Stacey Kramer said 9 years, 9 months ago:

So I have this chronic problem. Whenever I get bored, if I don’t find something to do, I get into this spiral or sadness. And it’s not like I can’t find things to do; I just need for what I do to be “productive”. Because I have self-esteem problems, I feel that if I’m not doing something that society normally perceives as valuable, then I am wasting my life. For example right now I have no schoolwork for at least a week, and it makes me really anxious. Should I just keep trying to occupy myself?

Diana said 9 years, 9 months ago:

Hi Stacey, there are productive things you can do aside from school work if you want – you can volunteer, you can get a job if you have the right age, you can do chores around the house, you can make art such as painting or poetry or needlework or music, you can take up a useful hobby such as cooking and try new recipes to share with your family, you can come on websites like this and help people, you can take up a sport and keep yourself healthy, there are plenty of things you can do.

That said, it sounds to me like your issue is sadness and low self-esteem, rather than boredom. When you’re not busy, you have time for your thoughts and feelings. Most lay people in society may not think so, but trust me, your thoughts and feelings are valuable, and using your time to improve them and feel good is investing in yourself and your well-being. When you feel well, you can be even more productive, so that will help with your goal too. But you are also valuable just because you are. You are a living human being with so much potential, there is no other person in the world exactly like you and that means a lot. I’m sure you have something to offer the world, and to yourself too.

Basil said 9 years, 8 months ago:

I feel a similar issue. I think it’s less just boredom and more “existential boredom”, lol.

For me, it happens when my meaningful activities start to wane and my meaningless activities begin to take over. For me, like yourself, it happened during this school break. School is meaningful- it’s working towards a goal. Playing videogames and reading is fun but it just doesn’t engage me like school does.

I think the key is to find what is meaningful to you. If school is satisfying, maybe a part time job would be too? If you enjoy learning and that brings value to your life maybe learning new skills like cooking or a new language would supplement that.

I think if you continue to try and occupy yourself just for the sake of occupying yourself you probably won’t feel any better. You need to find something that will actively engage you. For me, it’s like how can I gain self esteem when I’m not doing anything that I feel is worthy of being proud of?

Don’t discount those feelings, honor them by acknowledging the fact that you need more meaningful stimulation and going out and finding it. All that will happen is you will feel better about yourself and you might help the world some as well. Win win!