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10 Creative Ways to Kill Boredom on Public Transport

10 Creative Ways to Kill Boredom on Public Transport

We’ve all heard horror stories about the tedious boredom involved with commuting via public transportation. Whether if it’s a 2 hour bus ride or 20 minutes on the subway there is absolutely no reason you should be bored during your commute. With a little planning and the right tools you can use this time to make yourself a better person and actually start the day off productive.

1. Learn a New Language

It doesn’t matter what language it is, studies have shown that knowing multiple languages will improve your mental health. This could also become something you can add to your resume if you become fluent enough in the language. While there are a lot of free options out there that you can use on your commute, there is also some very thorough paid software available. You can find the reviews of them all here.

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2. Break Out the Old Game Boy

While there are plenty of emulators and new technology that put the Game Boy’s graphics to shame, there’s just something nostalgic about getting your hands on one. Using the Game Boy during your commute will decrease the amount of battery you’re draining on your phone, which you will likely need during the work day. As a bonus, if you’re riding with a friend there are several games you can play together – most notably a Tetris challenge to see who can clear 30 lines the fastest. The rules to Battle Tetris can be found here.

3. Plan Out Weekly Menus

Your commute is the perfect time to plan out your weekly menus or the types of food that you want to cook. It’s also a great time to learn new cooking techniques. Research and create a list of your favorite food blogs or Youtube channels and visit them daily. Cooking is a skill that doesn’t come naturally but it can be learned. Just because you’ve been known to burn the pizza rolls doesn’t mean you can’t become a world class cook for your friends.

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4. Learn a Programming Language

You might need your laptop for this one, but it’s a skill that could be invaluable to your career. There are also several options for free that can help you learn the skill. You don’t have to possess a beautiful mind to write code, you just need a drive and the will to do it. Here are some great resources to get started.

5. Check Out Some Lectures

There are plenty of lectures online for free that could spark your interests. You could also discover new interests that you never thought you had. From astronomy, to biology, there are thousands of free courses out there waiting for you.

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6. Read a Book

A real book with pages and all. Imagine that?! In a world of iPads and Kindles, people often forget the feel of handling and flipping the pages on a physical book. If this becomes habit it will also give you a good reason to visit the library more frequently or stroll the isles of your local bookstore – something you can’t do by just clicking “Buy It Now”.

7. Learn to Knit

You can knit really anything you want while riding the bus or train. It is a nice hobby that will give you a great gift at the end. You can find tons of free knitting patterns on Pinterest.

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8. Create Your To-Do List

Morning is the perfect time to create your to-do list for the day. Not only does creating a to-do list keep you focused during the day, it also gives you a sense of accomplishment when you complete that last task. Apps such as Wunderlist and Evernote will allow you to create your lists and sync them with the rest of your devices throughout the day.

9. Learn to Conquer the Rubix Cube

We’ve all had one and, more than likely, we all put it to the side after realizing we would never solve it. Well, your commute is the perfect time to practice how to solve it. After you learn to solve it, you can use your new skill to impress friends or even start competing in Rubix Cube time trials. Here is an article detailing the easiest way to solve the Rubix Cube.

10. Find New Music to Follow

It can be a new Pandora station or Spotify’s “Discover Weekly” but new music is something that will never bore you. There are countless artists you can discover and follow just by listening to one new song and then researching the artist. You’ll also have something to talk about in the future, especially if you have other friends that are deeply involved in the music scene.

Featured photo credit: Gameboy Color / Wen Zeng via flickr.com

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Colby Almond

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

1. Understand Yourself Better

Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

2. Keep Track of Small Changes

I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

3. Become Aware of What Matters

As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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4. Boost Creativity

The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

6. Process Life Experiences

When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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7. Stress Relief

In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

8. Provide Direction

Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

9. Solve Problems

Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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10. Find Relief From Fighting

Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

11. Find Meaning in Life

Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

12. Allow Yourself to Focus

Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

14. Let the Past Go

I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

15. Allow Freedom

Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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16. Enhance Your Career

Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

18. Catalog Your Life for Others

No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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