January 15, 2021

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Click here to go to cdc.gov for up to date information on COVID-19 

Stop the Spread!

  • Practice social distancing by putting space between yourself and others.
  • Continue to practice healthy habits to help slow the spread of #COVID19.
  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds
  • Clean and then disinfect frequently used surfaces
  • Avoid touching your face

Coping with Boredom at a Time of Social Distancing 

Excerpts from “The Union Review” May 2020 Erin C. Westgate 

More and more of us are staying home to slow down the spreading coronavirus. But being stuck at home can lead to boredom. Boredom is a signal that we are not meaningful engaged with the world. It tells us to stop what we are doing and do it better or to do something else. But, as a social psychologist who studies boredom, I know that people do not always make the best choices when bored. So, if you are stuck at home, dutifully practicing your social distancing, how do you keep boredom away?

We can feel bored even with jobs and activities that appear to be meaningful. For example, researchers have found anesthesiologists and air traffic controllers find themselves bored on the job. What this research reveals are that just because something is objectively meaningful does not mean it feels that way to us all the time. And even meaningful work can be boring if the person performing it finds it too hard or too easy. Once that happens, individuals might struggle to stay focused. Reducing boredom requires that individuals solve the problems that produced it. not having sufficient activities that are both meaningful and optimally challenging.

Like all emotions, boredom is about whatever you are thinking now. That means, staying at home will only feel meaningful when we are actively thinking about the greater good it does. For instance, in studies, when students were prompted to reflect on why their schoolwork mattered to them personally, researchers found that their interest in learning increased. In other words, reframing our activity changes how we feel about it.

Creating simple reminders, such as a note on the fridge, or a morning meditation, can help us keep the big picture in view:

  • Staying home is a sacrifice we are actively making for the good of others.
  • Find a rhythm.
  • By creating new routines, people can restore a sense of meaning that buffers them from boredom.
  • Go with the flow It helps to keep in mind that what counts as too challenging, or not challenging enough, will shift throughout the day.
  • Do not force yourself to keep at it if you need a break.
  • Try something new.  Evidence shows that embracing new experiences, can help us lead not only a happy or meaningful life, but a psychologically richer one.
  • Make room for guilty pleasures. Give yourself permission to enjoy your guilty pleasures.
  • If need be, reframe those moments as much-needed mental refreshment, nourishing and recharging you for a later date.
  • Connect with others, whether virtually or those that do not have to quarantine alone.
  • Looking at old photos, or reminiscing with a friend, are simple meaningful actions most of us can take even when we are not feeling our best.
  • Boredom itself is neither bad nor good, only our choices about how to counter it make it so.

View the video here