Why Embracing A 'Boring Life' Could Be Useful Sometimes

No one can really be sure what came first: Instagram highlight reels that urge people to "live their best life" or career gurus who promote hustle culture and toxic productivity. But somewhere along the line, the world has labeled enjoying a quiet weekend indoors with a cup of coffee and a good book "boring." What's not boring, apparently, is traveling the globe, climbing up the career ladder by working 24/7, or attending the most happening parties. While there's nothing wrong with those aspirations, the problem arises when we forget to be content in the here and now. When we program our minds to think that happiness is always around the corner. 

Think about the time when you were perfectly satisfied going about your everyday morning routine. Then you started scrolling through social media. Your high school friend had just been to Europe for a full two weeks and posted about it. Suddenly, your perfect morning feels mundane and tasteless, and you're left wondering why you're not doing all those exciting things. As YouTuber Malama Life noted, "We're so often told to dream big, be bold, live large, and to stand out from the crowd, and everything else falls under this category of being boring."

Embracing your anxiety surrounding FOMO (fear of missing out) is key to navigating life in the time of social media. In fact, it might even be useful to enjoy what the world calls "boring."

You'll learn to live in the moment

It doesn't take a psychologist to diagnose that the world is in desperate need to slow down. Burnout associated with the hustle culture is real. The constant need to live an exciting life can feel exhausting sometimes. Living a "boring life" can free space for creativity, give your mind and body time to rest, and give you time to align yourself with your values, according to career coach and author Dr. Amina Aitsi-Selmi. It might also help you make time for fulfilling relationships. "People don't feel as if you're squeezing them into your schedule or that you're distracted while talking to them," shared Aitsi-Selmi. 

When you choose to look at the boring things in your life — staying indoors and reading a book or journaling every night before bed — as valuable experiences, you will be training yourself to enjoy the simple things. Whether we like it or not, most of our lives are spent doing mundane tasks, so why not find joy in them? Do we have to constantly fill our days with the next best experience or accomplishment in order to feel happy and useful?

Writer Oswald Kyrre finds purpose in living the same life every day. He wrote in Medium, "Writing every day makes me a slightly better writer each day. Going to the gym makes me slightly healthier. Reading books makes me slightly smarter ... everything compounds and I get better at these things each day."

Embracing a 'boring life' could look like this

Choosing to find joy in the ordinary doesn't mean that you stop aspiring to travel or accomplish professional goals in life, but it's a reminder to slow down sometimes. It's not possible to sustain a constantly exciting life filled with adventure and achievements without eventually feeling a sense of burnout. 

You can start by setting aside some time to re-evaluate what you've filled your life with. If traveling constantly and being surrounded by people all the time is what truly makes you happy, then go for it, but if you feel weighed down by social media comparison and think that you have to be doing exciting things in order to be validated in some way, it might be time to take a step back. Can you learn to find happiness in enjoying a cup of green tea and a game of Scrabble with friends at home rather than attending the latest pub opening in town? Would you feel more rejuvenated if you had a relaxing weekend at home instead of a trip to the coast? Let yourself answer truthfully and allow yourself room to do what makes you happy. It doesn't matter what that looks like to the rest of the world. 

Perhaps it might mean setting boundaries in your relationships and work-life balance alike so you don't get sucked into hustle culture. Whatever it is, be intentional about training yourself to see the beauty in the boring things.