WATCH — Boredom got you down? These tips can help

Alexia Sabau
Story by Alexia Sabau • CBC Kids News • Published 2021-03-19 15:52

Turns out certain personality types are more prone to boredom

Bored? Same here.

Remember in the early days of the pandemic, when everyone was enjoying all the extra free time at home by lounging around in their PJs, baking banana bread and learning new TikTok dances?

Well, after about 12 months in and out of lockdown, all of that has become kind of old, TBH.

If you’re finding yourself in a bit of a boredom slump, it might help to know that you’re not alone.

When 650 Canadian kids were polled by the Angus Reid Institute last spring, 71 per cent used the word “bored” to describe how they were feeling.

Now, all of these months later, that feeling hasn’t gone away.

Canadian kids started feeling bored just a few months into the COVID-19 pandemic. (Image credit: CBC, The Globe and Mail, City News)

But don’t worry, there are ways to understand boredom and even — fingers crossed — make it go away.

Many causes of boredom

“Boredom really is universal, everyone feels it,” said Lydia Muyingo, a PhD student in clinical psychology at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

While you may think you’re bored because you have nothing to do, the true causes of your boredom might actually run deeper than that, she said.

“It’s about not feeling stimulated or energized.”

Other common causes of boredom include:

Muyingo said we might even be confusing boredom with other feelings we’re having, like sadness, loneliness or even anger.

Lydia Muyingo, right, works with kids and teens who experience different mental health challenges. Muyingo spoke with CBC Kids News contributor Alexia Sabau about how kids can cope with boredom during the pandemic. (Image credit: Kat Go/CBC)

Muyingo suggested that working on correctly labelling our emotions can help us figure out exactly what we need in order to feel better.

Other tips for combating boredom

One upside to boredom is that it can give us the opportunity to get creative and work on our problem-solving skills, Muyingo said.

Depending on the root of your boredom, here are some ideas you can try to combat the issue:

If you’re bored because you’re sick of repeating the same task:

Try to change one aspect of what you’re doing or how you’re doing it.

For example, Muyingo said, if you normally do your schoolwork in your bedroom, try working from another spot in your home.

If you’re bored because you feel down about the COVID-19 pandemic:

Make a wish list of activities you can look forward to doing after the pandemic ends.

Muyingo said this can serve as a reminder that the pandemic — and the way you’re feeling right now — isn’t going to last forever.

If you’re bored because you can’t seem to focus on one thing at a time:

Practise mindfulness activities.

You can do this, Muyingo said, by sitting quietly and trying to make note of how your body is feeling, what you can see, touch and hear in the space around you, and other aspects of the present moment.

Check out the video at the bottom of the page for Part 1 of our Boredom 101 series.

It includes more great tips for understanding boredom, including which personality types are more prone to feeling bored than others.

And visit CBCKidsNews.ca again on March 29 for Part 2, where we’ll share some interesting activities you can try at home to kick boredom to the curb.


TOP IMAGE CREDIT: Philip Street/CBC

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About the Contributor

Alexia Sabau
Alexia Sabau
CBC Kids News Contributor
Alexia Sabau is an inquisitive teen who has worked as a junior reporter for the Calgary International Children’s Festival and Shaw TV Calgary. The grade 10 student is a youth ambassador with a passion for community building, performing arts and science. She’s also a devoted Harry Potter fan who is excited to work her magic on CBC Kids News.

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