A Cure for Boredom

Casey Hartley

Throughout the human race’s history, boredom has been a sign of a dull mind.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, I know.  A harsh beginning, yes, and you may have taken that as a shot, but don’t worry. We’ve all been bored, myself most included.  Boredom is something that can be a daily struggle, especially when there’s too much time to go around.  We all suffer.

What we don’t all do, however, is find the cure for it.

Boredom’s cure is creativity, plain and simple.  When we find ourselves without anything to do and nothing to entertain ourselves with, creativity is what we ultimately turn to as our last resort.  We find something random, something weird or strange, and that takes up our attention and makes the time pass.  What I propose, however, is that we get rid of the “last resort” part and always have something in our lives as a creative outlet.  Being bored is a waste of time.

In a study done by Microsoft, people were reported to spend around 16 of their 45 work hours doing unproductive activities.  What unproductive means, however, is mindless and trivial dribble that is merely done to pass time.  Creativity is not unproductive.  When someone has a creative project to work on or something that they are passionate about, those unproductive hours can take a massive drop.  All of a sudden, time spent zoning out can be spent on creating something self-fulfilling.

When I was very young, I struggled with being bored constantly.  I’m an only child, so often I’d have to do things by myself, but playing games alone got old quick, and back then I would cycle through the same activities over and over.  I also learned, as I think every kid does, that telling your mom you’re bored isn’t a great idea and will lead you into cleaning the house.

So, out of necessity, I turned to creative writing.  Realizing I could spend my boring time working on something that allowed me to express myself was a revelation I have never let go to this day.  I understood that coming up with a project or something that I could work on whenever I had spare time became the perfect solution to boredom.  Now in my present life I have developed that project-minded idea into writing books.  Whenever I feel bored or without anything to do, I can turn to my novel and work on it, both curing my boredom and creating something I’m proud of.

Creativity is hardly just something to pass the time, though, as I said above.  Creativity is an active process that makes the greatest use of your time.

“A number of studies have found that writing can help people overcome trauma and manage negative emotions,” Medical News Today reports.  If you consider this, the idea makes sense and seems practical.  Writing, channeling your thoughts into words, can help you process and understand what you’re feeling.  I know that I have used a number of personal experiences in what I’ve written, drawing on my own desires and fears.

When talking to writer and artist Liberty Macias, she said she avoids boredom by, “mostly reading, or else trying to write something.  I have multiple creative projects in the works, some more developed than others.”  Liberty and a number of other “creatives” like her have conquered boredom through expression.

So, the next time you feel as if you have nothing to do, try picking up a pencil, pen, or even instrument.  Take this time to speak your mind through creative expression.