Although new technologies are released every year, an analysis of the popular Monitoring the Future survey found that boredom among teens is rising year after year for high schoolers. In every grade, girls’ boredom levels steeper rises than boys, rising an average of 2 percent every year. Everybody experiences boredom from time to time, but many people don’t realize it may be associated with depressive symptoms and risky behaviors, such as substance use, particularly among teens.
Why Are Teens So Bored?
With the rise of social media, teens are filling more of their leisure time with technology than structured social activities. While they are constantly refreshing their feed for new posts, the process of infinite scrolling can become boring. Girls are particularly vulnerable to comparing themselves to others online and feeling that they don’t measure up. As more teens are turning to socialize online, they are more likely to feel disconnected in their offline lives.
Possible reasons for increases in boredom may include:
- Dissatisfaction with how their time is spent
- Increased digital media use
- Less physical activity
- Spending more time alone
- Rising levels of depression
Trouble Coping with Boredom
“Adolescence is a time of change and growth,” said Elizabeth Weybright, researcher of adolescent development at Washington State University. “Teens want more independence, but may not have as much autonomy as they’d like in their school and home life. That creates situations where they’re prone to boredom, and may have a hard time coping with being bored.”
Boredom is a much more difficult experience for adolescents who typically have less life experience, coping skills, and healthy relationships than adults do to take advantage of their free time. Boredom tends to increase during early adolescence when teens are disconnected from both their childhood interests and adult responsibilities.
Teens who get bored easily during their free time often lose interest in activities, have difficulty focusing on one task at a time, feel directionless, and unmotivated. Especially on weekends and vacations from school, teens struggle with finding structured activities and environments to keep them organized and distract them from feelings of depression and loneliness.
Recreation Activities for Depressed Teens
According to a study conducted by the University of Bologna, teens who are more prone to boredom have fewer hobbies, are less likely to engage in activities like sports, use technology more, and binge drink more often.
It may seem obvious that finding healthy social activities that they enjoy is essential for helping depressed teens fight boredom. However, teens with depression often struggle with a lack of interest in activities they used to enjoy, social anxiety around group activities, and a lack of motivation to try new things. Residential treatment centers offer a variety of recreation activities in a structured therapeutic environment to encourage teen girls to reflect on the challenges they face and find healthier ways to cope with feelings of boredom and depression.
Solstice East is experientially focused and integrates daily workouts, weekly adventure activities, and off campus-service opportunities that help students develop meaningful relationships and personal goals. Adventure therapy serves as a powerful addition to talk therapy for depressed teens.
Solstice East Can Help
Solstice East is a residential treatment center for young women ages 14-18 struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, and addictive behaviors. This program focuses on helping young women heal, recover, and integrate healthy habits into their lives. Students will learn to build healthy relationships, cope with emotions, and effectively communicate. Solstice East gives young women the skills and confidence they need to lead happy and healthy lives. We can help your family today!
Contact us at 828-484-9946 to learn more about experiential therapy.