This evening my husband and I await the onset of yet another extreme weather event – a winter storm that might dump as much as 21” of snow on our northern Virginia home.
As I’m noticing my excitement about the change in routine that the storm will bring, I’m thinking about how that relates to my ADHD. Many of us ADDers are easily bored. Events that break up the routine of life often break up the boredom. No wonder they are exciting! Bring them on!
But we don’t have to be dependent on extreme weather or other random, unpredictable happenings to light the fire of our interest and energize ourselves. We can be proactive boredom busters.
Since I know boredom is a rabbit hole for me, I’m thinking about taking some steps to intervene with myself. Here are some I’m considering:
- Notice when I’m feeling malaise or inertia, each time trying to become aware of the feeling earlier in the process than I did the previous time. My theory here is that if I catch it sooner, it will be easier to turn around. I’ll be testing that.
- Notice what is going on around me when I’m bored and make a list of situations that are associated with that feeling.
- Follow-up on the previous item by thinking of ways to intervene in predictably boring situations to make them more engaging, especially if they are things I have to do routinely, such as cooking, cleaning, laundry, record-keeping, etc.
- Make a list of activities that are usually not boring, since when I’m feeling bored I might not be able to think of any of them. Keep that list available and engage in those activities as needed.
- Recognize that something that is not the least bit boring today can easily move into the boring column after it becomes less novel and more familiar. Expect that, and prepare for it.
- Keep a curious eye on how much of an impact boredom has on my life. I’d like to reduce its presence. I’m pretty sure I’ll have to be on alert to notice how it is robbing me of many thrilling aspects of life.
One key to dealing with boredom is recognizing that sitting back and waiting for the equivalent of another big winter storm is kind of a dice toss. Waiting for something external to come along is what I’ve done a lot, but now that I understand my ADHD better, I’m thinking I need to begin taking responsibility for keeping myself energetically engaged in life. At the moment, I think I’ll wrap up this post, get out of my chair, leave my computer, and head out into my front yard to see how much snow has fallen while I’ve been writing. Watching the storm online via Doppler doesn’t measure up.