While there are many different types of off-grid living, a lot of off-grid homes may lack certain modern amenities, such as television or Internet. That might not mean a lot you, but there may be kids or teenagers living with you who would disagree.
Staying “off boredom” while living off the grid can be a challenge — especially if you live in an area that has a long, cold winter without a lot of daylight. Or in an area that gets lots of rain. There are always chores, but when stuck inside, time can drag. But with a little creativity and foresight, you should be alright.
The first step to preventing boredom is to do a little planning. No matter if it’s just you or if you’re engaging an entire family, there are quite a few things that you can do to help avoid tensions caused by boredom.
First and foremost, avoiding boredom means being able to come up with activities that are easy and readily available, while also ensuring that they don’t get repetitious. There’s nothing worse than having your boredom prevention plan get boring.
Now, there are some obvious ways to prevent boredom that you probably already have, and if you don’t you can add these things quickly and easily. One of the best items you can own is a deck of cards, which essentially provide unlimited games. You can play dealer’s choice, where each person gets to choose what the game is just to have some variety.
You can really expand on a deck of cards by getting a book on card games. Whether you’re alone or with family, learning a new game will not only give you something to pass the time, but will make your brain work hard, really allowing you to feel like you’ve accomplished something. You can also add a few accessories to the deck like a cribbage board or specialized decks. Perhaps the best thing about a deck of cards is that it’s handy if you’re alone or have family of any age. Even the youngest kids can play games like garbage or go fish.
Another way to distract yourself from tediousness is to read. Keep a variety of books around, including lots of different genres. You might love to read novels, but engaging your brain in a different way by reading history or nature books will decrease your level of boredom significantly. Magazines and periodicals are also nice to have around, don’t cost much, and take up little space. You can save a ton of money by getting a library card or by shopping at used book stores as well.
Board games are also worth their weight in, let’s say, silver. Of course, a board game is useless in a bartering situation, so we won’t go overboard by saying gold, but they are great to have on hand and can be utilized repeatedly and indefinitely. It is better to have a variety of games, but the most important factor may be the length of time that a game takes. Monopoly is great for killing an entire afternoon, but sometimes you might not want to play a game that takes five hours to finish. You can also toss in a set of five dice and a box of dominoes to your game stash. These are great for little kids, and can be used to play any number of games.
But beyond finding some games and hobbies to occupy your time, you should also consider having a standing set of chores and projects to work on. You can spend some time working out a chore schedule to keep you busy. While some people find boredom in a schedule, it is handy to have when you’re going to be fighting boredom for extended periods of time.
By maintaining a set schedule of tasks, you and your brain will be able to break the day into shorter periods, which make the day seem less boring. And by having those daily chores, you will also have something to look forward to, and the feeling of having accomplished something productive. One of the biggest downers of being bored is that it feeds on itself. You will break the cycle of boredom by completing different tasks and creating a feeling of accomplishment.
The chores can be as simple as sweeping and cleaning the windows, or you can try and make some extra cash by making soap, candles or even woven baskets. And the best part is that many of these projects don’t have to cost a lot of money. Buy some yarn (or better yet, get sheep and make your own) and keep it on hand for that one winter night when it’s blowing hard and freezing cold – or that summer day when there’s a downpour. Learning how to knit will not only stave off the boredom and give you something to do, but can also yield you a nice pair of mittens or a hat.
Fending off boredom while you’re living off the grid really boils down to being prepared and willing to try new things with what you have around. Not being bored is more than just having something to do; it is the act of engaging your brain and feeling accomplished. So stock up and keep an open mind toward learning a new game or skill.
What are other ways to avoid boredom? Share your insights in the section below: