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The Benefits of Boredom

I'm BORED! The last week of the summer holidays and the cry of "what are we going to do today" from my two energetic kids is wearing a little thin... It got me to thinking about lazy summer days past, when I seemed to have the time to watch the clouds drift by and morph in to random shapes, creating a thought around each wisp...
We seem to be afraid of having nothing to do, but being bored is no bad thing - we've just forgotten how to do it properly and how liberating it can be.
Here are some ideas for how to embrace your inner idleness - enjoy your time out! 
  • Leave your emails unchecked next time you’re waiting in a café. Sit and smell the coffee instead (it worked for J.K. Rowling).
  • Go for a walk. Boredom novices find it hard to sit still and stare into space. Repetitive, mindless exercise, such as walking or swimming, leaves your mind free to wander while satisfying your guilt-prone conscience.
  • Visit green spaces. The sights, sounds and sensations of the natural world are gentle distractions that encourage the mind to go walkabout.
  • Embrace screen-free Sundays. Disconnect from all electronic media for one day a week and reconnect with your inner and outer worlds.
  • Listen to your boredom. Is it telling you that you’re unhappy in your job or lifestyle? Research shows that boredom can motivate us to become more altruistic and engage in pro-social behaviour, such as volunteering or donating blood. (ideas taken from Simple Things - August issue)