06 Jul 2015

July: National Anti-Boredom Month

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Given that school’s out and parents are forced to scramble for camps, activities, workshops, and movie + ice cream dates in order to keep their kids busy (and out of their hair), it seems no surprise that July was chosen for National Anti-Boredom month. Inspired by Alan Caruba’s 1984 initiative, the Boring Institute, which categorized new Hollywood productions as predictively “most boring,” somewhere along the way someone else unknown spearheaded a whole month of focusing not on applying the subjective “boring” label, but rather on how to combat boredom.

Growing up, our daily hours are governed firstly by school and then replaced by work. The remainder are filled in with eating, sleeping, self-care, family, activities of interest, bureaucratic matters, errands, and taking care of the home. It doesn’t take much to fill a weekday. But weekends can get boring, and certainly vacation times.

The key to anti-boredom is the schedule. Even mothers of new babies find that they are bored with the at-once mundane and unknown of caring for a little one.  But it’s the unknown that’s more of a killer: By having a routine, the day goes by faster and can be made more meaningful.

At Rockaway Care Center, as with any elder-care home, recovery center, or hospital, boredom can become a problem. If you’re not in your own home, or don’t have a set schedule of activities, boredom can set in.  Therefore, Rockaway Care Center has a monthly activities calendar, some of which is the same every week, whereas other activities change monthly.  From Morning Stretch to Musical Memories, Crafts to Coffee Klatch, Bridge to Bingo and Sensory Group to Evening Services (for various religions), holiday happenings and family fun times,  our activities cover a vast range of interests and needs for physical, intellectual, and social stimulation.

If you visit someone you love at Rockaway Care Center, you are also alleviating boredom for them, and perhaps even for you too! If they are up for it, plan an activity to do with them,  several key conversation topics to discuss, or engaging articles, poems, or book chapters to read. Here are some additional ideas which may or may not apply to a Rockaway Care Center resident, but are good food for thought on activities to fill the time.

-Write a list of aspects in life you appreciate

-Walk with a book balanced on your head for at least a 5-minute walk.

-Research something obscure, and write a 1-2 page paper on it.

-Play a game in order to lose

-Make up a jeopardy game

-Learn to count to 10, in 10 different languages

-Listen to a type of music with which you are unfamiliar.

(Some of the above credited to bored.com.)

No matter what time of year, but especially when no schedule is set, make a schedule and stick to it. Attend the events you planned, and have in between activities to fill the time as well. In doing so, you’ll not only alleviate boredom, you’ll be bettering yourself all around.


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