Initial situation: life has become very monotonous. Because everything is routine. Because something could really happen again. but what? In any case, crossing the Alps or spending the night in the woods is not the answer, says Hamburg psychologist and psychotherapist Andrea Patzer.
Mrs. Batzer, everyday life has been going backwards for several months. Some are bored. What can help?
Andrea Patzer: Boredom arises when we feel low on sensations. Corona could be a catalyst there. But it is not necessary.
On what does it depend?
I know a woman who loves making lace. When she makes lace, she is happy. Even the Corona crisis does not change anything, because she has a passion that she can still live. This is not the case for some people. For example, everyone who derives a lot of energy from contact with other people. And of course a lot has fallen in the past few months.
Then the feeling of boredom arises?
At least that can happen. But of course you don’t have to stop there. Viktor Frankl, the famous neurologist and founder of logic therapy, which helps people find meaning in their lives, said it very aptly: Life has a purpose. But the task of each person is to find this meaning for himself. Many are currently being asked to start searching again.
So isn’t boredom the same as insufficient adventure?
never. For example, some people have only discovered in the past few months that they feel more important because everything has changed so dramatically. You may have resumed reading, learning a musical instrument, or helping others. When we pursue activities and interests that touch our hearts, we also feel connected to the world and this experience gives us meaning. Boredom indicates that we have lost touch with these things.
Doesn’t boredom go away automatically if I make my life more interesting?
You can give someone a cross over to the Alps or spend a night in the woods with a campfire and they are bored inside. Someone else’s heart rises. It is logical convenience, not objective activity.
But if my sense of life is stronger when dancing in crowded clubs – what should I do in these times?
The Corona crisis requires many to find a new translation of the things that matter to them. The search for meaning is an active thing. Waiting until everything is back to its best for us leads to ED. I met a young woman who liked to go to festivals before Corona. She is otherwise a somewhat introverted scholar. But she loves to be a part of this unruly dancing community on the few weekends of the year. At some point during the Corona crisis, she felt like her energy was running out and she was bored all her life. and what are you doing? In her science subject, Sociology, she sets out to investigate how best to organize outdoor concerts in a Corona-compliant manner. So she has drawn her passion into whatever field is possible at the moment. The organization in the team, the music, the event – which gave her a sense of purpose.
You have to be really creative.
In fact, it is not always easy to solve the question of meaning. But this also applies outside Corona. Many people get bored and experience meaningful crises when anything is really possible. It is interesting, for example, that purely selfish pursuits do not give us any sense of purpose in the long run. The hour that is constantly improving, the better vacation – all this pleases you only for a short time. Deep sensuality arises when we connect with others at work. Meaningful community.
Is there a trick to finding what gives us meaning?
Children often know very well what they like to do – and this is also the activity that they feel is useful. We play immersively with a Lego doll or bricks, or we prefer to play with other children…there is no feeling of boredom. Sometimes we lose that connection as adults. One can build on his childhood experiences and find translation in today’s life. Maybe you liked drawing. Then maybe I’ll start now with watercolors. Or I’d run around the house and sing. why don’t you sing
This sounds easy.
lens yes. But all too often, almost reflexively, we aggressively ignore our deepest feelings. Introverts in particular are often interrupted in their purposeful activities as children. They’ve learned that hanging out for hours or just having one friend just isn’t right. This devaluation deepens the value of the coin and results in the loss of the original connection with meaning. Children with high spirits may be reprimanded more often. So sometimes you have to overcome obstacles to revive your senses. It is very rewarding to search with curiosity and courage.