Facing Boredom: What Self Isolation Will No Longer Let Me Avoid

Opinion by J1 Reporter Rachel Achola

“I’m bored,” is a phrase that has become familiar in my day to day life. It has driven me to make countless bad decisions in the scheme of my life. From bingeing an entire Netflix series in a day, to eating a whole sleeve of Oreos and cutting off all my hair, I can safely say that my futile attempts to escape boredom have driven me to places I never want to revisit. I am beginning to feel more like a cold blooded animal who relies on the attention of others to survive than a teenage girl.

This virus imposed on me, and self-isolation has made me face this harsh realization. I mean, what am I to do without constant stimulus from the outside world? After some impulsive decisions, I’ve been learning to cope with my boredom in healthier ways, instead of spending the whole day refreshing my “for you” page on TikTok.

The internet has undeniably hindered my confrontation of boredom. I began the quarantine by giving into old habits,such as rewatching “The Vampire Diaries” for the fourth time. It is not the peak of my existence, although, I would personally thank Damon Salvatore for being the only character who can keep me invested in a show. But once I finish the series again, all that will be left is the sense of boredom that I do not want to face. 

Whenever I start to feel the boredom creep in, I try to maintain habits to cure it. No more walking downstairs for the box of  Cheez-Itz that is calling my name. Instead of going for snacks, I pour myself a refreshing glass of water. I have found it to be a healthier way to curb the junk food cravings, also hydration will help keep my energy levels up as well. I will need that energy to get out of bed and cultivate a life free boredom.

Spending time outside has been an integral part of my routine. Whether it is taking a leisurely walk with my mom or covering the driveway in chalk with my little brother, I always feel better after spending time in the sun. The weather has been all over the place, but on the nice days, I‘ll do school outdoors. One of my favorite pastimes is sitting on my deck and listening to music or a podcast. When I am looking at the vast sky or soaking up the sun, it is impossible to be bored.

I have begun mastering skills I have not had the time for in the past. I have been trying out new styles of makeup. I may as well look good when we go back to the outside world. It has been fun to experiment with colors and tutorials. I can proudly say that I have mastered the Parisian look, and now I am moving onto perfecting my cut crease. When I am not doing makeup, I am attempting to learn to play piano. I have a keyboard at home and no experience whatsoever. It is a challenging quest, but It keeps me busy. I may not be making phenomenal progress, but I’ve been trying, and that’s what counts.

rachelachola boredom

A picture of my bullet journal that I have been working on.

I find that partaking in something creative and productive is a worthy way to pass the time. I have been bullet journaling like crazy. It helps me stay on track for school and it keeps me motivated when online school gets hard. It does not take a lot of skill to enjoy the practice, just persistence. I also have made many moodboards, which lift my mood when I look at them. I cut out pictures and words from magazines I find around the house and paste them onto paper. 

Growing up with constant access to entertainment has been a privilege and a curse. I’ve never truly had to sit alone with my thoughts, like ever. I’ve wasted so many hours mindlessly consuming digital media.This problem became very apparent. After I got the notification video from TikTok that I’d been scrolling too long three nights in a row, I realized I need to get off my devices. I had to engage in real life, even if it is limited to the walls that are closing in on me. 

After finally facing boredom I feel as if a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I don’t even know why it scared me so much. I have maintained new habits and surprised myself. It can be difficult to not know when we are coming out of this or what the world may be like. At the very least I know I can handle it, and that is a step in the right direction.

 

 

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