Why Our Lockdown Boredom is Actually Good for Us

Why Our Lockdown Boredom Is Actually Good For Us Uncover Liverpool

Bored of being bored

It may feel like we’ve been on one long slog since last March. There’s been little opportunity to do what we would usually enjoy doing, like going on holiday, attending festivals, eating in our favourite restaurants or visiting art galleries. So, the vast majority of us have probably experienced some level of boredom or fatigue which stems from doing the same activities over and over again.

Additionally, in this modern world our social structure coupled with new technological advancements have us living life at a fast pace. We are expected to think more, do more and achieve more every day. Our brains are constantly overstimulated so it’s no surprise that when we take a moment away from our fast paced routine to do nothing, the feeling of boredom sets in. We’re left feeling agitated and restless.

The benefits of boredom

The positive news is that as we unwillingly go through this boredom-inducing routine there is scientific research to suggest that boredom could actually be a good thing. A study published in the journal Academy of Management Discoveries, uncovered that boredom can spark productivity and creativity.

Our bored state can provide the space we require to think more clearly and when the lockdown lifts we could find ourselves eager to engage with the real world. 

Dr Sandi Mann, a researcher at the University of Central Lancashire elaborated on this theory when she discussed the effects of boredom. Mann stated that “If you ask people to do nothing, to the point where they get really bored, they then become creative and start thinking in novel and productive ways. The lockdown could turn out to be one of the world’s most creative times ever.”


Why Our Lockdown Boredom Is Actually Good For Us - Together, We Create


A Creative Explosion

Neuroscientist, James Danckert, and psychologist, John D. Eastwood, in their new book Out of My Skull: The Psychology of Boredom describe boredom as “a cognitive state that has something in common with tip-of-the-tongue syndrome—a sensation that something is missing, though we can’t quite say what.” Could it be that this sensation, this something that is sitting on the tip of our tongue, be the creative explosion we must experience through lockdown boredom? We are all guilty at one point or another of saying we will do more positive things that fulfil us, if only we had more free time.

Boredom gives us more time to contemplate, letting our brains idle and let new ideas emerge. We might want to take that online course, which may lead to a change in career path. Maybe through boredom we could learn how to take existing skills and apply them in an online format, which gives us a creative outlet, a new focus, some income and newly gained confidence in our ‘suppressed skills’.

A desire for desires

Boredom gives us the realisation, the quiet time to stop and think and to be grateful for the spare time we do have now to make a change. Now that we have more time to think about the things we could do when we are once again pandemic free, it will encourage us to beat boredom in lockdown. It gives us hope, but it may also urge us to apply ourselves and instead of being bored, it may spark something in us and push us to investigate these desires we have.

Writer Leo Tolstoy defined boredom as “a desire for desires.”  So, how about we embrace the moments we have now in lockdown to search for our desires though the frustrating feelings of boredom. Your brain will thank you for it and so will the world once we are free to do the things we miss the most.

10 Arts & Culture TED Talks To Leave You Feeling Inspired

Ted Talks

The arts and culture sector has faced a tough battle over the last 12 months, with the Covid-19 pandemic having a profound affect on cultural institutions and organisations.

Exhibitions, events, and live performances were in the most part cancelled or postponed and we’ve been starved of many of the activities that we would have previously took for granted. So, we’ve put together some of the best arts and culture TED talks to leave you feeling inspired and creative.

1. Give yourself permission to be creative – Ethan Hawke

Reflecting on moments that shaped his life, actor Ethan Hawke examines how courageous expression promotes healing and connection with one another — and invites you to discover your own unabashed creativity. We recommend pairing this TED talk with a read of Creative Fatigue: The dangers of the productivity warrior narrative by Liverpool artist Becky Downing.

2. The Transformative role of art during the pandemic – Anne Paternak

Anne Pasternak, director of the Brooklyn Museum, makes the case for cultural institutions to take a leading role in supporting the world’s recovery from COVID-19 — and shows how, in times of turmoil and disruption, the arts help us come together, heal and rebuild a better society. 

3. How drawing can set you free – Shantell Martin

Shantell Martin shares how she found freedom and a new perspective through art. See how drawing can connect your hand to your heart and deepen your connection with the world.

4. How we experience time and memory through art – Sarah Sze

Explore how we give meaning to objects in this beautiful tour of Sarah Sze’s experiential, multimedia art.

5. How film transforms the way we see the world – Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

Documentarian and TED Fellow Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy uses her Oscar-winning film to fight violence against women, turning her camera on the tradition of honor killings in Pakistan. In a stirring talk, she shares how she took her film on the road in a mobile cinema, visiting small towns and villages across Pakistan — and shifting the dynamics between women, men and society, one screening at a time.

6. How craving attention makes you less creative – Joseph Gordon-Levitt

As social media exploded over the past decade, Joseph Gordon-Levitt got addicted like the rest of us — trying to gain followers and likes only to be left feeling inadequate and less creative. In a refreshingly honest talk, he explores how the attention-driven model of big tech companies impacts our creativity — and shares a more powerful feeling than getting attention: paying attention.

7. Public art that turns cities into playgrounds of the imagination – Helen Marriage

Visual artist Helen Marriage stages astonishing, large-scale public art events that expand the boundaries of what’s possible. In this visual tour of her work, she tells the story of three cities she transformed into playgrounds of the imagination — picture London with a giant mechanical elephant marching through it — and shows what happens when people stop to marvel and experience a moment together.

8. Life is your talents discovered – Sir Ken Robinson

Sir Ken Robinson argues that talent is often buried and that we need to search for it. In fact, the foundation of wisdom may be the willingness to go and look for it.

9. How to build a thriving music scene in your city – Elizabeth Cawein

How does a city become known as a “music city”? Publicist Elizabeth Cawein explains how thriving music scenes make cities healthier and happier and shares ideas for bolstering your local music scene — and showing off your city’s talent to the world.

10. How a strong creative industry helps economies thrive – Mehret Mandefro

Mehret Mandefro says the creative sector has the power to grow economies — while also helping safeguard democracy. In this captivating talk, she shares a behind-the-scenes look at how she’s putting culture back on the economic agenda in Ethiopia, and explains why other countries would benefit from doing the same.

7 Fun Activities To Do Online During Lockdown

7 Fun activities to do online during lockdown

So, we find ourselves in another national lockdown but we’ve learnt a lot since last March and we’ve adapted well to these periods of self-isolation. We certainly don’t need to feel isolated with the abundance of virtual events and activities to keep us busy. Here’s some great online activities that you can enjoy from the comfort of your couch.

1. Movema free dance classes

If you’re feeling a bit lethargic spending so much time around the house then Movema’s dance classes are a great way to get moving and will create some fun in your day. Their free Dance For Wellbeing classes are suitable for any ability. The sessions are guaranteed to put a smile on your face and leave you feeling more energetic throughout the day.

2. Digital Drink and Draw

If you enjoy doodling and sketching and want the chance to do some life drawing in a friendly relaxed atmosphere then check out the Make Liverpool Digital Drink & Draw classes, which take place via Zoom. All abilities are welcome to their sessions and the informal approach means that you can take your drawing in whichever direction you like.

3. Play at home Escape Rooms 

You can escape from reality in more ways than one with online escape room games and Liverpool’s Breakout and Escape Hunt both offer online, interactive games that you can play with your friends and family remotely.

4. Visit Liverpool’s ‘Activities To Do At Home’

Visit Liverpool has a resource hub with a whole range of activities to keep you entertained. There’s a series of Liverpool-related quizzes such as Everton and Liverpool FC, famous scousers and Liverpool general knowledge quizzes. The print at home colouring sheets can keep you busy for hours, colouring in famous Liverpool landmarks, plus there’s word searches and other activities that are fun for all the family and perfect for a rainy day. 

5. Knowsley Safari Park: Home Safari Live

The Knowsley Safari home safari live team will show you a live stream of the animals in the safari school as well as behind the scenes footage around the safari park. There will be activities that you can do at home too. You can send comments to get your questions answered by the team and find out more about the animals at Knowsley.

6. The Florrie Guitar Online Takeover

The Florrie usually hosts guitar lessons from their Toxteth home, but in the meantime they’ve added a series of videos to their YouTube channel where various local musicians, including Jamie Webster and James Skelly teach you how to play a song of their choosing. The lessons are perfect for those who are intermediate guitar players and want to add some new songs to their repertoire.

7. 35 Ways To Upcycle Everything Around You – Best Recycling Life Hacks Video

This video by 5 Minute Crafts will have you upcycling household items that you probably would never even have thought to! We’re sure you’ll find some inspiration from the ideas here to keep you busy for a while.

Visit our What’s On section to browse event listings for the Liverpool City Region or add your own.

Liverpool Year of Writing Launches With ‘Write Here Write Now’ Interactive Event

Liverpool Year of Writing

Liverpool’s 2021 Year of Writing is a celebration of writing in all its forms designed to discover new voices and publish new writing through a partnership of arts and cultural organisations, writers, artists, educators and businesses as part of an inclusive drive to improve literacy in the city.

Creative writing plays a key part in inspiring and engaging young people particularly, but across all ages too, in writing, helping to improve their engagement in education, their reading and their imagination, as well as their literacy.

#Liverpoolwrites will be active and inspirational, inclusive and diverse, on the streets, in schools and libraries, on the page, the stage, digital, on screen, on your phone. It will be a year full of high-quality and fun events workshops, panels, courses, festivals and activities for all ages.

Liverpool’s writers are world renowned:  Garrett, Hanley, Lowry, Lennon, McCartney, Woodbine, McGough, Henri, Bainbridge, Grant, Russell, Bleasedale, McGovern, Cottrell-Boyce, Deane, Tafari, Amoo’s, Hooton, Farley, Coe and Cox – the list grows by the day.

There are new generations in the city too, born and bred or bringing their talents from worlds afar, and new voices, in schools and in houses across the city, who will be inspired to find their voice by taking part in the #LiverpoolWrites year, which will include:

  • Write Here Write Now: A city-wide launch with a writing activity involving the whole population
  • Schools: writing competitions; Letters to Liverpool; Sharing/Caring words; Writing for online games; Coding and Make-fests; blogging and book reviews; Zine making workshops and the creation of new Zines by children and young people.
  • The Writer’s Bloc: pop up writing centres in local highstreets and libraries.
  • High profile Liverpool Writers in Residence throughout the year
  • A writer’s marketplace and a Writer’s Boot Camp
  • Competitions: Playwriting, novel writing, flash fiction and short stories, with a series of themes including the environment and recovering after the Lockdown/pandemic.

Write Here Write Now

Kicking off the Year of Writing events, is ‘Write Here Write Now’ – a week-long series of writing prompts for Young People by award winning author Patrice Lawrence and adults with Youth Theatre Director MandyRoweso see what you can create.

To find out more visit https://www.cultureliverpool.co.uk/year-of-writing-2021-h/