How To Do Life

Fresh ideas about career and personal issues

Bored?

17 antidotes to apathy.

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Some people can stare into space for hours while others get bored in a nanosecond. If you’re the latter, perhaps you might find something to do from this list:

A second job, perhaps something only minimally remunerative but fun: work at a bookstore, sell crafts at a street fair, drive a limo, sell beer at the ballpark.

Volunteer. Tutor a kid? Build houses for Habitat for Humanity? Fundraise for your favorite cause?

Meet a romantic partner. Perhaps you’ve been waiting for kismet but maybe it’s time to be proactive: Create an awesome profile on a dating site, take a class that your Mr. or Ms. Right might take, go on a singles cruise, ask friends and relatives to set you up.

Find a Therapist

Search for a mental health professional near you.

Co-coach: Ask one or more people you trust and like if they'd like to meet weekly or monthly to discuss issues. Here's more on that.

Take up a hobby: stand-up comedy, watercolor painting, magic, juggling, singing, knitting, golf, musical instrument playing, or build something—from a guitar to a kayak to a house.

Upgrade your place: Redoing the kitchen seem too ambitious? How about painting one wall a bold color? Or finally clean up your place so you’re not embarrassed to invite people over. If you’d have trouble deciding what to dump or feel you’ll be bereft without all that crap, have the right friend help and console you.

Learn something: Intimidated by investing? Curious about Photoshop? Want to give a better massage? Gain a skill to improve your job performance? Take a course, perhaps a MOOC, or just Google-search. You’ll find plenty of articles.

Write letters: Get in the habit of writing letters to friends and relatives. They’ll be pleasantly surprised, especially if it’s handwritten on beautiful paper.

Play around on Google: Search on whatever you’re curious about: from quarks to queens. Read articles, watch videos, peruse images

Cook something special: Beef Wellington, paella, Divine Decadence? Think of an item you’d love to make, for example, apple pie, and then google “Best apple pie recipe.” You’re sure to find something to tempt you.

Read a book. Read a novel, biography, sci-fi, romance, how-to, whatever. Do it slowly.  Or listen to an audiobook.

Play a video game. It’s easy to deride video games but many require thinking skills or as in the case of Xbox Kinect Sports or Wii Sports Resort, gets you to exercise. But even if you just choose to relax and play the pointless but fun Super Mario, we’re all entitled to a bit of that.

Stare at a good screen. Watch good TV or a movie, in a theatre or on-demand. My all-time faves on video: About Schmidt, Sleepless in Seattle, Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, ET, Sophie's Choice, and The Piano.

Get a dog or cat. Millions of would-be pets sit on death row in pounds and other shelters. Adopt one and you’ll save a life and derive real benefit: stress reduction, forced exercise (doggie has to be walked) and that often sought but rarely found unconditional love.

Walk. Walking may indeed be the best exercise and offers time to think about whatever. It is time for you to create a daily walking ritual, by yourself, with a friend, or as part of a MeetUp group?

Join a performing group: Choir, community theatre, community orchestra, a jazz combo, whatever.

Write something: A blog on your hobby or political perspective, the Great American Short Story, an article for your profession’s magazine, a screenplay, your autobiography, Amazon reviews, a letter to the editor, comments on PsychologyToday.com articles? 

Marty Nemko's bio is in Wikipedia.

Marty Nemko is a career and personal coach based in Oakland, Ca. and the author of 7 books. 
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