bore; boredom; bored;
Everyone feels bored at times.
Young people say that they feel bored when they feel there is nothing to do, they have to do something that is not interesting, they don't have choices about what they must do, or they are stuck somewhere they don't want to be.
Even when they know of things to do, some feel bored because they do not want to do any of them. The activities are either not exciting enough to put in the effort, they are too hard or too easy, their friends are not doing them or they are in a state of mind that they feel unmotivated about everything, and even depressed – they have gotten into the 'habit' of being bored. They can 'catch' boredom, when people they like or admire (the 'cool' people) show that they think the activity is boring. Some young people feel that they are forced to be bored by their teachers or their parents who make them do things they don't want to do, or not letting them have free time to spend with friends.
When people are bored they can feel tired, lonely, sad and angry.
What may happen
Feeling bored a lot of the time can lead to:
- Developing a habit of being bored so you don't try things even when they might be interesting.
- Conflict with family, friends or teachers.
- Feeling angry.
- Eating too much, especially junk food.
- Becoming unfit because you don't get out and do anything physical.
When people feel really bored they may get involved with criminal activity or use alcohol or drugs to 'feel better' or 'out of it'.
What you can do
If you feel bored much of the time there are ways you can get some interest back into your life. You need to act, not just wait for someone else to make your life more interesting.
- Remember that you are not alone. Other people have felt like this too. So look for someone to talk with. Someone you can trust either at home, in your peer group, a school counsellor or teacher, sports coach or any adult whom you can trust to listen and respect your confidence.
- If the task at school is too easy or too hard talk with your parents or teacher. Maybe others feel it is too easy or hard too, and you can go together to see the teacher.
- If you just have to do things which you find boring, work out what you can add to your life so you don't feel bored all the time. Maybe:
- Exercise- walking, running, dancing, biking, skateboarding, playing or practising sports are all good ways to release endorphins into the brain and lift your mood. Being a member of a team could be more fun than doing something by yourself.
- Organise your life so that you do the things that you find boring but necessary, then reward yourself with something you really want to do. If you put lots of effort into the boring bits you may find that they are not so boring after all!
- Have a go at finding new friends who are doing interesting things. Go out with your friends or invite them over to your place.
- Get involved! Joining with others, having hobbies, helping people, being part of a group, need not be expensive but keeps you busy and living your life rather than existing on a daily basis.
- Music – making music and listening to music is fun for many people.
- Some people find that having a job which gives them some money lets them do something that is interesting.
- Laugh. Laughing is great for making you feel positive so look for the humour in life. Laugh at yourself and the way you are letting boredom take over your life. Then get on with living your own life.
- Cook, draw, write, play a computer game, go to a movie……
- If you are being sucked in by others who think it's cool to find everything boring - then get out of that group before you become as boring as them.
Bored at home?
These days parents often feel worried that young people may not be safe if they go out to a park, beach or even to a shopping centre and this can mean that young people do not have a place where they can have good times with friends. Parents are bombarded with stories in the media about young people being hurt. Young people might have to stay home where there is 'nothing to do'.
There are ways that you can help parents to know that you are safe.
- Help your parents get to know your friends – maybe invite your friends around on the weekend.
- Go where you said that you would go and come home when you said you would.
- If you have one, take your mobile phone so your parents know that you can call for help if something happens you don't like.
What is important is you find things that are challenging, and interesting. Go for it! Take charge. This is your life, don't let boredom take over!
Teen Health on KidsHealth.org
The information on this site should not be used as an alternative to professional care. If you have a particular problem, see a doctor or other health professional.