“What are you doing tonight?” A question I long begrudge. During the week, an ex-colleague use to schedule her evenings to include cinemas, dates, dinners, cocktail making and hobbies such as dance. I usually got home from a chaotic commute and relaxed on my sofa, pondering what quick dinner to muster. A mundane life – my mother (as everyone’s) told me “only boring people get bored”.
“The world has too much to offer”, an uncle argued, as I said the world would seem dull if I lived forever. Lately mundanity festers: My social media repetitive, my blog posts confined to love, my dreams stressful and confusing to plan. My coffee bland, my food ordinary. A twenty-something life crisis or an alarming call to add more interest?
The last time I felt like this, I partied in Ibiza.
With a party holiday not on the horizon, I researched boredom. Most of us, supposedly, relate often to the feeling in our daily routines. For some, the feeling briefly greets us and scarcely stays. For others, boredom endures like ongoing tiredness at 7am. Psychology Today describes this chronic dissatisfaction as a complete loss of contentment from work, relationships and ‘everyday existence’ requiring both inside and outside changes.
Publication Scientific American discusses how boredom, ‘a lack of simulation’, creates ‘behavioural, medical and social consequences.’ The piece notes how feeling bored can trigger depression, anxiety and a lack of self-control, binge-eating as an example. Nothing gets you through boring adverts better than digging into popcorn, sweets and ice-cream. When I worked at an office, I snacked at my desk to distract from disinteresting emails.
Much is said on the fear of missing out. The insecurity perpetuating Instagram users who don’t freely travel and dine at Sketch. Answers crunch together easy: Remember it’s not real, spend time away from apps, go out and pursue a new hobby. What if that’s simply the tip of a complexing jig-saw?
A mundane life: Hobbies aren’t always the answer
Love, curiosity, excitement; I joined online dating partly to enhance passion. In meeting new people and spending time at restaurants and bars, I’ve gained new conversation and sourced blog ideas. I’ve ultimately added passion and activity to my life, yet still feel half empty. There’s no guarantee an art class, cooking course or social experience like dating will fix an unhappy mundane life; chronic boredom derives from more than a missing interest.
My dream partner is a thrilling, whizzing recipe. A guy anything but ordinary, one knowledgeable, intelligent and plausibly self-trained at storytelling. I’m searching (I’ve realised) for someone to break my monotonous routine. Looking for amazement in romance I struggle to self-seek. This notion stirred in early January when my magazine cut-out mood board finalised. Paris, books, Chanel, cocktails, coffee and pastry at a beautiful café… nowhere did I glue a man or stick any form of love representation. Despite my enduring desire to form a relationship. Maybe it’s not a man I desperately want.
My favourite exes possess the fun, successful lives I’ve pictured myself honing. With all this analysis, I concluded a hobby, new book, small edits; won’t overall improve circumstance.
So, how you can fix a mundane life?
According to Hilary Jacobs Hendel writing for Psych Central, boredom can function from “being out of touch with core emotions… a vital source of energy”. Her article shares questions to ask when dullness erupts, from asking how boredom physically feels to listing down triggers.
Research exposes the complicated issues stemming from the emotional state. Firstly, find out exactly when and where you feel bored. The reasons for why include:
- Procrastination – Not doing the things you want, leading to poor self-satisfaction.
- An overly fixated routine – Pressure to complete long to-do lists. Also ties to perfectionism.
- Self-denial – Do you believe you don’t deserve to indulge or spend money doing what you want?
- An emotional block – Are you living life closed off, afraid to put yourself out there?
- Avoidance – Do you keep putting off your aspirations? Spending day-to-day under achieving?
- The wrong lifestyle – Situated in an uninspiring job, staying with a person you don’t love. Choosing to stay uncomplacent.
- Uncompromising friends – Have your interests adapted but friends won’t adapt with you? Do you find yourself watching a film at the cinema when you’d rather be watching a show?
- An inability to say no – Doing things you just find plain boring.
- Lack of direction – Confusion over how you should spend your life.
When you address the root of the problem, you can begin to plan your steps. From an overlooking perspective, none of us should get bored. We’re barraged with choice: TV shows, recipes, books, bars, products… we could spend every summer abroad for the rest of our years, never complete that we’ve seen it all.
Boring people aren’t the only ones who get bored
We can each reach a mundane life, even if others assume our bountifully packed days brim laughter and joy. Sometimes one change – one relationship breakup, friend moving away, is enough to catapult a spiralling reality of emptiness to the surface which we’ve glossed over – our plastered realities ripping open our truths.
Maybe you do just need to partake in more: learn a new language, switch up your shopping items. Maybe practising gratitude will help with your FOMO derived boredom. But for some of us, the path to fixing boredom requires a major overhaul. One requiring us to work on our other bad habits.