The expression "the dog days of summer" refers to summer's hottest, driest, most humid, and downright uncomfortable parts of summer. The dog days usually happen when it's hot, stagnant, and not a breeze to be had. The weather forecast calls for sizzling with no relief in sight. You could fry an egg on the sidewalk or a bald man's head.
For many people, the dog days are filled with sheer boredom. But don't blame your job, your parents, or your mindless chores. Battling boredom means finding an interest, living in the moment, and having something to look forward to. There is a fair amount of anxiety in boredom that makes people try anything to prevent or remedy it.
Hard work, art, and curiosity are the enemies of boredom. Try something new. Something unfamiliar.
We at the 573 Magazine had to consult our "Been there, done that" division for real solutions to the summer blahs—the older among us. Ha. Ha. Here's what we came up with.
Get to a lake, stream, pool, or one of the fabulous area water parks. It's cheap, and you can hang out all day if you want. There are plenty of people to meet and talk to. Sam A. Baker State Park has clean, crystal clear, spring-fed water with absolutely no smell! Why I have to tell you about this, I have no idea.
The cure for boredom is curiosity.
Make a promise to yourself to smile at everyone you see. Do this, and you will be amazed at how many people start talking to you.
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Try experimenting with your looks. Try a totally new hairstyle. Do something you would never dare to do. You never know how a completely new look can do wonders for your self-esteem.
Start your own small business. Think it's impossible? Think again. Kill the boredom and make some cash while you're at it. Wash cars, wash dogs, baby-sit, dog-sit, mow lawns... be creative. Make things by hand and sell them online. Go to www.esty.com
It's too hot to sit.
Pretend you're a tourist. Walk around town with your new look. Wear dark sunglasses, and people watch. Hit the shops and area attractions. Ask questions of everyone you encounter. You'll be surprised at how much you can learn. Take pictures and document your adventure. Photograph as much as possible. Get the photos printed and create a scrapbook about your adventure.
Make your own indie film. All you need is your cell phone camera and a desire. Most phones and computers already have free editing apps—you like free, don't you? Make a documentary about something you find odd or interesting. You can make a film about just about anything. Be creative…be you!
Boredom is simply the flip side of fascination. Find an interest and live in the moment.
Get a part-time job. You'll feel great, make new friends, and have extra money to spend or gas for that car. Read an adventure/travel novel. Try to imagine yourself as the main character. Write your own book. Who cares if it never gets published? Do it for yourself.
Noooobody knows the troubles...
Have an any-age slumber party. It may sound corny, but if you're creative, it can be significant. Start with scary movies and a pile of friends. It's okay if you're scared to death; it just means you're alive. There is nothing as bonding as scared friends huddled together. If you want, camp out in the backyard.
Boredom multiplies like fleas.
Try some found art. Here's how it works. Get an old backpack. Walk around and look for things: an odd-shaped piece of driftwood, some wire, rusted tin, broken sunglasses, string, scraps of metal...the sky's the limit. Once your pack is filled with cool stuff, head back to your crib and build something. Maybe a figure of a man, maybe a dog, perhaps an abstract. Just start trying, gluing, and wrapping wire, and you will be surprised with what you come up with. You can sell it on www.esty.com if you like.
Limit your time on the internet. It is often very unproductive. If you need to sit in front of your computer, try boredom-busters.com. You'll find some pretty cool surveys, games, and other things to entertain your brain. But get outside while you can. You won't wilt. It will be winter in a few short months, and you'll be stuck inside once again, wishing for summer.
A hike at Elephant Rocks will kick the fleas of boredom right out of your fur!
Challenge yourself with a long hike. Do the hike at Pickle Springs Conservation Area. It is a grueling hike up and down some rugged, rocky trails, but man, it is beautiful. It takes a good part of 2 hours if you go slow, an hour if you hump. You'll need to bring plenty of drinking water, and there are NO restrooms—you know what to do. Make sure you have good hiking shoes. During the hike, you can cool off in one of several crystal-clear springs along the way—maybe dip your delicate footsies?
Maybe a cool flea dip at Sam A Baker State Park?
Stay active. Run or walk at least a mile daily or swim; don't overdo it in the heat. Stay in shape or maybe even drop a few pounds. Doing nothing is the worst thing you can do.
Just Do It! Get Out There.
Supreme Leader & Editor T. Smugala
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