Boredom is usually a self-inflicted condition. If you take a moment to think about it, when you are on your own time, you usually control whether or not you are engaged or bored by what you are doing. If you are always looking for a television for entertainment, chances are good that you will quickly find yourself unsatisfied and unfulfilled.
Finding ways to entertain yourself does not have to be an expensive proposition, however. At any age, there are a lot of relaxing things that you can do to both get out of the house and stimulate your mind. I find that I have my most creative moments when I am out doing something completely unrelated to creativity. For example, I get most of the ideas for my columns (both SavingAdvice columns and my columns for other sites) when I am walking my dog. I look forward to that time with my puppy and I don’t have to pay a penny to enjoy it.
Here are a few things that you can add to your activity list so that the next time you find yourself with nothing to do, you can avoid the TV!
Take a Walk Through Your Neighbourhood: How many of your neighbours do you actually know? How many can you greet by name? In a day when our sense of community is quickly dissipating, a walk through your own community, especially a regular walk, will help you to learn about your neighbours and to make new friends. Even if you meet no one new, a walk each night will ensure that you get some exercise and it will give you time to think through the problems of the day, or to escape them altogether!
Visit a Local Cemetery: There are many reasons to visit local cemeteries. Of course, if the cemetery is still in active use, you might wish to pay your respects to the departed. Even if the cemetery is no longer actively in use, you will find that a cemetery is a great place to find peace and quiet even for the living. Also, older cemeteries are great places to reconnect with local history. For example, growing up in Boston, I would visit the Old Granary Burial Ground and other local cemeteries that were full of monuments to Revolutionary War heroes. That made history very immediate, even tangible, for me as a young man. It still does.
Go On a Picnic: You have to eat. Even if you do not have a picnic basket, you can probably assemble a nice lunch and find a container in which to carry it. Bring along a blanket or a beach towel and head into the great outdoors, even if that is only your backyard. Enjoy a picnic lunch with your kids, family or friends. You will enjoy it much more than the same meal eaten in your kitchen!
Visit the Library: You never know what you will find at the library, but you will almost always find something. Your tax dollars support the library in your community so you should get the most for your money and visit the library often.
Volunteer: If there is a cause that you support, and most of us do support causes of one kind or another, find a way to volunteer your time to it. If you are working for something in which you believe, it will be a satisfying experience and you will learn more about your cause of choice.
Organize a Potluck Dinner: Call a few friends and suggest that everyone make part of a dinner and then head to your house. If you get a good group, you can make this a weekly or monthly event and build menus around different holidays and events. Good food and good conversation make for good times.
What other simple ways can you suggest to avoid boredom without adding cost to your day?