Boredom can strike at any time. It can attack at school, at work, on a weekend, even in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep a wink. In the fight against boredom, you have a powerful weapon at your disposal: creativity. July is National Anti-Boredom Month, so I’d like to suggest a few ways you can put your creativity to good use, starting with exquisite corpse.
Creative Ways to Stave off Boredom
Exquisite corpse, if you have never have played, is a game for three players that requires nothing more complex than a sheet of paper and a writing instrument. The first player folds the paper into thirds and draws the “head” of the exquisite corpse (and I’m using the term loosely, as sometimes a “head” is really a hand, a foot, or a train sprouting flowers from its smokestack) in the first third, then folds the paper over. The second player then draws the midsection, and the third draws the feet. The real excitement is the big reveal when the paper is unfolded and the exquisite corpse can be seen in its entirety. For added fun, use colored pencils, glitter pens, or scented markers to jazz up a corpse. When you’re done, display your work – I happen to know a household of young artists who papered a whole hallway with exquisite corpses.
If you don’t have two friends handy, consider easing the boredom by easing your mind. Do you have a deep dark secret? A painful confession? An embarrassing admission? Write it down on a postcard, an index card, or a scrap of paper, and decorate it (check out postsecret.com for inspiration). In fact, make a couple. If you don’t have any secrets to share, a favorite quote, an inspirational message, a doodle, or even a recommendation for the best Chinese food in town will do. When you’re done, gather up your cards and head to your nearest library or book store. Commence tucking your cards into the pages for unsuspecting bookworms to find. You can be thematically appropriate – like putting that restaurant recommendation into a cookbook – or completely random. Before you leave, flip through a few of the PostSecret books and see if anyone else has left a note behind.
If the thought of reaching out to others through creativity has piqued your interest, you might consider doing arts and crafts for a charity. If you knit or crochet, you can donate your creations to Afghans for Afghans, a charity that benefits Afghan women. If you express yourself through photography, you can volunteer at an animal shelter taking particularly endearing pictures of the pets for adoption. If you’re a writer in need of a test audience for the short story you’ve been working on, try reading to children at your local library. Whatever your creative skill set may be, you can use it to benefit others and stave off boredom in the process.
Image by Annie Wong.