Athletics & Community Blog

Athletics & Activities Blog – August 21

Am I Depressed or Just Bored?

Deciphering our feelings during quarantine

As I come to the end of two weeks of quarantine here in Yangon, I realize that I am getting more and more excited to return to campus on Monday.  But the closer I get to Monday, the more time seems to slow down.  My husband and I actually agreed yesterday that we are both bored.

That was not an easy thing for us to admit.  We have always encouraged our children to go outside and play, read a book, bake cookies, or – increasingly these days – play a video game or watch a movie.  So when I opened the New York Times app this morning, I was surprised to find an article titled, “Is the Lockdown Making You Depressed, or Are You Just Bored?”  Psychiatrist Dr. Richard Friedman says that clinical depression is indeed on the rise during this pandemic, but it is important for us to realize the difference.

“Clinical depression is characterized by an inability to experience pleasure, insomnia, loss of self-esteem and suicidal thinking and behavior, among other symptoms. In boredom, the capacity for pleasure is totally intact, but it is thwarted by an internal or external obstacle — like being quarantined. (Boredom also produces none of the other symptoms of depression.)” (Friedman, 2020)

Is it very important that if you are feeling depressed, that you find someone to talk to about it.  The counseling team at ISY is available to students who are on campus or off – no matter where you are in the world.  Mr. Fast, Mr. Mick A-G, and Ms. Patty can help talk students through feelings that can sometimes be smothering and confusing. They are also great at coming up with ideas for fighting boredom! (And I’ve said it here before: exercise is a GREAT way to fight depression – and boredom – as well.)

If you are just feeling bored, the important thing is to fill up your day.  Make a schedule for yourself and stick to it. Make sure to include time for good food, mindfulness, exercise, your favorite creative outlets (art, music, writing), and especially time for reaching out to friends.  

Here is an example:

  • 8am Yoga/Meditation
  • 9am Breakfast
  • 10am HIIT or other aerobic or strength training workout
  • 12pm Lunch
  • 1pm Bake Cookies
  • 2pm Video games with friends
  • 3pm Read a book/take a short nap
  • 4pm Work on an art project and chat with a good friend
  • 5pm Start making dinner with your family
  • 6pm Sit down together for a meal
  • 7pm Do a family puzzle, play a game, watch a movie

Finally, get a good night’s sleep.  Getting at least 8 hours of consistent and deep sleep is one of the best ways to fight depression AND keep your brain alert during the day so you can be creative while making your daily schedule.

Ultimately, I’m sure we would all like nothing better than to be back on campus together at ISY.  Until that time, it’s important that you recognize the differences in how you might be feeling about the pandemic and quarantine, and to ask for help if you need it.

I will look forward to seeing many High School students on campus on Monday, and hopefully ES/MS students to follow soon after.

Friedman, Richard A. “Is the Lockdown Making You Depressed, or Are You Just Bored?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 21 Aug. 2020,

As a reminder no student will be permitted to participate in any of our programs until the government mandated declaration has been completed on PowerSchool.  If you have recently returned to Myanmar, please do not send your child to school until your quarantine is completely finished.

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