I got a sign today. Two signs, really, both telling me to slow down.
The first one was a few hours prior to writing this. I felt bored, restless, and was literally pacing my room. I had homework and a blog post to write, a stack of books screaming my name, and yet nothing in that moment appealed to me.
In fact, over the past few days, life has become repetitive and bland. Not even books or shows are holding my attention, my main source of entertainment being social media, which I've been scrolling on non-stop.
I'm sure I'm not the only one feeling this way, either. A lot of us, expecting to be out in the world by now, are pacing our bedrooms, searching for things to do, either spurlging on donuts or working to be the best version of ourselves or both.
Anyway, I finally sprung up and decided I would exercise. I hadn't moved my body at all that day, so I figured partaking in daily exercise would jumpstart my energy. I tossed up my hair, slipped into some workout get-up, and looked up dance workouts on Youtube--my favorite way to get in some cardio.
A few moments into the first video I found, the instructor said, "Take this time to slow down, look around you, and let loose. Have some fun, wherever you are!"
I smiled a little, and proceeded with the dancing, loosening my body and, ironically, slowing down.
I was then getting dressed when I noticed the song playing was, "Let's Be StIll," by The Head and the Heart. I listened closely as the lyrics read, "The world's just spinning, a little too fast, if things don't slow down soon, we might not last, so just for the moment, let's be still".
I stopped in place, taking those two signs and holding them close. I realized that my boredom was, and is, okay. Of course, it is--I'm stuck in my apartment all day, every day. But perhaps by reframing my thoughts, I could look at this differently.
I realized I was simply out of tune with my emotions. I wasn't listening to what my body truly wanted and craved which is stillness, quiet, and a little bit of laughter.
That's all boredom is, really: Our body's way of telling us that we're missing something in our lives.
How to overcome boredom and restlessness
Of course, the generic answer would be to get up and do something. However, with so much craziness going on, with so much time spent indoors, that's not the right answer right now.
As I said above, boredom is our body's way of telling us that we're missing something. All emotions are our body's way of communicating with us.
However, figuring out what we're missing isn't always so simple. Exercising, talking with friends, and grabbing a snack are all ways to overcome boredom, but they are only temporary solutions.
Right now, we need long-term ways to release the restlessness. Because this isn't usual boredom--this is What is even happening and what is even worth doing? boredom.
What we can do is sit with ourselves and just ponder on the question, "What am I missing?" We can journal it out if we'd like, or we can just observe.
Next, we can figure out how to implement our cravings into each day. Rather than just acting upon things when we feel eager to do something, we can incorporate small actions into each day, as it's what our body needs and wants.
Perhaps your body is longing to be creative, to expand your mind. Maybe it's time to learn something new or cook a new recipe. Maybe you need a good laugh or a positive affirmation.
If you're missing friends or social interaction, then get creative. Perhaps call a friend or family member every day, or plan a group Facetime call.
We can then add these moments and small but seemingly important tasks to our everyday lives so that we are fueling our bodies and minds with what we desire--laughter, excitment, exercise, creativity, sleep, a good cry, or perhaps, even a change of scenery (which you can fix by reorganizing your room).
Or, your feelings of boredom is telling you something entirely different. Perhaps, like me, it's time to slow down.
Turing boredom into slowing down
Boredom is what happens when we slow down when there's not enough going on in our lives to stimulate our brains.
Sometimes, this is a good thing.
Time, life... it all just stops and all we're left with is ourselves, and what's around us. We may be feeling frustrated right now, but we can use that frustration to make a change in our lives.
And I'm not suggesting you go out and reinvent yourself and become the best you can be. In fact, I'm saying the exact opposite--right now is the most perfect time to figure out who we are, what excites us, and how we can be with ourselves.
Perhaps boredom is a good thing in the sense that our bodies are craving stillness, peace of mind, yet our minds are fighting it. Our minds hate stillness--they need to always be buzzing, thinking.
So, perhaps we face this boredom and restlessness head-on, and use it to our advantage. We can pay attention to what's around us, notice the small, delicate details of life. We can taste the food as we chew it, smell the air as we breathe in, feel the fall of our stomach as we breathe out.
Yesterday, I pulled out some comic books I bought forever ago and, due to boredom, finally read them, looking closely at the fine drawings and feeling the soft paper between my fingers.
We want to use this time to work hard and "glow up"--at least, this is what social media has been telling us.
Of course, setting goals and pushing ourselves is an important part of our self-image and overall happiness, as I discuss in my recent post, How to avoid toxic self-care & 6 actually healthy self-care ideas, but maybe, but just maybe, our bodies are craving stillness in a chaotic world.
In order to completely rid ourselves of the "bored" title, all we must do is turn "I'm bored and I'm going crazy" to "I'm slowing down, and I'm okay with that."
We don't need to constantly stimulate our brains with books, shows, phone calls, and exercise right now. All we really need is ourselves, and all the beauty that makes us who we are.
We can release the control, and proceed through this with an open mind and a slow way of life.
You will be okay, I will be okay
Reframing our thoughts and trusting in our inner and outer guidance are important methods of curving negative self-talk and moving forward into uncertainty on a strong foot.
But I, and probably you as well, understand the difficulties of simply changing our way of thinking.
You will be okay. Besides telling you what to do, offering solution after solution, this message is all I can give you during this time: you will be okay. You will get through this strange time, and so will I, and so will (most) everyone.
This period is only temporary. We will rise up from our boredom, and we will rise up from our fears.
Until then, we can make the most out of this time. We can look out a window with a cup of tea and admire the cars that drive by and the highway that is visible from where we sit and the concrete jungle that is all around because we don't live in the lovely outskirts of Sweeden. Or, at least, I don't.
We can love every part of this Earth, and send love and healing to it, as well as to all of the people out there who may not be as fortunate as us.
We can use this precious time to slow down and live.
Who has time for boredom, anyway?
Here are some comforting videos that you can watch during this time!
How have you been doing throughout this pandemic? Have you been practicing slow-living during this time?
Let me know below if you'd like!
I do hope you enjoyed this casual, simple post regarding slowing down. I was going to include tips but decided to allow the words to flow and let them breathe onto the page without any strict structure.
Anyway, if you did enjoy this post, feel free to leave a like, and stay tuned for my first ever Youtube video to release sometime this week!
We WILL be okay.
Probably sipping tea,