask people we care about how they are doing, and your early dates were probably filled with tons of questions and learning about each other. You don't have to be jealous or stalk their daily schedule, but if you are not checking in with your partner about their day, you're probably ready for something with a little more excitement.

Again, I want to stress that all of these signs can just be a normal pa

How do I fight boredom during a long car ride?
Community Answer
If you are driving, listen to upbeat music that will keep you awake. If you are a passenger, you can listen to music or play games on your mobile phone. You can also play games in the car, such as "I spy."
Not Helpful 9Helpful 48
How can I convince my parents to buy me a cell phone so I'll be less bored?
Community Answer
Explain to them that cell phones are critical in emergency situations. You could probably find some helpful statistics online to pad your argument.
Not Helpful 20Helpful 50
What can I do when there is nothing for me to do?
Community Answer
You can read, watch television, or take up some hobbies (painting, sewing, knitting, etc.) to keep you from being bored.
Not Helpful 12Helpful 23
What can I do if I'm bored on a video game?
Community Answer
Play something else. I recommend PVZ.
Not Helpful 9Helpful 15
I'm always bored, but I am unmotivated to do anything productive with my time. What can I do about this?
Community Answer
Try reading, coloring, doing art or playing games.
Not Helpful 21Helpful 25
I'm already in advanced classes, but they're still boring. What should I do?
Community Answer
Pretend to listen to the teacher, but be careful. You might miss something important.
Not Helpful 17Helpful 19
Is it normal to go to the fridge when bored?
Community Answer
Yes, snacking from boredom is common. To prevent unwanted weight gain or snacking unhealthily, find something else to distract yourself.
Not Helpful 5Helpful 5

Why Do You Feel Bored?

I’ve found that boredom usually has one of these five root causes. Know the cause and your closer to a cure:

Procrastination – You aren’t bored, just procrastinating. Figure out what tasks you are putting off and nuke the procrastination.
Lack of Useful Energy – Boredom isn’t the same as exhaustion, but it occurs when you have an abundance of one form of energy but are exhausted in the energy you would find useful. I’ve had this happen when I can’t get myself to keep working, but I don’t feel physically tired. Find an activity that will use the energy you have an abundance of. This could mean doing something physical after spending all day writing or doing something creative after an entire day of churning out boring code.
Schedule Gaps – Your schedule has suddenly changed and you don’t have the flurry of busyness to protect you anymore. Sometimes the answer is to quickly add more tasks. Other times you need to settle into the discomforting quiet and use this time for some reflection.
Environmental Obstacles – Waiting in line, taking a long plane ride, forced away from an internet connection for a week. This kind of boredom usually just requires you to be creative until the situation changes.
Lack of Motivation – You don’t have the motivation to do what you should do to eliminate boredom. In short periods, this problem can usually be overcome by using a simple motivation trick. In longer periods, this needs to be addressed with some serious reflection, goal setting and reestablishing your priorities.

You can use the first tips I suggested for overcoming boredom, or you can devise your own once you know the root of the problem. What are your tips for overcoming boredom?

Learning New Things

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Learn a new skill.

Teach yourself how to roll a penny between your fingers.
Practice different ways of rolling your tongue. Did you know the different abilities are genetic?[8]
Go and learn an actual skill that you've always wanted to have. It's guitar. It's guitar for everyone.[9]

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Read something cool.

Have you ever actually read the Bible? It's more entertaining then you'd think. To make it even better, try reading it in a non-standard format, like the Brick Bible (the Bible told in a funny way using Legos, which is available for free online).[10] If you're from a different faith, read the major faith book appropriate for your faith. If you have no faith, learn about other religions and what gives people their desire to pursue a faith. Learning all that you can about the world's religions is never wasted time.
Give comics a whirl. You loved reading them in the paper when you were younger. Did you know you can still read comics online for free? Search "webcomics" and find one that looks good to you. Good ones to start with include "Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal", "Dinosaur Comics", and "What: What If?".
You're sure to have a book you've been neglecting. Your grandma gave one to you three years ago for your birthday. Just read it. Stop procrastinating. It's good for you.

Indulging In Make Believe

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Be a superhero.

The room you're in is suddenly taken hostage by aliens. Quick: how do you escape?
Come up with a superhero identity and origins story for everyone in the room.
Actually help someone. Whether you're volunteering or just helping an old lady take groceries out to her car, you'll find you end up feeling like a real hero.[11]

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Turn the imagination up to 11.

Make up dialogue for a conversation you can't hear. Look at two people talking that are just far enough away that you can't hear. Following their expressions and body language, imagine a silly conversation that they could be having.
Imagine your animal sidekick. What's their personality like? Do they die at the end of the story?
Think up the trailer narration for the movie of your life.

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Go outside. Pretend that your backyard is a field or a green desert. If you live on a farm, go outside and explore. If you have tools or some sticks, pretend you're out on a hunt, a safari or an explorer's mission.

Being active

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What if I can't do anything because I am in marching band?
Community Answer
You can do marching band! Be determined to enjoy it. Work on getting better in your spare time.
Not Helpful 15Helpful 10
What do I do if even a fun activity keeps me bored?
Community Answer
If a fun activity is boring, then its not a really "fun activity." You should try something completely new, or something that catches your attention. Try reading, drawing, sleeping, looking up DIY things to try and make on your own.
Not Helpful 1Helpful 2
I'm listening in class, but the things my teachers are saying are things I already know. I'm very bored. What can I do to make it more fun?
Community Answer
Take notes, to make sure you know the subject completely. If you are sure you understand the subject, it may be a good idea to move into advanced classes.
Not Helpful 43Helpful 20


Making Chores More Interesting

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Make your tasks a game. The best way to fight prolonged boredom is to make a game out of the tasks you must get done.
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Make chores awesome.[1]

Pretend there was a hazardous materials spill in your kitchen. It's...Ebola or something. Eww. Deck yourself out in fake protective gear and mop it up.
You're a mad scientist conducting experiments. Now, chuck the experiments that didn't make it out of the refrigerator (where you were storing them). Come up with a nefarious purpose that each one was supposed to have.
Pretend you're a horribly abused butler as you fold your clothes. Plan how you'll take out your boss and keep their money.

Creative Fun

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Get creative.

Make up your own fairy tale. It must include the following elements: a ring, a witch, and a horse. Post your story in the discussion section!
Write a letter of advice to your younger self.[2]
Doodle.[3] Draw one of the following: the weapon you would use to take over the world, your favorite Disney character, a llama wearing a top hat and bow tie. He is a fancy llama.

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Draw a bunch of random images on scraps of paper. Shuffle the papers. Make a story up for the order in which you pull them out.
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Get musical.

Sing one of your favorite songs. Now sing it as a jazz song. A country song. An opera. Do as many styles as you can think of.
Beatbox and tap out rhythms. It's easier than you think.
Make up your own song. Write your own lyrics about whatever you want. You can also write a song about: your pet, what it was like when you were in the third grade, or how you'd bring peace to the Middle East.[4]

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Make lists.

Write your top favorite movies of all time.
Write the friends you'd take with you in a zombie apocalypse. Don't forget to write what weapon they use and who lives and dies.
Write a list of all of the New Years Resolutions you've broken. Choose two and give them another try.

Playing Games

Find random pieces of cloths, wood, etc. and make it into a craft!

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Make a bet with yourself. Then play tic tac toe.[5] Use a big board with lots of squares. Don't cheat.
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Play board games with friends. Get out the old board games and see who can play without cheating or seeking refuge on the computer.[6]
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Play card games. There are lots of card games. Bet you don't know the rules to most of them... yet.
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Make up new games. Test them out with your friends, refine them and think about marketing them.
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Dig out an older video game from your attic or garage and play it.

Making Connections

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Get social.

Community Q&A

8 Signs You’re Bored In Your Relationship And You Should Probably Get Out

AUG 28 2017

Is it better to be bored or sad? I'm not sure about this at all. Boredom hurts my soul in a different way than sadness does. If someone called me a "sad person," I'd be OK with it, but if someone called me "boring person"... I'd probably cry and become a "sad person." Many people stay in relationships that are no longer bettering them because they'd rather not be heartbroken, but is living in boredom really any way to live? If you see signs you're bored with your relationship, you should at least consider peacing out.

I know that seems harsh, and I'm not suggesting that it's easy to exit a relationship, but if you are young and dating someone you aren't sure if you are going to marry, it might be time for a change. That's completely appropriate thing to feel; nothing lasts forever.

With that said, of course relationships are going to feel stagnant from time to time. The excitement of the early stages of a relationship simply don't last; our divorce rate would be much lower if they did. But if you are financially independent, don't have a marriage license or kids, and you've tried to spice things up in your relationship with a trip to the Grand Canyon or a vibrator in the bedroom and still feel bored, you might be with the wrong person. Here are eight signs you're bored in your relationship, and it might be time to move on.



OK, first off, no shade to The Wire, because it is a masterpiece, but it's not the lightest and brightest of shows. If you find yourself avoiding outings where you and your boo are spending solo time together, you're probably a little bit bored with your person. I have had some of the same friends since kindergarten, and I'm still not bored of going to bars and restaurants with them.

Date night should excite you, not make you grumble about shaving your legs in order to wear that new dress.



I mean, this response is generally a little mean and not going to lead to fireworks in the sheets, but in all seriousness, if you can no longer "get it up" for sex with your partner, you might be feeling bored. Try something new in the bedroom. Maybe a cute little role play. Are you still staring at the ceiling listlessly while he bones you? Not ideal.



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If you are a really serious person, lighten up. It could be the reason you're bored.
Become as desperate as possible and waste any possible resource in order to cope with boredom. If it's reasonable at the time, do it.
Do not eat while you are bored. This can cause you to gain unwanted weight. If you truly can't live without food at the moment even if you aren't hungry, drink some water or milk, suck on ice, or chew gum.[14]
Be as creative as possible. Obey every stupid thought your mind has. It only has them to try to keep you from killing yourself.


Be bold! If you have lots of time to kill, you could even do something like writing a film. How about a sequel to your existing favorite?


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