From the U.S. Armed Forces Survival Manual,
Edited by John Boswell, published by Rawson, Wade Publishers, Inc., New York, 1980.
These are the stepsisters of fear and panic. Unlike the latter they do not come upon one suddenly and savagely, but quietly and unexpectedly, usually after all the basic survival tasks have been performed and the basic survival needs - water, food, shelter, and clothing - have been provided for. Loneliness and boredom can lead to depression and undermine the will to survive.
The psychological antidote for loneliness and boredom is the same as for fear and panic: Keep the mind occupied. Set priorities and tasks that will minimize discomfort, enhance the possibility of rescue, and provide for survival over an extended period of time. Consider unexpected yet possible emergencies as contingency operations and devise plans and tasks to deal with them.
- Set a schedule. A schedule not only provides a form of security; it occupies the mind with the business at hand.
- Set large tasks, such as building a "permanent" shelter, and establish tasks that must be repeated every day, such as keeping a diary.
- Loneliness and boredom can only exist in the absence of affirmative thought and action. In a survival situation there is always plenty of work that needs to be done.