We all know how boring it can be being stuck in the house for any length of time. Below are a few ideas to pass the time if you’re self isolating…..
1. Clear out your wardrobe
Dedicate your new found time and attention to sorting out your clothes, ditching items you haven’t worn for six months and co-ordinating clothes into sections so it’s easier to browse in the mornings. This is a great opportunity to get inspired about new outfits or rediscover an old favourite.
2. Give yourself a manicure
Sometimes it’s the small things in life that make us feel better, with a fresh manicure being up there. Take some time for yourself, push your cuticles down, slather on some hand cream and choose a shade that makes you smile from ear to ear.
3. Read a book
It’s time to read that book that’s been sat on your shelf for the last few months. Get inspired by a best-selling memoir, indulge in a chick-lit or escape to a different world for a few hours. Hot drink and blanket desirable.
4. Binge-watch that must-see boxset
Did you miss the Game of Thrones craze or are you late to the Grey’s Anatomy party? Now’s the time to catch up on all that TV you’ve been curious about, so get comfy and get ready to commit hours of your life to watching someone else’s dramas.
5. Do a crossword/Sudoku
Looking for something a bit more challenging? Put your brain to the test and do a crossword or Sudoku puzzle and see how far you can get. There’s lots of online crosswords or word puzzles which means you don’t have to leave the house to have a go.
6. Make a photo album/back up your phone pictures
Ensure that memories are treasured by taking the time to compile a photo album or scrapbook. Similarly, make a back-up of photos on your phone, to ensure you don’t lose them in years to come.
7. Plant some flowers
Introduce some welcome colour into your house or garden and plant some flowers.
8. Start a blog
Are you the modern-day Carrie Bradshaw or Bridget Jones? Or does your fashion taste rival that of Olivia Palermo and Estée Lalonde? Use your down-time wisely and start a blog to share your thoughts or favourite hobbies.
9. Marie Kondo your drawers
In the words of everyone’s favourite Japanese organisation expert, if it doesn’t ‘spark joy’ it’s got to go. Sift between socks, underwear and whatever else is lurking in the depths of your drawers and reap the rewards of a tidy and organised chest of drawers.
Indulge your sweet tooth and try a Bake Off masterpiece of your own at home.
11. Learn how to knit
Pick up your needles and take the time to hone a new skill like knitting. Not just for grandmas, knitting is considered incredibly therapeutic and practical.
12. Dance it out
Blast out some of your favourite tunes and get dancing in your bedroom, living room or bathroom. Hairbrush microphone optional.
14. Make a travel bucket list
Write it down in black and white the places you’ve yet to explore, the trips you want to take and the food you’ve got to sample. Similarly Pinterest is the perfect place to find inspiration and pin places you want to go to.
15. Learn a language
Challenge yourself to learn a new language in just a few weeks, ready for your next trip away. With a ton of apps and websites that give you lessons for free, you’ve truly run out of excuses not to.
16. Get your DIY on
Take the time to tackle some interior improvements – be that painting your walls, upholstering old furniture or rearranging a room. Remember health and safety at all times!
17. Call your friends and family
The chances are you’re not the only one that’s self-isolating and people will appreciate a friendly chat or text message to let them know you’re thinking of them. Call your grandparents to check on them or suggest a funny thread in the girls’ WhatsApp group.
18. Play board games
If you’re lucky enough to be in quarantine with company, embrace some old school entertainment and crack out the board games for some light competition. Monopoly should be chosen at your own risk.
19. Let your creative juices flow
Embark on a creative arts and crafts challenge, from sketching and mindful colouring to pottery. Stuck for ideas? 64 Million Artists have some great suggestions to get you started, launching a two-week daily creative challenge you can get involved in.
20. Learn to play an instrument
Dedicate your new-found time to music and learn an instrument that you’ve always wanted to play.
21. Watch a TED Talk
Watching TED talks is an even better use of your time when you are bored.
In case you don’t know: TED—which stands for “technology, entertainment, design”—is a company that posts lectures online from many interesting experts and thought leaders on a wide variety of topic. Our Cor being one of them!
22. Re-watch your favorite movie
Have you ever heard of movie therapy? It turns out that watching a favorite film can revitalize you.
You can get at least a couple of hours of relaxation and may help decrease your anxiety. The different perspectives in the film can encourage you to be more innovative and creative when tackling issues in real life.
23. List down the names of people who inspire you
Instead of whiling away the time thinking how boring your day is going, grab a pen and a notepad and start writing down the names of people who inspired you throughout your life, as well as the impact they had on you.
You can list down people who influenced you early in your life. Then you can think of those who made a positive impact on you when you went to school or when got your first job. Also, write down the names of inspiring strangers, e.g., book authors, leaders, or a kind stranger.
And if you want to express your gratitude, then spend a few minutes writing a thank you note to them. Whether you choose to send it or not.
24. Try adult coloring books
If you have plenty of spare time on your hands, consider using it creatively by coloring some pages.
Coloring pages are no longer just for kids. If you have not tried it yet, adult coloring offers many benefits. Some of these benefits are stress reduction, anxiety relief, creativity booster, and brain workout.
If you want to get started with this fun habit, then check out our recommendations of the 39 best adult coloring books.
25. Write a diary entry for the day
Use your spare time to update your personal diary. Write down your thoughts without censoring yourself. Record how you’re feeling as of the moment. And don’t forget to date your entry!
At a loss for what to write? This post gives you 59 ideas for what to write in your daily diary.
26. Work on your budget or personal finance
Okay, we admit this is cheating. This is “something” to do when you are bored. But it is not something “fun” to do when bored.
However, it is well worth your time. So rather than just wasting time doing nothing when you are bored, it might be a nice change to accomplish some personal finance tasks like budgeting.
We have a few resources to help you get started:
- 26 Better money habits you can build
- 17 Apps that will help you save money (including the Digit app.)
- [Book] Stack Your Savings
- [Book] The Budgeting Habit
- 24 Personal finance books to check out
27. Learn to play the piano
Or guitar. Or saxophone. Or any instrument/
Learning a musical instrument is a satisfying way to spend some free time. It takes time and effort. Your first tries on a new instrument may be quite cringe-worthy. But if you stick with it you will have a wonderful hobby for times when you are bored. (And you learn how to play piano/keyboards with this interesting and easy method.)
28. Watch some funny cat videos…
Or anything fun and entertaining on Youtube.
If you’re not a big fan of wasting hours using platforms like Youtube, if you are bored, watching some funny videos or relaxing to some music videos can be just what the doctor ordered to relieve that boredom.
29. Write a letter of gratitude
Think about someone who has had a positive impact on your life and spend five minutes writing a letter to this individual.
Taking some time to express gratitude not only gives you something to do to combat boredom but it can impact your health in a number of positive ways.
How does expressing gratitude benefit you?
For starters, it increases your sense of happiness.
It promotes your personal success. Plus it relaxes you and helps you live longer.
This article provides a long list of benefits you can reap from expressing gratitude.
Remember that list you make of people who inspire you? Choose one and write them a heartfelt letter of gratitude. It’s your choice whether to mail the letter or not.
30. Draw something (be artistic)
Freehand. Pen and ink. Painting. Caricatures or even sculpture.
It doesn’t matter what you draw (or create) or how talented you are. Art is therapy. And if you get good enough, you have a great talent that your friends will envy.
Want some guided lessons in art to improve your skills. See the Ultimate Drawing Course
31. Get into creative writing
Aside from writing in your journal, you can prevent boredom by getting into creative writing. Unleash your soulful side by writing a poem, a short story, or a song (if you’re musically inclined).
Who knows? You might become a published author or a recognized composer one day.
32. Watch a classic film that was made before you were born
If you are longing for days when things were simpler, watching a classic film can take you back to a specific time period. These films are our windows to the past, giving us a glimpse of a bygone culture and providing us with a point of comparison with what’s going on in the present.
33. Increase your brainpower
Luminosity is a fun place to visit when you are bored. Play mind games that will help you increase your brainpower. Sign me up!
34. Make and install bird feeders
Making a bird feeder is one way of overcoming boredom. Once you’ve set one up, you will be closer to nature, enjoying company of the winged kind.
Having different species visiting your feeder will also be a great educational opportunity for people of all ages. In addition, you’re helping the environment by encouraging flower pollination and bug control.
35. Work in your garden
Gardening is simple. It is grounding. It can promote calm and a sense of accomplishment. Bored and looking for something to do outside on a nice day. Gardening might be the perfect way to spend some time
36. Photograph bugs, plants and flowers
Using the macro feature on your phone or camera, you can take great photos of nature and all the flora and fauna that surrounds us.
Meditation is a path to better understanding yourself. It can bring peace and harmony. It can help develop your self-awareness. It keeps your muscles stretched and relaxed. And it is good physical fitness.
38. Start an herb or a vegetable garden
The next time you feel bored, get some seeds and plant them in your back yard. You’ll thank yourself later when you’re savoring the salad made from the fresh greens picked from your own garden.
39. Read free online ebooks and comic books
There is a lot of wonderful free content out there these days. Kindle Unlimited has hundred of thousands of free books for a nominal monthly price. There are many ways to find comic books for free (or a nominal monthly fee).
Why not spend some time digesting all this great free stuff?
40. Google yourself
Don’t worry, it won’t hurt.
41. Research new ways to save and make money
Being financially literate goes a long way in giving you a secure future. It empowers you to make good decisions when it comes to investments and in saving and spending your hard-earned funds.
Subscribing to financial newsletters is a good way to start educating yourself about how money works. Also, you might want to check out this post featuring helpful tips for developing better money habits.
42. Take online quizzes
If you are looking for something to do when you are bored, taking “quizzes” about stuff you enjoy can be a fun distraction. Simply do searches on “best [topic} quiz” and you will certainly come up with quite a few options.
43. Listen to a podcast
If you find it hard to find things to do when bored. Listening to a podcast or two is always a great educational option.
Podcasts are one of the best ways to learn any niche topic. They can be funny, educational, opinionated and entertaining.
If you have never heard a podcast. Think of a topic you love and do a search. I am sure you will find something.
Informational podcasts are great ways to build a growth mindset.
We have a couple of blog posts that cover the best:
- Motivational podcasts
- Mindfulness and meditation podcasts
- Happiness podcasts
- Funny and comedy podcasts
- Productivity podcasts
- Psychology podcasts
44. Discover new music
Spotify. Pandora. Itunes and more serve as great places to find new music similar to the stuff you know and love. (Read this article if you want to learn how music positively impacts your mood.)
45. Enroll in an online course
Improve your skills set and knowledge base. Use your free time to enroll in a course online.
There are many online educational platforms that offer free courses on a wide range of topics that enhance your knowledge and improve your skills. To learn more, check out this review and this review of my two favorite online course platforms.
46. Trace your ancestry
Another way to break the boredom is to enroll in an online family ancestry research service. Getting to know your ancestors is a rewarding personal experience. It helps you understand yourself better.
47. Run all your backed up computer updates
The ones that have been accumulating every time you click “remind me later”.
48. Clean your laptop
With soap & water. Clean the case. Clean off the screen. Clean/vacuum the keyboard. All the good stuff to make your old laptop look shiny and new.
49. Learn some keyboard shortcuts
Keyboard shortcuts in programs like excel, word, and photoshop, can save a lot of time. But it may often seem like you don’t have “time” to learn them in the first place. If you are looking for something to do when you are bored, this might be the perfect time to learn and practice a few keyboard shortcuts. You can even set up and use a tool like TextExpander to shorten the time you spend on email.
50. Update your long- and short-term goals.
Take advantage of the downtime by breaking out your long-term and short term goal lists. What have you accomplished? What is in progress? What new goals do you have? Make changes and reaffirm your will to achieve your goals.
51. Clear your browsing data
When you clear your browsing data, you maximize your browser’s speed and performance. This translates to increased productivity.
52. Let your thoughts wander
Allow your mind to wander. A study shows that people who often daydream are smarter.
53. Try some DIY Crafts
DIY projects and crafts are a fun way to make home improvements and have blast with your friends while doing it.
If you are bored you can find all sorts of DIY and craft guides on the internet. To nake or fix just about anything. Get crafty and try out a few ideas. This YouTube channel is chock-full of great DIY craft ideas.
- University of Alabama – Free online archaeology and Egyptology Uni courses (create an account to log on)
- Open Learn – Free, online courses, Open university
- BBC languages – Learn languages online free
- FrenchTeacher.Net – Free French study packs
- Sociology courses – Free online study
- Creative courses – Free online study
- Cambridge University Press – ALL 700 textbooks are currently available FREE in HTML format
- Royal institute – Christmas lectures. A series of lectures presenting scientific subjects to a general audience in an entertaining manner.
- ATYN’s Life Drawing Sessions – All The Young Nudes is launching a weekly life drawing session, running for two hours. The sessions are available to everyone anywhere in the world, with one starting at 8pm every Monday and the other at 7pm every Tuesday. There is a small fee of £6 to support the models and the organisers.
- Free learning from the Open University.
- How about learning sign language? The School of Sign Language are doing free online lessons, check it out here.
- Free digital and numeracy courses to build your skills. Click here.
Starting today, kids everywhere can instantly stream an incredible collection of stories, including titles across six different languages, that will help them continue dreaming, learning, and just being kids.
All stories are free to stream on your desktop, laptop, phone or tablet.
Explore the collection, select a title and start listening here.
- Concerts online – Various concerts held without audiences to stream online for people having to stay at home – list of live streaming concerts
- Free Opera – Dates confirmed until the end of March. Check the website via the link for future dates to be added
- Free classical orchestras – Live streaming performances
- Free Chamber music – Live streaming
- Berlin Philharmonic orchestra – Live streams and performance archive
- Announcements/lists – of worldwide performances being streamed
- Livestream concerts list – artists and bands
- Bands and artists – streaming performances
- Full-length concerts – watch online free
- Celebrities performing on social media
- J P Brewer – View classic paintings online
- Walter’s Museum – houses the highest artistic achievements from nearly every corner of the world. View some of the past, present, and future exhibitions
- Google Arts and culture – Learn something new every day!
- British Museum – Free videos
- BBC Radio 4 – The History of the world – podcasts
- 50 things that made modern economy – Podcasts
- Gutenburg – Download free books, e.g. Shakespear, Edgar Allen Poe, Frankenstein, etc.
- Solomon Kingsnorth – Books in PDF, Word and audiobook format – Alice in Wonderland / Wind in the Willows / The Railway Children / The Jungle Book / Peter Pan / Black Beauty
- Read great literature online – Free Ebooks, poetry, classic literature
- Read Free Literature – also includes study guides
- 50,000 free ebooks – arranged by genre
- Open Library Access – Free
Scott is a magician with 20 years experience and he very kindly sent us this video which has around 8 great tricks you can learn.
If you have kids, the best way to use this would be to:
Watch trick and pause.
Try to guess how it’s done then watch secret.
Then get stuff they need and practice.
For more about Scott check out his website here: https://scotlandsmagician.com/
What are your thoughts on what to do when bored?
Do you have a favorite among the suggestions? Or, do you have other tips on what to do when you’re bored? We’d love to hear about them. Please feel free to get in touch.
But no matter what, just remember that you can use your time wisely by focusing on activities that can enrich your mind, body, or soul.