Boredom settles in as winter comes, but you can combat it

By Christian Hofer,
Christian School of York

Fall is in full swing it seems, and amid the earthy browns, vibrant reds and creepy little thanksgiving crafts your little sister made in school, another more sinister trait of the season surfaces. The lethargy that often precedes the pre-holiday season is even more unsettling than the freshly glued googly eyes of a turkey napkin holder.

It’s December, and boredom hangs in the air like a dying leaf on an otherwise dormant tree. But why does this part of the season seem so dull? A few say it’s the gloomy weather. Others say it’s the misery of the ongoing academic calendar. Some even seem to be bored year-round, having nothing to do in any season because “there’s nothing to do” in our wonderful county. Although most of these opinions have at least some validity, I would like to suggest that a feeling of ennui this time of year is not only natural, but also can be combated.

Perpetually bored people are just perpetually boring themselves. Chances are, the very person who has “nothing to do” has never put forth the effort to find something to do. A person such as this generally spends his free time playing Xbox in his basement with a network of equally bored people. This is not to say that everyone who plays video games is boring, nor does it mean that people who don’t are living incredibly fulfilling lives. It means that doing the same thing over and over for hours on end has unlimited potential to breed boredom. If this is you, expand your interests; few gamers — or other otherwise intensely occupied individuals — have hobbies besides gaming, so go outside and kick a ball around or visit a local coffee shop. Coffee shops are an all-around great place to start exploring.

Although the weather alone doesn’t seem all that foreboding, a lack of sun in the autumn sky can cause depression. With less exposure to sunlight, the skin has a harder time manufacturing vitamin E — a vitamin that plays a key role in balancing a person’s mood — according to a study by The Washington University School of Medicine. While the imbalance might not make a huge difference in most teens, it is a factor to consider in people with a history of depression or if you happen to get moderately melancholy during the season. If the depression gets incredibly unbearable, you should probably see a doctor to see if you have a chemical imbalance that’s causing the problem.

The season can become particularly boring for fall sports players or spectators. Most fall sports such as soccer and volleyball in most high schools are either over or are winding down. With no practices or games, and less training, almost all athletes are struck with a sudden feeling of “Woah, I actually have time to do stuff.” Post-season training might make this transition a little easier, but it takes a while to figure out what to do with four to eight extra hours of free time a day! Most people use this time to catch up on schoolwork or procrastinated reports or just to relax. Eventually, when the boredom sets in, you might want to consider getting a part-time job. It takes up a little less time than playing a sport, and you get money. There is also the option of joining a club team, which, depending on your schedule, can work out nicely.

If none of the scenarios sound exactly like you, you may want to try a few different things, such as volunteering for a charity or checking out local restaurants. There’s actually a lot to do in York. You just have to look around.

 

About Matt Eyer

Assistant Features Editor at the York Daily Record/Sunday News. Read my (mostly ancient Greece-related) books reviews at Book Buzz. Follow me on Twitter @mjeyer.
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