Teen Blog

“I’m Bored and No One Can Hang Out”

A game plan for beating boredom and capitalizing on free time.

Have you ever counted down the days till sweet summer vacation, only to find yourself bored when it arrived? Maybe you had something (or several things!) you really wanted to do, but for some reason you can’t—your summer job didn’t pan out, none of your friends are free, you don’t have a ride, you aren’t allowed, the weather is awful—or all of the above!

It’s easy to feel frustrated, lonely and a little sorry for ourselves.

Check this out:

“The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; but the soul of the diligent shall be made rich” (Proverbs 13:4).

Okay—so our plans go wrong and we’re bored. We can sit on the couch glowering at the TV, envying our Facebook friends who are off doing cooler things. At the end of a day like that, we’ve got nothing more than when we started, and we’re still in a rotten mood. However, God shows a way to make the best of this situation—and the key is “diligence.”

How to profit

Being diligent doesn’t mean we can’t chill and relax sometimes, but it does mean that we don’t do things just to “kill time.” The Bible talks about “making the most of every opportunity” (Ephesians 5:16, New International Version).

Beating boredom takes work, but if we put in effort and follow His way, God guarantees that we will come out of the day better off: “In all labor there is profit” (Proverbs 14:23). That profit can come as money or time saved, knowledge or skills gained, or health or character strengthened.

Consider this game plan, and change it to fit you: When you feel bored and frustrated, exercise. I recommend going for a run to burn off steam, but you can also walk or stretch and do push-ups or crunches. Meanwhile, think! Keep at it until you’ve had enough time to plot your next move.

Start by listing the chores you could get done now (mow the lawn, pull weeds, do laundry, wash the car, make dinner, walk the dog, clean your room, start summer assignments). Aim to do a couple of these. Then brainstorm productive, satisfying and creative things to do. Try for a mixture of things you could do right now and some that you can start planning now to do later.

Some ideas

  • Study a chapter of Proverbs! It’s full of great advice.
  • Practice lay-ups, serves, pull-ups, scales if you play a musical instrument, etc. Bodily exercise is profitable! (1 Timothy 4:8; Proverbs 20:29; 31:17).
  • Make or write cards for people who are sick or alone (Matthew 25:34-40).
  • Research your family tree or cultural heritage.
  • Interview older people about life when they were teens or during a decade that interests you.
  • Read a book about something you don’t know much about—preferably something a friend is interested in (Proverbs 19:20).
  • Expand your horizons by listening to experts share exciting ideas from the cutting edge of their field on www.TED.com.
  • Memorize your Social Security number.
  • Download radio podcasts in a foreign language you are studying.
  • Create a personal budget—for now or as a rough outline for life after high school (Psalm 37:21; Luke 14:28-30).
  • Make a list of the things you believe are important in a husband or wife (Proverbs 31:10).
  • Research jobs that interest you. Are they growing fields? What training would you need to succeed? Are there similar jobs that would fit your personality and skill set better?
  • Write down your five favorite foods and look up how to make them. Choose two or three recipes to actually attempt.
  • Go back to study something that was hard for you in school and get comfortable with it (Ecclesiastes 9:10).
  • Make a plan to go hiking, camping, rock climbing, canoeing, skiing, spelunking.
  • Learn the countries of the Middle East, Africa or Asia, and read the news about that area.
  • Learn (or make up) a new dance.
  • Volunteer at a seniors’ center or a Boys and Girls Club.
  • Learn how to change a flat tire, change a car’s oil or another useful skill. Ask adults for tips on practical things to know.

When you have enough ideas, jot them down and choose one to attack first! Accomplish, cross off and enjoy—“A desire accomplished is sweet to the soul” (Proverbs 13:19). 

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