Coping With Negative Feelings: Loneliness And Boredom
Today, I’d like to talk about two of the worst feelings in the world: loneliness and boredom. Now, we’ve all experienced each of these emotions at least one in our lives… and I’m sure you know just how awful they feel… how they get you down to point where you grow accustomed to the feeling and you just sink in it until someone in your family or one of your friends rings the alarm and tries to pull you out.
Take boredom for example. It’s the most common feeling we experience. In fact, it’s so common, we feel its presence every day. But here’s where it gets nasty: our daily dose of boredom comes and goes as easily as we want. Whenever we get bored, we can start another activity, something more entertaining.
In times of crisis, however, it’s not as simple to fight boredom. If a disaster happens and you’re stuck indoors, with almost nothing to do but basic survival activities… then boredom becomes a real, heavy burden. I mean it can literally drive you crazy.
But there are plenty of ways to keep it out of your home and enjoy every moment spent with your family or by yourself. Here are some of them:
If you’ve ever lived by yourself, you should be quite familiar with this feeling. Well, as unpleasant as it may be, you might have to deal with it again when the crisis hits.
You see, during disasters, people usually come together. They help each other go through the danger, they share losses and victories and bond like family. However, when there’s a long-term crisis (like the one waiting just around the corner), people tend to isolate themselves from the world. They get absorbed by their own problems that seem like they’re never going to end… and they get selfish.
Even your spouse and your kids will become less communicative. It’s just what harsh times do to people. But you can change that, by initiating communication with your family and friends.
• You can cook for your dear ones and invite them to dinner…
• Or you could ask for their helpwhen you’ve got a problem. They’re not going to say no, because they love you and want to help you out. You just need to tell them that they’re needed…
• Or simply sit down and talk about their problems. Offer some advice. It’s always welcome.
The bottom line here is: don’t isolate yourself like everyone else does. Don’t let problems ruin communication with your loved ones. Open up to them and ask for the same thing from their part. It may be harder at first, but they’ll come around.
As I said before, boredom is a feeling we have to deal with almost daily. And when boredom sets in, what do we do? We immediately try to get rid of it. We break our routine even for 10 minutes, we go get a cup of coffee, or read the news, or whatever it takes to make us feel more entertained.
But what happens when we’re stuck indoors and there’s nothing to do? For example, if a disaster strikes and you’re out of power for a couple weeks… After you’re done repairing damages and get used to the situation, boredom will strike you like never before. And you’ll be surprised to see just how fast it gets installed.
I remember seeing some pictures of people sitting around in a refugee camp, after Katrina hit in 2005. Outside, houses were being torn to pieces, while people were playing cards inside. They were lying on blankets on the floor, playing cards and getting bored by the minute.
Waiting around for things to get better is actually the hardest part of dealing with a crisis, so here’s what you need to do to avoid boredom:
• Write. Everyone dreams of writing the Great American Novel, so start writing yours. Ok, it doesn’t have to be the Great American Novel, but you can start with your memoirs. It’s refreshing and it makes you think back on the good moments of your life. Or simply write about the crisis and how you’re handling it. It might help other people some day.
• Play. If you’ve got small kids or grandkids, play with them. Try to understand their games and get into their world. It will be fascinating, I promise you that. And you’ll get to spend quality time with your family.
• Read. It’s never too late to start reading a book you’ve always wanted too read, but never had the time to. If you want to entertain your loved ones, as well, read it out loud. You can actually start a routine by reading 20 or 30 pages to them every day. This way, you’ll enjoy the book together.
• Build. Find some scraps and start building something, like a bird house or a chair or whatever you like (depending on the materials you’ve found). It will take your mind off the crisis and give you a useful occupation. Let the kids in your family help you out. It will be more fun and they’ll learn a lot from the experience.