Door 43 wellbeing blog: Beat the boredom with the five ways to wellbeing

Door 43 wellbeing blog: Beat the boredom with the five ways to wellbeing

Sadie White No Comment

In these blogs our Door 43 team provide wise words and support to help young people manage emotional health and wellbeing during this difficult time. Be sure to look out for these blogs on the Sheffield Futures website and our TwitterFacebook and Instagram channels along with information about how to access our new online service delivery channels as they develop.  

This week Chris talks about his own challenges with beating the boredom and provides tips and tools to help you stay productive, motivated, occupied and most importantly feeling good!

Hi everyone, I’m Chris and I’m one of the health and wellbeing practitioners with Door 43. ​

It’s my turn to write the wellbeing blog this week and I’ve decided to write about the importance of staying occupied or otherwise distracted, as this is an area where I feel my own emotional wellbeing has been most greatly impacted as a result of  the COVID-19 pandemic. ​

Before social distancing came into effect I found that my evening and weekend diary seemed to fill itself. I used to go the gym maybe three evenings per week (admittedly with varying levels of enthusiasm) and while I perhaps would see friends maybe every couple of weeks I’d also spend a lot of time with family. ​

Then, in came social distancing, and just like that evenings and weekends are wide open and not necessarily in a good way. I for one have found that not having any idea of what I’m going to be doing with my spare time has made me feel really frustrated, like my spare time is pointless.

That’s how I felt during  the third week of lockdown, but over the bank holiday weekend, on reflection, I realised that there are a fair few things I could be doing which would keep me occupied and stop me feeling this way. The barrier that stopped me was indecision. When I felt restless and was looking for something to do I couldn’t decide and ultimately then ended up doing nothing and being bored! ​

It’s like when you’re trying to pick something to watch on Netflix (other streaming services are available) there’s so many to choose from, you can’t pick which one you want to watch so, 20 minutes later, you abandon the search and watch that film you’ve seen 100 times before. ​

If this sounds like you then I have a tip which may help you with this and it won’t take huge effort for you to do. Keep a week planner! ​

The weekly planner

Before the pandemic our lives had some form of structure. When you think about it,  we usually have a fair idea of what we have coming up over the next couple of weeks even down to details like what time we need to be getting up in the morning. However, times have changed for now and its really important that even in this time when you may feel like you have literally nothing you have to do, you maintain as much of your routine as possible to maintain some sense of normality, and where there are now gaps, fill them with other activities.

Most of you will have a device which has a calendar or some application which you could use for this, but if not a simple piece of paper will do, it doesn’t need to be pretty, it just needs to help you to work out how you’re going to spend your time. ​You can check out my example above. Also, I would recommend not doing the same activity for too long, maybe only a couple of hours then have a break from it to stop each activity losing its appeal.

So, plan your week, and try to make sure you have an activity which meets your wellbeing needs each week.

Five ways to wellbeing

For those of you who use our service already, chances are you will have heard us mention the ‘Five ways to wellbeing’ before. These are Five key areas which a person should aim to have in their lives to help them maintain positive emotional wellbeing. ​

Connect ​

There is strong evidence to suggest that it is a fundamental human need to feel valued and close to other human beings. However, undoubtedly, you’ll be thinking that this is difficult to achieve given the current situation. ​

Before social distancing, you probably had plans with your friends. You may have arranged to meet up over the weekend or maybe you used to love having a laugh as a group on the way home from school/college. So does this have to stop? Why not have a group video/phone call at about the same time as you would’ve been meeting up? ​

In our house we now have a group video call between our group of friends about once a week which is oddly more often than we used to speak to each other but I’m not complaining!​

I’ll admit the first time we did this it was a little awkward to begin with, there were some long pauses and the odd technical issue but before you know it you almost forget you’re not in the same room. ​

Don’t forget the people you live with! Set time aside for family activities. Maybe get out an old board game from the back of the cupboard or maybe you all put the name of a film you’d like to watch on a slip of paper and then into a little jar and one night per week one is drawn out at random and you all watch it together? ​

Be Active 

Regular physical activity has been shown to lower rates of anxiety and depression amongst all age groups so it is definitely important that we are trying to keep as active as possible at this time. Don’t be put off by this thought! It doesn’t need to be particularly intense for you to feel the benefits. Add a simple walk to your daily routine as this has the added advantage of a change of scenery. ​

There are many activities you can also do from the comfort of your own homes too! There are online resources such as yoga or home workout videos available on YouTube, which you can work through at your own pace! Our social prescribing worker Christos has made his own which can be accessed on the Door43 Instagram and is well worth a look.

Take Notice 

It’s really important that we take time to notice what is happening in the ‘present’. This helps to strengthen our wellbeing by ‘savouring the moment’ rather than worrying about problems or things you’ve got to do for example. By focusing on your senses in the present, it helps de-clutter our brains and can help us to reaffirm life priorities. ​

Also think about your environment. Have a de-clutter day and rearrange your room so that it feels comfortable to be in. If you spend most of your time in the same room, have a change of scenery and spend a day out of that space or spend time outside. ​

Recently we have been very fortunate with the weather and I’ve spent a lot of time in the garden. If you are able to do this, then I strongly recommend you spend maybe just 15-20 minutes a day just sat outside and see what you notice about what’s going on around you. You can also do this on a daily walk and take notice of a completely different environment.

Keep Learning 

It’s really important that we continue to learn new things throughout our lives for lots of reasons, such as keeping our minds active and boosting our self-esteem through recognising our own achievements. Anecdotal evidence suggests that opportunities to engage in some form of learning also help to lift people who are particularly isolated out of depression. ​

Now, fear not, I’m not suggesting that you try to finally get your mind around algebra unless that’s your jam, as it doesn’t really matter what you learn! You may learn a new element to an already existing hobby such as photo editing if you’re into photography or maybe you’re really into art and have been drawing landscapes for years. Why not try pop art or portraits? ​

The key is to set yourself a goal and dedicate some time per day or per week to this. ​Go on, add it to your timetable!

I’m from a musical background and have played several instruments for years. I mainly play Rock or Metal but perhaps a couple of months ago now Connor, one of our social prescribing workers introduced me to Chillhop and so I’m going to learn how to make some Chillhop music. If I like it I may put it on one of the Door 43 Instagram videos and let you decide how I got on but let’s see eh?!

Give 

We all experience that warm feeling when we know we have done something nice for another human being, and while the intent is to do something to benefit another, let’s not ignore the positive affect this will have for ourselves. ​

As I said earlier, these little acts of kindness can be anything you know will benefit someone else. For example, do you have a skill which you could teach to someone else? Could you help someone in your home feel less stressed by taking on an additional household chore?  Do you know someone who lives on their own but who would really appreciate a 20 minute phone call once a week?

​This week it’s my mission to begin to teach my fiancee to play the drums. She mentioned about two years ago that she’d like to learn and it’s been one of those things that we’ve never got around to but now it’s the time! ​

We are posting daily content on the Door 43 Instagram and Facebook pages providing activities to support you during this time so be sure to follow these pages so you don’t miss out!

Some other suggestions on activities you can do which meet these areas of wellbeing can be found at Mindkit and Mind.

How you can help

Our charity is dedicated to helping Sheffield's young people to reach their full potential and achieve the best out of life, whatever their starting point. To help us to do more to support young people and communities we need your help. Just remember, every penny you donate will make a difference.