Bored All Of The Time? Here's What's Really Going On.
Anyone who has kids (or spends a lot of time around them) knows that there comes a time — usually at least a couple of times a week — when, out of nowhere, they will say, almost at a whiny pitch, "I'm bored." What's a trip about it is, if they are above the age of five and you ask them why, more times than not, they have absolutely no clue. All they know is things feel dull and tedious and they think it's up to you to figure out how to make their world more exciting again.
The interesting thing about boredom? It isn't something that folks grow out of. And personally, something that I've noticed is it's a feeling that many creatives and folks in long-term relationships tend to encounter quite a bit. And, like children, sometimes adults don't really get what the root cause of their own boredom is either. The problem with that is, if the feeling goes on for too long, they could find some not-the-best-idea ways to fill the void.
So, let's tackle this today, y'all. If you (or someone you know) seem to experience boredom, more than just sporadically, perhaps these following points can help you to get to the root of what keeps bringing you to that space.
1.Do You Know Your Purpose?
Ask anyone who is clear that they are operating within their purpose and they will probably vouch for the fact that while there are days that some of the work that's required to reach a particular goal may be taxing or also while there may be times when they feel completely overwhelmed, it's damn near impossible to function within the framework of what you were created to do and feel bored at the same time. I can speak from personal experience that since I've been walking out my own purpose in life, I can't tell you the last time "bored" was a word that I've used.
So yeah, let's begin there. Do you know what your purpose is? If not, don't feel bad. A lot of people don't. I mean, A LOT of folks. How do you begin figuring out what yours is? What makes you happiest? What would you do, even if you couldn't get paid a lot for it? What complements your natural gifts and abilities the most? What could you die doing, knowing that you made a real contribution to this world? What does it feel like you were literally put on this planet to do? What brings your mind, body and spirit and collective sense of peace?
It's my belief that folks who aren't in their purpose tend to do some of the most reckless and nonsensical stuff in order to fill the void. After all, purpose is powerful. Once you know what yours is, it can keep you pretty preoccupied as a direct result. That's why I thought that this point was a really wise place to start (check out "5 Signs You Are Living Your True Purpose" when you get a chance too). If you don't know what your purpose is, it's almost a given that boredom would result from that.
2.Are You an Adrenaline Junkie?
Here's the deal. Whenever you feel excited or afraid, there is a hormone that's released within your blood called adrenaline. Whenever that happens, your heart rate increases, your blood rate goes up, your breathing intensifies and you also feel a burst of energy. Some people like this feeling so much that they intentionally seek out activities that will make them feel this way — skydiving, ziplining, extreme sports, etc. It's believed by some mental health experts that this could also cause some folks to take up professions like law enforcement, firefighting and stunt work (because they also can give folks a similar rush). A nickname that a lot of these kinds of people get is adrenaline junkie.
While there is certainly nothing wrong with being an adrenaline junkie in theory, something that I am big on is balance and something that adulthood teaches us is that life isn't always gonna be thrills and spins. Sometimes, it's the tedious stuff that helps us to make the most progress. That said, you don't have enough time and I don't have enough writing space to get into the fact that some folks don't even know how to hold down a relationship unless they are creating situations that cultivate lots of excitement or plenty of drama; that is the kind of adrenaline highs that they seek. SMDH. Anyway, if you feel bored a lot, asking yourself if you are close to being addicted to experiencing adrenaline rushes could connect a few dots for you.
3.Do You Expect “Outside Sources” to Entertain You All of the Time?
Recently, I spent some time with my goddaughters. The older one is 10. Her younger sister is two. I won't lie, to a certain extent, both of them seem to think that it's the adults' job to constantly entertain them; however, as I mentioned in the intro, we expect this from kids, right? They are still learning how to be their own friend and enjoy their own company.
Do you see where I am going with this? While I do think that extroverts probably struggle with this particular point a lot more an introverts and even ambiverts do, if you're someone who can't deal with the stillness of being alone or you're not able to enjoy doing things unless you've got a ton of people around you, you might wanna do some self-love journaling to figure out why that is the case. At the end of the day, it's not healthy to always feel like you need people always around you in order to function. If that is personally the case, chances are, there is something else going on, within, that needs to be addressed.
4.Are You Not Very Self-Aware?
Now here's one that you might not have seen coming. How in the world can a lack of self-awareness (check out "These Are The Things Self-Aware People Do Daily") play a direct role in how bored a person can end up being? The bottom line here is self-aware people know themselves pretty darn well. This doesn't just manifest in the sense of them being able to take responsibility for their actions, them being able to understand what they are feeling when they are feeling certain things and also being able to live in reality, it also means they know what fulfills them and also what makes them tick.
I'm an ambivert. I know this about myself. I also really like being alone at home. The rare moments when I do get bored, I know it's because I've gotten caught up in a routine that needs a little bit of breaking up. That's also what I know about myself. Something as simple as watching a movie, trying a new food or catching up on the phone with someone I haven't spoken with in a while can be all that I need. I know this because I've worked pretty hard to figure my own self out.
So yeah, if you're constantly feeling bored, ask yourself if you're in touch with what it means to be self-aware and if you actually know what your internal and external needs are. Being in touch with yourself, on a deep and profound level, can also help you to stay on top of what could cause you to fall into a boredom slump.
5.Do You Drink or Smoke Weed a Lot?
Science has a lot of data to support the fact that when we're intoxicated, it can cause our brain to experience euphoria and/or excitement and/or confusion. The THC that's in marijuana can also produce a euphoric effect. While having a few drinks or lighting up one or two sometimes isn't a real cause for alarm, what you do need to be careful of is if you're relying on alcohol or weed (or both) to keep you from feeling bored. And if that is indeed the case…why so?
While my dad was alive, he was an on-again-off-again substance abuser. A big part of it is because his parents weren't very supportive when it came to his natural gift for football or music as he was growing up. And so, he drank and drugged his pain away. He also used it to pass the time because he was bored because he wasn't living out his full purpose (see how that works?). While this might be an extreme explanation for how boredom occurs, if you drink and/or smoke daily, it's definitely not something to simply sweep under the rug. It could be what you're using to "feel something" too.
6.Does Your Life Consist of Short- and Long-Term Goals?
Former football coach Lou Holtz once said, "If you're bored with life – you don't get up every morning with a burning desire to do things – you don't have enough goals." Welp. That about sums this particular point up. A great definition of a goal is "the result or achievement toward which effort is directed". A friend of mine and I sometimes discuss a friend that they have who lives life with absolutely no goals. At almost 40, this man has no steady employment, lives in someone's basement and owes all kinds of child support. At the same time, he's smart, witty and has a degree. Why doesn't he have is a set of goals? While growing up, charm got him so far that he never really focused on being ambitious. As a direct result, he spends a lot of time either feeling like he has no direction or being so bored out of his mind that he does stupid stuff (like sleeping around with random strangers or wasting money on alcohol) to pass the time.
Is he an extreme example of what having no goals will do? Perhaps. Still, if you're someone who doesn't have some clear goals for yourself, definitely allow him to serve as a cautionary tale in your life.
Short-term goals (goals that can be achieved within a 12-month time frame) are proven to give you focus, boost your self-esteem, inspire and motivate you and break bad habits like procrastination. Long-term goals can get you more excited about life, help you to make big changes in your world and strengthen your abilities and level of patience.
It's damn near impossible to not progress in life without goals. And you're sure to find yourself bored, more times than not, if you don't have some short- and long-term ones set in place too.
7.When’s the Last Time You Tried Something New?
A wise person once said, "Make a habit of trying new things." There are several reasons why this can prove to be so beneficial. Trying new things can increase your confidence levels. Trying new things can make you less fearful. Trying new things can expand your perspective when it comes to how you see the world. Trying new things can encourage you to try other new things. And yes, trying new things can definitely be a great cure for boredom.
After all, one of the things that it means to be bored is to be someone who feels like you are doing the same ole' thing, day in and day out to the point where life feels like not much more than tedious repetition. Doing something new can help to break up the monotony and get you excited about life again.
So, set aside an hour or so and put together a quick bucket list of things that you would like to attempt that you never have before, whether it's a new kind of food, planning a trip to someplace you've never been or maybe even going on a blind date. The excitement alone can make it worth the effort — and definitely be the cure for boredom that you may have been looking for…all along.
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After being a regular contributor for about four years and being (eh hem) MIA in 2022, Shellie is back penning for the platform (did you miss her? LOL).
In some ways, nothing has changed and in others, everything has. For now, she'll just say that she's working on the 20th anniversary edition of her first book, she's in school to take life coaching to another level and she's putting together a platform that supports and encourages Black men because she loves them from head to toe.
Other than that, she still works with couples, she's still a doula, she's still not on social media and her email contact (email@example.com) still hasn't changed (neither has her request to contact her ONLY for personal reasons; pitch to the platform if you have story ideas).
Life is a funny thing but if you stay calm, moments can come full circle and this is one of them. No doubt about it.
Chief Mom Officer: 23 Quotes From Working Moms Finding Their Balance
The truth is, Black moms create magic every single day. Whether we're juggling motherhood with a busy 9-5, a thriving business, or staying at home to run a household, no day is short of amazing when you're managing life as a mommy. This Mother's Day, xoNecole is giving flowers to CMOs (Chief Mom Officers) in business who exemplify the strength it takes to balance work with motherhood.
We've commissioned these ladies, who are pillars in their respective industries, for tidbits of advice to get you through the best and worst days of mothering. Here, they share their "secret sauce" and advice for other moms trying to find their rhythm.
Emmelie De La Cruz, Chief Strategist at One Day CMO
"My mom friends and I all laugh and agree: Motherhood is the ghettoest thing you will ever do. It's beautiful and hard all at the same time, but one day you will wake up and feel like 'I got this' and you will get the hang of it. After 4 months, I finally felt like I found my footing to keep my kid and myself alive, but it took vulnerability to take off the cape and be honest about the areas that I didn't have it all together. The healing (physically and emotionally) truly does happen in community - whatever and whoever that looks like for you."
Alizè V. Garcia, Director Of Social & Community Impact at Nike
"I would tell a new mom or a prospective mother that they must give themselves grace, understand and remember there is no right way to do this thing and have fun! When I had my daughter three and a half years ago, I was petrified! I truly had no clue about what to do and how I was going to do it. But with time, my confidence grew and I realized quickly that I have all the tools I need to be the mother I want to be."
Nikki Osei-Barrett, Publicist + Co-Founder of The Momference
"There's no balance. I'm dropping sh*t everywhere! However, my secret sauce is pursuing interests and hobbies outside of what's required of me and finding time to workout. Stronger body equals = stronger mind."
Lauren Grove, Chief Experience Architect, The Grant Access, LLC
"I try to give myself grace. That’s my mantra for this phase of motherhood…grace. I won’t be able to get everything done. To have a spotless house. To not lose my cool after an exhausting day. Those things can’t happen all of the time. But I can take a deep breath and know tomorrow is another day and my blessings are more plentiful than my pitfalls."
Rachel Nicks, Founder & CEO of Birth Queen
"You have the answers within you. Don’t compare yourself to others. Curate your life to work for you. Ask for help."
Tanisha Colon-Bibb, Founder + CEO Rebelle Agency + Rebelle Management
"I know love doesn't pay bills but when I am overwhelmed with work or client demands I take a moment to play with my baby and be reminded of the love, energy, science, and Godliness that went into his birth. I am brightened by his smile and laugh. I remember I am someone's parent and not just a work horse. That at the end of the day everything will work out for the good of my sanity and the love within my life."
Christina Brown, Founder of LoveBrownSugar & BabyBrownSugar
"Learning your rhythm as a mom takes time and can be uncomfortable when you’re in a season of overwhelm. Constantly check in with yourself and assess what’s working and what’s not. Get the help you need without feeling guilty or ashamed of needing it."
Mecca Tartt, Executive Director of Startup Runway Foundation
"I want to be the best for myself, my husband, children and company. However, the reality is you can have it all but not at the same time. My secret sauce is outsourcing and realizing that it’s okay to have help in order for me to perform at the highest level."
Jen Hayes Lee, Head Of Marketing at The Bump (The Knot Worldwide)
"My secret sauce is being direct and honest with everyone around me about what I need to be successful in all of my various "jobs". Setting boundaries is one thing, but if you're the only one who knows they exist, your partners at home and on the job can't help you maintain them. I also talk to my kids like adults and let them know why mommy needs to go to this conference or get this massage...they need to build an appreciation for my needs too!"
Whitney Gayle-Benta, Chief Music Officer JKBX
"What helps me push through each day is the motivation to continue by thinking about my son. All my efforts, though exhausting, are to create a wonderful life for him."
Ezinne Okoro, Global Chief Inclusion, Equity, & Diversity Officer at Wunderman Thompson,
"The advice I received that I’ll pass on is, you will continue to figure it out and find your rhythm as your child grows into new stages. Trust your nurturing intuition, parent on your terms, and listen to your child."
Jovian Zayne, CEO of The OnPurpose Movement
"I live by the personal mantra: 'You can’t be your best self by yourself.' My life feels more balanced when I offer the help I can give and ask for the help I need. This might mean outsourcing housecleaning for my home, or hiring additional project management support for my business."
Simona Noce Wright, Co-Founder of District Motherhued and The Momference
"Each season of motherhood (depending on age, grade, workload) requires a different rhythm. With that said, be open to learning, to change, and understand that what worked for one season may not work the other...and that's okay."
Janaye Ingram, Director of Community Partner Programs and Engagement at Airbnb
"My daughter's smile and sweet spirit help me to feel gratitude when I'm overwhelmed. I want her to see a woman who doesn't quit when things get hard."
Codie Elaine Oliver, CEO & Founder of Black Love
"I try to listen to my body and simply take a break. With 3 kids and a business with 10+ team members, I often feel overwhelmed. I remind myself that I deserve grace for everything I'm juggling, I take a walk or have a snack or even head home to see my kids, and then I get back to whatever I need to get done."
Jewel Burks Solomon, Managing Partner at Collab Capital
"Get comfortable with the word ‘no’. Be very clear about your non-negotiables and communicate them to those around you."
Bridget Bogee, Marketing Lead At Meta
"Ask for help and always prioritize making time for you."
Julee Wilson, Executive Director at BeautyUnited and Beauty Editor-at-Large at Cosmopolitan
"Understand you can’t do it alone — and that’s ok. Relinquish the need to control everything. Create a village and lean on them."
Salwa Benyaich, Director Of Pricing and Planning at Premion
"Most days I really try to shut my computer off by 6 pm; there are always exceptions of course when it comes to big deals or larger projects but having this as a baseline allows me to be much more present with my kids. I love the fact that I can either help with homework or be the designated driver to at least one afterschool activity. Work can be draining but there is nothing more emotionally draining than when you feel as though you are missing out on moments with your kids."
Brooke Ellis, Head of Global Marketing & Product Launches at Amazon Music
My calendar, prayer, pilates class at Forma, a good playlist, and oatmilk lattes all help get me through any day.
Courtney Beauzile, Global Director of Client and Business Development at Shearman & Sterling
My husband is a partner who steps in when I just can’t. My mom and my MIL come through whenever and however I need. My kids have many uncles and aunts and they will lend an ear, go over homework, teach life lessons, be a presence or a prayer warrior depending on the day.
Robin Snipes, Chief of Staff at Meta
"Enjoy the time you have to yourself because once kids come those times will be few and far between."
Monique Bivens, CEO & Founder at Brazilian Babes LLC.
"For new moms, it is very important that you get back into a habit or routine of something you use to do before you were pregnant. Consider the actives and things that give you the most joy and make the time to do them."
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Tracee Ellis Ross On Why She Declined The Idea Of Someone Else Running Her Hair Company
Actress and entrepreneur Tracee Ellis Ross recently revealed the driving force behind her desire to become the owner of her haircare brand, Pattern.
According to its site, Pattern is a haircare company that provides a wide range of products, from shampoos, conditioners, oils, creams, and many more to individuals with curls, coils, and tight hair textures. Although Pattern would launch in 2019, the idea for the company first came to Ross a decade before --in 2008, when her hit show Girlfriends wrapped-- following a brief encounter at a beauty supply store and many wanting to recreate her past looks.
At the time, those individuals couldn't achieve the exact results because limited natural hair products were offered to the public. That instance became a pivotal moment in the star's life because she spent eleven years experimenting with professionals to create products that best suit those within the natural hair community.
In a May conference with Fortune's MPW Next Gen, Ross opened up about the struggles she faced early on as an entrepreneur trying to get Pattern off the ground and why she declined the offer to have the company be run by someone else.
Tracee On Past Struggles And Why She Chose To Run Her Company
During the discussion, the 50-year-old revealed that she is Pattern's "majority owner" because the company's overall mission to cater to those in the natural hair community was built from her "experiential knowledge."
"I'm a majority owner of my company. [Other celebrities with brands] aren't the founders of the company. Often, they join a company that exists," she said. "The mission [at Pattern] is born out of my experience. It's born out of my own experiential knowledge."
Further in the interview, Ross would add that she avoided partnering with an expert for Pattern because she felt she had gained enough knowledge experimenting with products in her bathroom.
"I didn't want to partner with an expert or a 'professional' because I felt—like so many—I had become my own best expert in my bathroom because the beauty industry was not catering to us," she stated.
Despite refusing to have a partner within her company, Ross found creative ways to build it. It includes paying a chemist with her own money to bring her visions of various products to life, and sending those samples to retail stores, ultimately leading to partnerships.
The final piece that helped Ross during her journey was receiving advice from business partners on ways to improve the brand, one of which came from Ulta Beauty CEO and Footlocker CEO Mary Dillon.
The black-ish star claimed that Dillon helped her realize how she could use her celebrity status and journey to promote Pattern, which she did. Because of that, Patten has now become a favorable haircare brand among many.
Tracee On How She Plans To Use Her Company To Create Opportunities For Others
Toward the end of the discussion, Ross disclosed how she plans to use the power of being Pattern's CEO to help others.
The High Note star explained that being an owner of a company has given her access to be around other CEOs interested in what appears to be becoming more profitable, and with that, she wants to expand that access to other people.
"I know that I have access to sit at a table with a CEO in a way that perhaps another founder doesn't. And when I do that, I make sure that those conversations are not only centered around Pattern," she said. "They're centered around creating and expanding the access for all of us."
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