Updated: Oct 13, 2021
In this post, I want to share what I learned from 3 1/2 months of bed rest about overcoming boredom. I have had two periods of bed rest, one with each of my pregnancies and the longest one was for 3 1/2 months. During these times I struggled with boredom, loneliness, lack of routine and not feeling like I was contributing to the wider world. This is what I learned. I hope it helps you navigate some of the difficulties that come with coronavirus.
During my first pregnancy, I learned to crochet. I found crochet was an ideal craft because it requires very little equipment (hook, yarn, scissors) and is easy to put down and pick back up (unlike knitting where you can lose stitches if you put it down carelessly). There are plenty of tutorials online.
I have a tendency to get really into my hobbies once I start something. During my second period of bed rest, I got so into crochet that I started publishing my own original patterns (that neurodiverse creative side needed a way to express itself). You can see some of my patterns here https://www.ravelry.com/designers/anna-granta
This was hard. Listening to radio and music helped some. I also spent a lot of time on social media, I learned that some social media platforms made me upset or angry while others calmed me down. I found Instagram the best for my mental health but I'm sure it depends on who you follow and what you like. I was following lots of knitting and crochet accounts and seeing the beautiful things other people made was wonderful. I also took part in a "crochet along" which is where lots of people are making the same pattern at the same time and sharing their progress. It was lovely.
Lack of routine
I made a point of getting dressed in clean, comfy clothes every day even though I wasn't going out. For me, it's part of self-care and helps to distinguish daytime from nighttime. What is most important to you in your normal routine? Can you find a way to fit it into your new lifestyle? I wrote more about this in my previous blog on working from home with ADHD.
Not feeling like I was contributing to society
I wasn't working and in this capitalist society we live in I found it hard to escape feelings of guilt about that. I found a number of apps that allow volunteers to contribute to research or other social good projects. This is a fast-changing field, but https://www.zooniverse.org/ is a good place to start.
Ultimately your worth as a person isn't dependant on your productivity. If you are burnout or unwell then your 'job' is to look after yourself and recover.
I hope at least one of these ideas will help you if you are facing a long period of social distancing. If you would like to chat more about how you can adjust to a new routine following the coronavirus outbreak then please get in touch. I specialize in coaching neurodiverse people with Dyslexia, ADHD, or Autism/ASD and emerging leaders.