Sunday 13 January 2019

Learning to be bored

Can I make a confession? I get pretty bored on these weekends when I'm away from home. The town is so small there is literally nothing to do, and since I have to be at the hospital within 20 minutes when they call me in I can't just head outside of town. It feels a bit like I'm under house arrest, and sometimes that does strange things to your mind. 

It feels frivolous to say as a grown woman that you're bored, because I can already imagine all the busy people accusingly pointing fingers at me, saying how much they'd like to have my problem. And I get it - it's a privilege more than a problem. Still, if you remember what it feels like to be bored, then you know that it's not a nice feeling. That's when you usually start doing things you'll regret: eat too much, drink too much, go shopping with money you don't have, cut your hair (true story). 

Part of the reason that I get bored is that I don't have to do any of my usual chores: no laundry, ironing, tidying, cleaning, feeding animals, organizing our closets (I've been watching Marie Kondo), finally tackling the basement that still has some boxes from our move 2 years ago (again, Marie Kondo's influence). 
All I have to do here is feed myself and Lily, keep my little room and the bathroom clean (which takes less than 10 minutes to do), and entertain myself for the rest of the time.
I'm happy to report that I'm getting the hang of it! It's a valuable life skill that will no doubt be helpful in the future, because we all have to face slowing down at some point: when we're sick, or when we get old, when we're stuck in an airplane for 10 hours, or even when we have a slow day at work. 

Here are some techniques I've learnt that get me through the long, slow weekends by myself:

1. Journal
At home I have a hard time sticking to it, but here I journal every day. I have several right by my bed, and it's become a favourite ritual of mine: to sip my coffee and write down what I'm grateful for every morning. On weekends when I have more time I will write in another journal a list of things that give me joy (yes, Marie Kondo again), or I write out what I want my life to look like. It's an incredibly rewarding habit and I highly recommend for you to try it! 

2. Walk
I walk several times a day here because of Lily. At home we have such a big property that I can just let her run around outside with the other dogs, but here I walk her morning, noon and night, and sometimes in between when I get antsy. They're not long walks, but I get at least an hour even on the "short" days, and nothing calms my mind and makes my body sing like daily walks.  

3. Read
I read a lot. A lot a lot. I've never kept track of the books I read, but this year I will just out of interest. 99% of the books I read are on my Kindle, which is part of the reason that I lose track so easily. Just this year I have read:
One day in December by Josie Silver: a fabulous romantic read that I adored. 5 stars
The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris: it's just as good as everyone says. I was very hesitant to pick it up due to the heavy subject, but it's actually more about hope than despair, and beautifully written. 5 stars
Trauma Room Two by Philip Allen Green: I've abandoned it halfway through, but I will finish it. I'm interested in the subject, obviously (the emergency department is my favourite part of the hospital), but I find his writing style a bit odd. I reserve my final judgment for when I've finished it. 
Educated by Tara Westover: I just started it, but I can already tell that I love it.

4. Yoga
If you follow me on Instagram then you know that I'm firmly back on the yoga train. Yay! I'm determined to master handstand and splits this year, and the only way to get there is by practicing daily. I aim for at least 5 minutes a day, and 90% of the time I practice longer - but even if I only do the 5 minutes I still declare it a success. It's important to be kind to yourself, ya know? 😊
Here's a little video I posted on Insta that features Lily, who is a crowd pleaser (obviously, lol):

5. The Internet
Oh Internet, how I love thee. You never disappoint when it comes to keeping boredom at bay. Whether it's playing Harry Potter games, getting lost in the beautiful world of Pinterest, reading online articles, doing some light online shopping or, obviously, watching Netflix - I would be lost without my little computer here.

6. Being creative
I like to be creative, which for me is taking photos, writing and creating little videos. (If you're interested you can watch my videos here and here.)

What do you do when you're bored?

xoxo Miriam


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