"Now having gone through a few cycles of quarantine boredom, I’ve finally come to embrace it. The wonderful truth is, despite all the negative connotations it comes with, boredom, coupled with the smallest act of curiosity, can be a powerful first step to refresh."
With the pandemic continuing beyond everyone’s initial expectations, most of us are in dire need of some sort of refresh or reset. It’s hard to not feel like I’m trapped in some version of ground hog day where each day seems the same. There doesn’t seem to be any clear beginning or end to time or anything I’m doing recently.
With all this monotony, it’s easy to feel disconnected and slumpish and harder to appreciate the simple joys in life. We all lose inspiration once in a while and restlessness and boredom set in. Personally, I’ve read tons of articles on how to cure quarantine boredom and they usually include long lists of things to do like taking on a fitness challenge, learning a new language or instrument or the all-time favorite, baking bread from scratch!
There’s nothing wrong with any of these suggestions but now having gone through a few cycles of this so-called quarantine boredom, I’ve finally come to embrace it. The wonderful truth is, despite all the negative connotations it comes with, boredom, coupled with the smallest act of curiosity, can be a powerful first step to reset and refresh.
Every time you notice feelings of boredom settling in, take a deeper breath, and take the time to acknowledge it. This simple gesture of actively noticing boredom can be the gateway to clarity and other mindful magic. Noticing and letting yourself be in this bored default state of mind for a while, now try exercising the slightest bit of curiosity.
Let’s say you’re in the middle of your morning skincare routine as feelings of boredom creep in. Instead of becoming irritated that another boring day is about to start, could you channel that energy into becoming curious about the ingredients in that serum you’re applying?
Before, you might’ve been too tied up to even take five minutes to research the ingredients to see if they align with your values, but now time is your friend. It could stop at this, expand into appreciating and understanding “clean beauty” a bit better or perhaps it even inspires you to try your first DIY skincare project!
Another idea is to have a light-hearted “curiosity conversation” with someone. Brian Grazer, the famous Hollywood producer, coined this concept in his book, but the gist is to ask someone questions on a topic you’re genuinely curious about without any particular goal or need to get something from that person.
In his book, he explains how these casual conversations have helped him in making numerous hit movies and TV shows. He also claims curiosity has been his secret to a bigger life. Now might be the perfect time to ask that friend (who’s normally super busy but now is bored too!) to get on a call with you to talk about gardening, her travels to Seoul, or maybe even her job that’s always been fascinating to you!
Also, when’s the last time you saw the sun rise or set? Could you be curious enough to figure out when and where the sun sets and rises in your neighborhood and try a morning or evening meditation surrounded by this enchanting energy?
Even if there’s nowhere close by where you might actually be able to see the sun rise or set, you should surely be able to open a window and feel the early morning or evening air and breeze and sense the difference in light and sounds as the world starts waking up or closing down all around you – doesn’t that sound refreshing? Maybe this even inspires you to have a regular and consistent mindfulness practice?
Whatever it is, today might be the perfect day to try the “small acts of curiosity” refresh. Even if curiosity killed the cat, it likely will do the opposite for you!