Reframing Boredom

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As summer begins and the intensity of balancing school, homework, tests, tutors, sports, friends and sleep eases, I have found myself quite bored. Many of my peers are travelling, participating in scholastic programs, or working as interns for impressive companies, while I am taking these three months to focus on relaxation and riding horse, which tends to be a major part of my life. I work at the barn and have a few lessons a day, as well as competitions throughout the week. As I was planning my summer, this felt like enough to keep me busy, but I recently discovered that ending my schedule at 2pm has left a large gap in my day.

For the first time in a year, I have many hours in a row of empty space. When I realized this lack of planning, I panicked.

“My friends are filling up their resumes with impressive jobs and programs, and I am relaxing?? That is a terrible plan for my future.”

Immediately I began a cycle of comparison, which led me down a hole of intense organization of my future life.

I felt as if I had to be stressed and exhausted in order to effectively live. It took a long talk with one of my closests friends for me to gain perspective. She has a packed full summer of travelling, working, and sports, so I was hesitant to bring up my fear of boredom to her. Luckily, she could relate. After an hour of dissecting my fear of mediocrity and my high achieving tendencies, she shared her own fear with me.

“What if I burn out? What if I am wasting my energy on unimportant things, and there is something else I am supposed to be doing?”
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Somehow, her fear of doing too much too quickly completely aligned with my fear of not doing enough. We were both terrified of messing up; our futures mean so much to us we were both wasting effort on stressing over our plans that we weren’t confident in our past self to know what we needed. If in the spring I knew I needed a summer of reflection and recuperation, I needed to have faith in that.

In the depths of my eating disorder, all I did was plan, whether it was meals, exercise, or how to act around various people.

If I now know myself well enough to know that planning so intensely brings me out of enjoying the present moment, I need to believe that it’s okay to allow myself to take time off from chaos.

I need to reframe boredom as a healthy break to recharge. That is not a waste of time, but rather valuable space I must make for myself.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Eva Romanoff

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Hi! My name is Eva Romanoff, I’m 16 years old and live in NYC. I am the high school ambassador for the NYC chapter of Project HEAL, and joined last fall with the goal of helping others reach recovery and find comfort in their own bodies. I love writing for the Project HEAL blog because it gives me an opportunity to express my thoughts and interests, which hopefully helps other process things that I have dealt with as well.

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