As we begin to adjust to the idea of going back to work, seeing friends at the pub or starting new hobbies, we can’t ignore how we all might be feeling after such a long time without freedom. Being bored, unmotivated, anxious or depressed comes to mind as possible feelings we’ve all experienced at some point, and thankfully there have been discussions online about how we’ve dealt with them.
A great article on BBC Bitesize provides some great tips for dealing with boredom and low motivation. Showing how 4 young people have adapted to life during lockdown, each by taking up a new skill, hobby or taking up exercise. The main takeaway is that the solution to boredom or having a lack of motivation is in fact to just do something, though it’s understandable if you’re finding this difficult.
For a breakdown of how boredom has affected us over the past year, consider reading this study from nature.com. It contains an interesting model showing a correlation between boredom and changes in behaviour, for example becoming defiant of the lockdown rules. The other conclusion is that the more self control we exert, the less effort we’ll eventually put into things. In basic terms, this suggests that the more people adhered to lockdown restrictions, the more unmotivated and discouraged we became as we grew used to the new normal. Seeing statistics like these hopefully helps people rationalise their own feelings as valid and normal. You’re not alone.
Boredom- Is It Effecting Young People?
While boredom is often associated with negativity, and feeling like you don’t know what to do, it can in fact be a force for positive change in your life. For young people, the lockdown has changed life significantly, with schools closing and many losing regular social contact with friends. Understandably, this has left many young people with mental health problems and doubts regarding their future, with one of the biggest issues being a general lack of motivation.
Started up by emergingmind.org.uk, Co-RAY is a project focused on helping provide resources for young people experiencing mental health issues. Ensuring young people have access to information is key to treating issues early on. Click the banner below to read more about the project.
By reading through emergingminds recommendations, you’ll find a step by step guide on how to support young people you may know or yourself, with the article taking into account the impacts of the pandemic. Small steps such as working out what’s important to you, and being kind to yourself can make the difference in maintaining your personal health and wellbeing.
"Just Do It" Approach
As our time under national restrictions comes to an end, it's important to take a moment to look at what we can do to stay focused and make the most of our freedom. Referencing NIKE's slogan "Just Do It" as a means of inspiration, writer Niklas Göke discusses the origins of boredom in his article from 2019.
This may come across as oversimplifying the solution to boredom, but applying this attitude to personal goals such as fitness, work or social life should provide a basis for self improvement. While this article was written before the pandemic, Göke suggests thinking of the slogan as a long term strategy, by stopping self doubt and moving forward with confidence. Below is a quote that captures his message perfectly:
"You’re not unmotivated. You’re not lazy. You’re not bored. You are afraid. We are all afraid. And yet, we are still here. So every day, choose to be here, moving forward."
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(Information sourced from BBC, emergingmind.org.uk and Medium)