Suarez-Orendain: Bored and funny

·3 min read

There is nothing funny about boredom, and neither is there anything funny about the pandemic. But we try our best to beat the beast known as boredom and the loss of the ability to laugh with activities.

This brings me to July. The month is celebrated in the US as the National Anti-boredom Month and July 1 International Joke Day.

Boredom says: “Am I a joke to you?”

Boredom feeds on inertia and the lack of interest in tasks a person once enjoyed. Celebrating the antidote to boredom was founded by Alan Caruba in July 1980 after July 4 because “in the US there’s not much going on, and it’s the hottest part of summer break from school.”

So why did the chicken cross the street?

It was the summer of 1980, and it was so bored of its side of the street, it wanted to see the world on the other side.

Many websites suggest productive means to lessen boredom. The problem with boredom is you could become bored with the solutions after a time.

Maxx South suggests you get to the bottom on why you are bored. What bores you? Idleness is linked with boredom, but that is not always true.

If you seal food packets all day, you could lose interest in doing it. A task that longer stimulates or challenges the mind is one sign of boredom.

So why did you quit your job as a food-packet sealer?

Because I got so bored with my boring job.

Unchallenging and repetitive activities are the basic ingredients of boredom. It tires us, brings out the irritable monster in us and when boredom has thoroughly sapped our enthusiasm to keep being productive, we say we do not care any more about it.

The American Psychological Association notes that finding no joy in life and losing interest even in hobbies are hallmarks of depression. It further says “an extended period of boredom can indicate depression setting in.”

Depression is a serious matter that demands careful medical intervention and understanding from family and friends. It is no joking matter.

As for boredom, Work Smart and Maxx South suggest group games including word games for a group such as pictionary, and sports like backyard badminton.

Watch comedy shows or movies on Netflix with your family when boredom sets in. Use this ugly time to reconnect with your pack. This is what Carm, a physical therapist, does at home when she feels “feeling out and blah.”

Teach or share your skills beyond 5 p.m. Retired high school teacher Delfin Angeles has found a new school: a street in his neighborhood in Santa Ana, Manila. Angeles taught physics and integrated science for 30 years in Philippine Science High School.

But at 5 p.m. or after retirement or today he has found an extension of his calling by teaching neighborhood children with lessons in math, science and English. Four words: never a boring moment.

Other activities that can chase away boredom are learning new ideas and hobbies or taking walks with a friend even around the neighborhood. But this column is getting long and (yawn) becoming boring.

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