If you type "bored kids" into Google, you'll get 48 million results! Kids have even started their own mini-movie industry on You Tube; that's how much they want the world to know they're b-o-r-e-d. And as funny (gross, too!) as some of the clips are, being bored is no laughing matter — for body or mind.
Chronic boredom from lack of stimulation, PLUS wanting to change the situation, AND feeling that there's no way to escape it triggers behavior problems, overeating, drug abuse, anger, and depression in kids — and in adults, too. When grownups are bored at the workplace it leads to poor performance, and too much chocolate eating and alcohol drinking! Bored folks neglect their health and can, literally, bore themselves to death.
Luckily (if we're not boring you), we can help you turn your blahs to ooh la-las.
1. Get your family moving. Go hiking, schedule (and complete) a 30-minute family walk every morning or evening. Kids and adults can join a sports team and sign up for extra duty — keeping stats, sending emails, wrangling equipment.
2. Volunteer. Stop thinking about your troubles, and help others with theirs. It's great for your kids, too.
3. Express your secret interests. Ask yourself (or help your child tell you) "What have I always wanted to try?" (Ice skating? Cooking lessons? Learning Italian?) Then put it in motion.
4. De-stress. Meditation helps ease boredom-triggered apathy and agitation, and it gives you the energy to shake up your world.
© 2012 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.