Don’t declare yourself “officially bored” until you ask yourself:

B.O.R.E.D. acrostic

There are times that are just inherently boring. I get that. Times when you’re trapped somewhere, waiting to do something, or obligated to perform some drudgery. 

But even then, in my opinion boredom is an option we choose–a decision we make. I decided early in life that if I was bored it was my own fault. 

no time to explain unicorn
Of course, we creative types have lots of options at our disposal for Been Creative?, but creative is a state of mind. There are creative possibilities in almost any situation (it helps if there’s a streak of anarchy in your system sometimes, too). 

For instance: Stuck at the DMV (as I was recently)? If your local DMV doesn’t have the nifty “Q-Less” feature that cuts wait times dramatically, consider what might happen if aliens landed in the parking lot outside, or a couple of madmen with paintball guns came running through?

frozen t-shirt raceYou’ll notice the suggestions in the acrostic will work for children of all ages–including Outside Play (helps to have kids or dogs on hand, but lots of things count as “play.” Got golf clubs? A tennis racquet? Hiking gear?). For a list of 27 other crazy outdoor game ideas check BuzzFeed’s list.

Read a Book? Well, duh. I never leave home without one, if I can help it. Books open the world of the possible for people of all ages. I bet you’ll enjoy this TED Talk.

Exercised? This is almost the same thing as “Outdoor Play,” for many of us–but it sounds suspiciously diligent. How about changing the “E” to Explored Something? Explorations take many forms.

And you might be surprised how much fun you can have with Done Something Helpful? Did you know that other people’s work is always more fun than our own? (Another surprising lesson from childhood). Again, the creative possibilities are endless. Engage your empathy to see who needs help, then come up with pleasant ways to give them a hand–like this young man, spotlighted by the Huffington Post.

Whatever you dream up, don’t forget to follow through! And if you can offer your own creative cure for boredom, leave suggestions in the form of comments!

IMAGE: Many thanks for the acrostic image from Planet Smarty, and for the “van unicorn” from Kristin Lamb’s Blog. Thank you, BuzzFeed and Mallory McInnis for the “Frozen T-Shirt Race” image. Many thanks to TED Talks and The Huffington Post for the two videos.