Updated June 3, 2022 – Did you know that July is National Anti-Boredom Month? That’s right – the entire month of July is dedicated to combating boredom!
Now, I’m sure you’ve experienced boredom before. The thing we all try to avoid. You know, that feeling of there being nothing to do, nowhere to go, and no one to talk to. The thing that makes us scroll through our phones mindlessly or turn on the TV even though we’re not really watching it.
Well, never fear, National Anti-Boredom Month is a chance for everyone to celebrate boredom. And what better way to celebrate than by learning more about it?
For starters, did you know that there’s actually a fear of boredom? It’s called thaasophobia, and it can lead to some serious anxiety. But don’t worry, there’s no need to be afraid of boredom. In fact, boredom can be a good thing.
It’s an opportunity to take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and just relax. Not to mention, boredom can also be a source of creativity. Some of the world’s most famous paintings were created by artists who were bored.
One of the most famous examples is the Mona Lisa. Leonardo da Vinci is said to have been bored while working on the painting, and as a result, he came up with the iconic smile that has made the Mona Lisa one of the most recognizable paintings in the world.
Similarly, Vincent van Gogh is believed to have been bored while painting The Starry Night. The painting is now one of van Gogh’s most famous works, and it’s thanks to his boredom that he was able to come up with such an innovative and timeless piece of art.
So go ahead and embrace boredom this month. When you’re bored, don’t reach for your phone or turn on the TV. Instead, use that boredom as a chance to get creative and see what you can come up with. You never know, you might just create something that will go down in history.
How Did National Anti-Boredom Month Originate?
Founder Alan Caruba was a writer and public relations consultant who decided that the world needed a month dedicated to combating boredom. And so, in 1987, he founded National Anti-Boredom Month.
Although summer is a great time to relax and take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it can also be a bit of a challenge when it comes to finding things to do. If you find yourself feeling bored this July, why not try out some of these ideas?
The following are some of our best ideas to help you and your whole family to combat boredom while at the same time keeping cool and safe.
So yes, take a peek at our ideas and hopefully, they can help you, your family and your senior loved ones to stay up beat and active during the hot month of July.
General Tips To Follow
- Be aware of the heat at this time of year. After all, July IS in the middle of summer. In some parts of the world that means that it’s HOT! We all need to be cautious of becoming over-heated, especially senior citizens. So, stay cool by carrying a full water bottle to help you stay hydrated. If possible, also avoid being in the sun. If you can’t avoid it, wear a hat. Even a little bit of shade can help you beat the heat.
- Follow the Covid-19 precautions in your area – Some parts of the USA are wide open now that we have vaccines, but not all states are. If you travel to another state, region, or country be aware of their restrictions and follow them – even if you have been vaccinated.
Activities To Help You Fight Boredom
July is National Anti-Boredom Month, and there’s no better way to celebrate than by doing something you’ve never done before. Trying new things can be scary, but it’s also a great way to get a bit of satisfaction out of life. So go out and explore the world around you – you might just find that you end up have a really good time.
Using your hands to create something is such a wonderful way to spend your time, especially if you enjoy the end result. And the list of things that you can make can range from baking to building furniture! Just choose the activities that use your skills.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Cooking – this could involve creating some of the fun foods that you enjoy but also creating and introducing some new recipes. Most everyone love Eclairs but not many of us actually make them! Or, you could expand your repertoire and try vegetarian cooking! Or maybe, you can take one ingredient (i.e. chocolate) and spend a month learning about it, trying recipes with it, etc. You can also do the same with cultural cooking (i.e. French cooking).
- Building Kits – these days, there are several different types of kits that can be purchased to create and build things. They can be simple or complex and some are so amazing that I could easily see them becoming collectibles or something to pass on to loved ones. Here are some ideas for you…
- Sewing, Knitting and Crocheting – my mother was a master at all 3 of these and she spent countless hours creating the most beautiful things. Everything from slipcovers to drapes to clothing. They all turned out so beautiful. These days there are many wonderful sewing gadgets to make the task easier. And don’t forget, there are also lots of gadgets for knitting and for crocheting as well.
Of course there are many more different things that you can “create” like your own videos for Youtube, paintings, music, etc.
Learn A New Skill
I believe that if you can always remain curious enough to learn, you will never truly grow old – especially if you are learning something new! So keep up your curiosity by continuously adding to your repertoire of skills.
There are multiple companies providing online courses – one I can recommend is the International Open Academy – they seem to have a large array of courses!
Here are some ideas:
- Languages – knowing a second language is a very rewarding achievement so spend some time learning a new language. It could be Spanish, which is so popular, or the language of your ancestors (mine would be Italian) or maybe you just want to explore something completely different like Japanese!
- Photography – my late husband was such a great photographer! He loved editing the photos and stylizing them. He really had a great artistic eye. You can take an online course or start off by going through the plethora of Youtube videos on the subject.
- Technology – for older adults who did not grow up with smart phones and emojis or the Internet, it can all be overwhelming. Some of it can be learned through Youtube but honestly, it’s best learned with someone right there next to you showing you exactly what to do on your own equipment. While this may not be something can do right now, you can certainly tackle it once pandemic restrictions are behind us.
- Social Media – You can’t seem to go a day without hearing about something in social media. So learning how you can use programs like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest could open up a whole new world for you! I would recommend using Youtube to learn these programs instead of books simply because they change so often that what was written in a book may not apply any longer.
I am privileged to know quite a few older folks whom I can learn from. One common lesson I have learned from all of them is to keep on learning. I challenge myself every day to learn something either by reading, doing or watching.
Get Moving Somehow
One way to fight boredom is to get moving either through an activity or exercise. These ideas are some healthy ways that you can incorporate exercise into your days. The important thing to remember is to avoid overdoing it. After all, you don’t want to injure yourself and have to go to the doctor or hospital!
Here are some things you can do to get moving:
- Exercise – choose the exercise that you can do that can challenge you a bit but not overextend you. You want to avoid injury so make it safe. If you have exercise equipment at home, that’s great! Dust it off and start using it if it’s a safe option for you! Of course, there are an extreme amount of videos on Youtube that you can follow like this low impact workout. WARNING: For older adults with balance problems, do these exercises with a chair or table or something solid and sturdy by you or avoid standing exercises altogether.
- Sports – maybe you enjoy bowling, or golf or tennis or even swimming. Whatever activity you like to do and can safely do, get out and do it! Gather the tennis players you know or your golf buddies and make a day out of it.
- Declutter – most of us will almost always have a room, a close or even a cluttered cupboard within the home that needs some organizing and clearing out. Now’s a great time to do that and it’s a great way to get moving to perform the tasks.
- Gardening – whether you have a garden of any size in the backyard or you have a patio or porch where you can do container gardening, it’s a great activity to get you moving. The beauty of gardening is that you can accommodate it to your capabilities. Here are some great gardening tools that can make the tasks easier for seniors.
- Walking – although walking is of course “exercise,” I wanted to mention it separately because it’s usually the easiest method of exercise for most of us, It’s something that most everyone can do without equipment and pretty much anywhere, no matter where you live.
Remember to keep hydrated and to follow safe summertime rules!
Entertain Yourself With A Twist
So, we all know that it’s easy enough these days to turn on the television set and watch movies and shows and even YouTube. It’s also quite easy to read books and/or listen to audio books and music. All of these are great ways to entertain ourselves and to help fight boredom.
But what if you could add a little twist to these activities to make them just a bit more “interactive”!
Here are some ideas on what I mean:
- Movies and Shows – on a lazy day you can watch movies and television shows from a large number of sources, including YouTube. If you have a smart TV or have Roku or Amazon’s Firestick installed on your television set then the list of places that you can watch movies and shows from can seem endless!
But – instead of JUST watching the film, why not do some homework before you watch it? You can…
- Go to Google and/or YouTube and search for bloopers or the “making of” for that particular movie or show.
- You may also be able to find an interview with the director and/or producer of the film to get background information on how the project came to be, etc.
- Search the main actors / actresses in the film – what can you learn about them? Are there interviews online that you can find of them talking about their role in this particular film?
- Research where the film was filmed. How many locations? Are there are interesting stories about those particular locations?
- Music – the same types of “research” that I mentioned above can be done with the genre of music. But one other trick that I use is to go to YouTube and search for “covers” of a song that I love. It’s a great way to find singers who may not be as well known but who have a much more appealing voice (at least to my ears)! I have found many wonderful singers that I follow this way. An example is Peter Hollens’ version of Katy Perry’s Firework! (Check out his Youtube channel – he has covered many songs!)
- Book Club – remember when we we used to have a summer reading list! Maybe you still do. So why not join a book club – locally or virtually. There are plenty of hot summer days that can be spent enjoying a great book.
- Virtual Travel – even though you may still not want to travel quite yet it doesn’t mean you still cannot check out places around the world virtually. Here are some things to consider:
- Metopera.org – Metropolitan Opera
- Broadway and off Broadway shows
- Ted Talks
- Museum Tours
- Art Gallery Tours
- Travel Vlogs through national parks and cities around the world
- Google Earth is one that I used with my mother. It was a great way to go “visit” her hometown in Trento, Italy. We would virtually walk the streets of where she was born and lived. It was a great trip down memory lane.
- Video Games – there are lots of video games that can be played from tablets and smart phones as well as some that can be played from gaming consoles with others. Wii Sports is one that comes to mind as well as Guitar Hero which is available on XBox and Playstation and other consoles – but there are many to choose from!
Of course – need to also mention the Oculus Virtual Reality Headset (if you are into virtual reality games).
WARNING: For some older adults – using a virtual reality headset may be unsafe, it may produce motion sickness and is not recommended for others with specific pre-existing conditions. You can read more about these warnings here.
- Parks Of All Kinds – there are many different kinds of parks that you can take advantage of in July. Get out to water parks near you, even if you don’t ride the slides, it can be a lot of fun to watch your family do it. Pack a picnic and head on out to a local or national park near you.
- Christmas In July – several countries celebrate this fun little holiday and why shouldn’t you? It’s a great way to enjoy this beautiful holiday twice a year. It’s also a wonderful way to get started on some of those homemade gifts for December! Check out some gift and party ideas for Christmas in July.
All of these ideas can help you fight boredom – not just while we are recovering from pandemic restrictions, but at any time! And, since July is National Anti Boredom Month, why not celebrate it by engaging in a few new activities?
Let’s take a break from our busy lives and enjoy the simple things. Let’s go outside and smell the flowers, play with the dog, or just take a walk. Whatever we do, let’s have fun and not take life too seriously. Enjoy this month and make it a great one!