by Devon Berkheiser, Psy.D.
Boredom can be dangerous…. Having too much free time allows the mind to wander, and it can go to unhealthy places. While time for rest and relaxation is important, make sure that you have enough activity in your schedule to prevent you from feeling too bored. Here are some tips for how to do that, especially during the holidays when a lot of people have extra time off from their usual daily responsibilities.
1. Plan ahead—If you wait until the last minute to make plans, you risk other people being busy and/or unavailable. Instead, try to fill up your schedule in advance. Anticipate free time that you will have and schedule healthy activities for yourself ahead of time. Remember that too much isolation can be risky, so be sure to include some social activities.
2. Go online—There are so many online resources that can help you stay busy. Search for events that are happening in your community, or find groups of like-minded individuals on websites such as meetup.com. You can also look online for local volunteer and job opportunities. Check out websites like Craigslist.com, Elance.com, and Volunteermatch.org.
3. Be productive—Consider using free time to tackle household chores that you may have been avoiding. Keep a list of tasks that need to be done, and just choose one to do whenever you feel bored.