Boredom is kind of an elusive concept in adulthood, right? We are so busy with this and that, it’s hard to find time and space that isn’t filled with the demands of life. Yet, we do get bored. Even when we don’t have an abundance of free time, we find ourselves bored with the ennui of our daily routines. It can be a challenge to overcome that sense of tedium, or the lack of excitement or purpose, in the midst of monotony.

Living a life without passion or purpose isn’t really living at all, is it? But how do we overcome that boredom that creeps not into our lives, but into our hearts? Simple. By keeping things fresh. By keeping ourselves busy. But not busy for the sake of being busy. We need to fill our time and space with things that renew our sense of joy, adventure and accomplishment.

Like anything else in this modern age, there are limitless options. But here’s a good starting point.

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In Seeking Solitude

  • Read a book. Spirituality, Personal Development, Romance, or even Horror. Find a quiet spot, get comfortable and get lost in the pages of a good book.
  • Do some yoga. Even ten minutes of yoga can do wonders for the body, mind and spirit. Work up a sweat, get balanced and clear your mind of all your responsibilities.
  • Organize. So much of our lives can feel out of control. Taking time to organize an aspect of your life can be both freeing and empowering. Spice rack? DVD collection? Dresser drawers? Taking on an organizational project will make you feel accomplished and less stressed.

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In Seeking Knowledge

  • Learn a foreign language. Always wanted to visit Paris? Start learning French. It will give you a new skill set and bring new life to your dream of traveling.
  • Take a class. Anything from pottery making to the philosophy of time, enrolling in an education course can expand your knowledge base and give you an opportunity to meet some new people.
  • Connect with a stranger. Strike up a conversation or arrange an interview with someone who’s life experience is likely to differ from your own. This is a great way to learn about other cultures, time periods and perspectives.

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In Seeking Adventure

  • Choose an activity that challenges or scares you. Skydiving and white water rafting are extremes, but even a short hike or taking a motorcycle driving class can be hugely fulfilling and empowering. Looking for something more regular/ How about taking a martial arts class to keep your blood flowing and build self-disicpline?!
  • Plan a trip to someplace you’ve never been. If you’re on a tight budget, find an inexpensive room on Airbnb.
  • Build something without building plans. An herb garden, a homemade wine rack or some shelves to display that collection of antique spoons you’ve had shoved in a drawer for years. Using blueprints is okay, if it makes you anxious to go it on your own. But getting creative, trusting your own judgment and making something that is uniquely representative to you can be fun and rewarding.

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In Seeking Friendship

  • Join a team or league. It’s easy to find ourselves overly committed to¬†family and coworkers, but friendships are an important part of our social nature. Signing up for a local softball team or bowling league can provide a regular break from the responsibilities of our home and work lives and allow us to relax and enjoy some time with others.
  • Volunteer. There are so many organizations doing amazing work for the community. But virtually all of them are under-resourced. Volunteering your time in a food bank, soup kitchen or children’s camp can help you build new relationships with people and gain a sense of purpose over your life.
  • Find a pen pal. Seems unheard of, right? Actually, there are quite a few legitimate pen pal websites that help you connect with people all over the world. Make a new friend in a safe and supportive space and who knows, you may find your new BFF.

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In Seeking Romance

  • Plan a picnic. Pack some sandwiches, some wine (don’t forget the corkscrew!) and a blanket. Find a quiet spot. Enjoy! Day or night, picnics are a great, and inexpensive, way to treat your partner to a special evening.
  • Dancing. Anything from live jazz to a dance club with a deejay, dancing is a great way to have fun, relieve stress and build sexual tension with that special someone.
  • Share an adventure. Instead of flying solo, do something audacious with your lover. A kayak or canoe trip will allow for relaxed conversation while, at the same time, encourage teamwork. Or head to an amusement park and challenge yourselves to conquer the scariest ride there. It will help you build trust and create a sense of what you can accomplish together.
  • Take a tour. Perhaps a carriage ride around town or a trip to a museum? A walking house tour or haunted history tour of a local neighborhood? Exploring together is a great opportunity to learn and grow as both individuals and a pair.

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In Seeking Family

Connecting with our kids can be a challenge. Distinct interests and personalities, coupled with the daily demands of households, careers and activities, can make free time seem fleeting, and fun time all but absent. But children are actually simple creatures who thrive on only a sense of love and wonder. And it turns out, it’s not all that difficult to provide them with that.

  • Go on a walkabout. I’m not talking about your everyday, ordinary walk around the neighborhood. A walkabout is a walk with purpose, and with the intention of escaping the mundane and immersing oneself in adventure. I take my son on walkabouts every week and each time we create a mission. We make lists of what we hope to find; things like feathers, caterpillars and berries. We commit to saying hello to any passers by. We pause to look at the sky, identify cloud types and make up stories about the cloud formations. These walks are such an amazing way to be present with him in the moment, feed his sense of wonder and give him knowledge about nature, kindness and spirituality. Such a simple activity can provide endless benefits.
  • Baking. Kids of all ages love to make messes. And they love to create. Baking cutout cookies is a favorite in our house, any time of year. Cracking eggs, playing with the dough, making shapes and decorating with sprinkles and icing is an experience that gives kids a chance to get messy and learn while they develop confidence and pride in themselves. And the best reward? Cookies!
  • Take a trip to a local farm. Apple picking, horseback riding and corn mazes are just a few of the fun activities children can find at local farms. This is another great way for the little ones to learn, laugh and burn off some energy!
  • Build a fort. I bought my son a professional fort-making kit for his birthday a few years back. He loves it, but for me, it’s a bit too modern. Some of the best forts we’ve made are spontaneous, handmade and encompass the entire living room. Sheets, pillows, chairs, brooms, whatever we can find. Making a fort inside is the perfect way to spend a rainy day, or build one outside when the weather is nice.
  • Camp out. I can recall, as a kid, camping out in my backyard. Making s’mores, telling ghost stories and falling asleep in a tent pitched outside the safety of my parents’ house and amidst a comfortable, family neighborhood. Now, my house backs up to woods and I feel a bit uneasy about letting my son camp outside on his own. So sometimes we camp out in the yard together. For older kids, setting up a tent in the yard is a great way to give them a sense of adventure and independence. In colder weather, or for younger children, set up a tent in the living room and have a pretend camp out, complete with s’mores!

The possibilities for creating purpose and adventure in your life truly are endless. Have an idea that’s not on this list? Leave a comment below!

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