The “B” Word
I can feel it growing. It’s consuming. It’s affecting my mental state. I can’t look at anything. It’s happened. It’s official. I’m bored. The B word. Boredom can easily seep into your everyday experience. The site has been running for a few months and it’s been amazing to see how many searches include the B word. The feeling of boredom is the inevitable result of leaving a working life that has been mostly planned for you, or by you, to a state where this level of activity is no longer required. It’s really that simple!
Unless you want to return to that way of life, you must recognize and internalize that the level of activity that consumed you is over. You now need to determine how you will spend your time. Challenging, yes, but also, after you internalize it, freeing. There are always constraints, financial and physical being the most prevalent, but recognizing them and then following a plan that empowers you is the best way to avoid the B word.
Acronyms always help. When you feel boredom approaching or worse, ennui, think SPAIN. If thinking of a gorgeous country with great wine and tantalizing food helps, so much the better!
- Smile – It’s not that bad. It seems like a curious first step, but if your mental outlook has been clouded by pessimism the simplest way to change that feeling is to simply smile! It does wonders and is THE way to begin changing your outlook. Go ahead – smile!
- Plan – The reason boredom is inching its way into your mental psyche is because you haven’t completed a very simple act – planning your day, week, month or whatever is your preference. This is actually much easier than it seems, but it is a must! In creating your plan, list the things you love to do first, whether it’s golf, jogging, or simply reading. Recognize their importance and do them. I would then emphasize outside, stimulating, and different. Find out what day your local newspaper publishes activities that are occurring in the area and circle those that appeal to you. These can be new restaurants, coffee shops, club meetings, etc. Be creative and make sure you have something to look forward to during the week. Be sure to embed the next three acronym letters in your plan for the most enjoyment.
- Active – Another key to avoiding boredom is to be active in the plan you develop. Passivity in the right experience can also avoid boredom, but being active helps you physically, mentally AND you are out and about. A simple relaxed walk with no particular destination in mind is stimulating and freeing. If you need to push the needle and have a more stimulative exercise, go ahead and enjoy it. Focusing on active in your plan is extremely beneficial and will seriously help avoid boredom.
- Inquisitive – As you review the newspaper or search the net for activities, be creative. If there is something you have wanted to investigate, but have been procrastinating, write it down and check it out. Nobody is going to do it for you and if you find something totally out of the box, but it looks like fun, why not? This may open up new creative and stimulating avenues for you. That one act play that you find interesting should be enjoyed. Or that coffee shop that you’ve always said nah to for whatever reason, go ahead and check it out.
- Njoy – Lastly, this is the purpose of your work. Enjoyment. You now know what you’re going to do, why, and most likely when. Keep those life-enjoying juices flowing and, most importantly, be open. This is yours to enjoy!
So, as you’ve done before, plan ahead, but now for you. You will find your time stimulating and enjoyable. If you find that a plan doesn’t help you or you are still not satisfied, seek assistance from friends, family, or others you trust for advice. You’ve worked too hard and too long to get to this point. You owe it to yourself to enjoy, so please do.