It’s Okay to be Bored, But What You’re Feeling Isn’t Boredom

Meet despair, depression’s restless cousin, and learn how to overcome it

This Isn’t Boredom

Work is curtailed or vanishing, social obligations have thinned, and what we’re left with is an unfamiliar and often uncomfortable remainder.

Despair is like depression, but restless.

A low-grade, pernicious kind of despair that weaves itself into daily life so insidiously that you don’t even notice it. It’s despair at our own lack of agency in all this, suddenly thrown into sharp relief. Despair at the reaching and unpredictable consequences of the actions and inaction of others. Despair at the rising tide of scary numbers, and the struggle to keep seeing them as individuals instead of sterile statistics.

Lack of Control is Not Lack of Influence

We can fight boredom with activity.

Despair’s secret weapon is convincing us that nothing we do matters.

It pretends that because we cannot control things, we cannot influence them either. That because our influence over global events is insignificant, our influence over all things must also be insignificant. It paralyzes us with the idea that because the problem is vast, our responsibility to it is as well.

Sow the Seeds of Happiness

We can’t all be nurses, doctors, and key agents on the frontlines of this battle, but we still have a role to play. We should not be ashamed to deploy whatever skills we have in the service of making ourselves and those around us feel better in difficult times.

Time is a Container for Potential

Eventually, you’ll find that what you have on your hands is no longer the spiralling, guilt-ridden miasma of despair. It’s simply time, neutral and full of potential.

Content Strategist, Photographer. Bylines at The Sweet Setup, Tools & Toys, PhotoLife Magazine, and right here on Medium.

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