Feeling bored at home? Not sure how to pass your time? Boredom can make your mind blank and drain all your energy making you feel ‘blah’. Here are some fun activities to lift your mood.
Boredom is… Boring!
When you’re alone and don’t have much to do at home, it is normal to feel bored and frustrated. As you find yourself running out of things to do around the house, feeling bored can quickly become tortuous. Killing time becomes a real challenge and it seems like your mind has gone completely blank. You don’t find the energy to do anything and you procrastinate everything. It starts to affect your mood as you feel more fidgety, anxious and agitated by being stuck at home with limited resources.
Boredom “is a deeply unpleasant state of “unmet arousal: you are aroused rather than despondent, but, for one or more reasons, your arousal cannot be met or directed,” says Neel Burton M.D.
Moreover, it “may trigger frustration or potentially depressed feelings, depending on task autonomy,” revealed a 2018 study. It is a feeling of dissatisfaction and frustration which makes you feel empty inside.
When you feel extremely bored at home, it can lead to physical symptoms like exhaustion and fatigue. Neel adds “People prone to boredom are also prone to mental disorders such as depression, overeating, substance misuse and dependence, and gambling.”
What to do when you’re bored at home
“The best cure for boredom is to make sure you have regular new challenges and interesting things to do so one incident won’t throw you off too much,” explains Marcia Reynolds Psy.D. If you find yourself extremely bored at home and can’t think of anything to kill time, then here are some fun, productive and creative ideas for you to counter boredom when stuck at home:
1. Learn something new
When you can’t find anything to do, then the best thing you can do is learn a new skill or a language. Although you may be an expert in your own field of interest that doesn’t mean there isn’t something you want to learn. There are a lot of areas that you can expand your knowledge about and gain mastery for both professional and personal development. There are a number of platforms that offer free online courses and help you learn something new. Some leading online learning platforms include:
Yes, you’ve heard it before. And yes, you really need to get started now. Don’t let boredom make you lazy and unhealthy. Now that you have some time in your hands, you can use this time to start working out at home. You can do some body-weight training, cardio or even Zumba. In a Forbes article, Heather R Morgan writes “You don’t need the gym to do exercise. Squats and ab workouts can be done without any equipment almost anywhere. Cans of food can become weights if you don’t have workout equipment. It’s so important to keep exercising to keep your immune system strong, especially if you’re not leaving the house to stretch your legs.”
3. Clean your house
When you are trapped at home with a lot of time to kill, then cleaning your house can not only be practical and hygienic, it can also make you feel satisfied and accomplished. Instead of regular cleaning, opt for a full deep cleaning of your house. Clean all your rooms, organize the fridge, clean out the kitchen and bathrooms, declutter your space, manage overflowing cupboards and closets. Do everything you can to make sure your home is free from dirt, pests, bacteria and viruses.
4. Watch TED Talk videos
TED talks are an excellent way to spend your time when stuck at home. TED talks are insightful and enlightening video lectures on various topics from global leaders and experts posted by TED (technology, entertainment, design). These videos can not only expand your knowledge but help you realize a lot of things about yourself and your life on a personal level.
5. Stay updated on recent events
Make sure you keep yourself updated on all the recent happenings from around the world by watching the news on the TV or online. You can also read newspapers for the latest occurrences to stay up to date. In this situation, it is crucial that you keep watching the news at regular intervals. However, make sure to limit your exposure to the media as it can make you feel anxious and stressed when overexposed to it.
6. Solve a puzzle or play a board game
Putting together a big complicated puzzle can be a really fun yet stimulating activity when dealing with boredom. Moreover, you can also play with board games like Monopoly or Chutes N Ladders with your family, roommates or simply by yourself. Playing indoor games is a great way to pass your time when bored.
7. Video games or mobile games
What can be a better time to get addicted to your Xbox or PlayStation than when you are stuck at home? You can also bring out your old console or PC games to have a fun time by yourself or with your family. In case, you don’t own a gaming console, then your smartphone can also be a great alternative for spending hours enjoying high-end mobile games.
8. Improve your cooking skills
If you find yourself struggling when it comes to cooking, this is the perfect time to brush up on your cooking skills. Simply go online and try out any recipe you feel comfortable with. Although it may not taste amazing the first time, make sure you keep practicing to get better. If you are already great at cooking tasty dishes, then you can try out some new recipes to treat yourself and your family. You can also bake some cakes, cupcakes and cookies to add some sweetness to your life.
9. Watch your favorite movies
Movie therapy is a great tool to boost your mood and improve your mental health. Studies have found that “movies can be an important, positive, and productive means of treatment and teaching.” So watching your favorite movies can help you alleviate your stress, frustration and anxiety. The perspectives of different characters in the movies can help you gain a new outlook towards life and help you deal better with boredom.
10. Listen to music
Just like watching your favorite movies, listening to your favorite music can also be beneficial for your mood and mental health. Music therapy can be highly therapeutic and can immediately put you in a better mood and make you feel a lot better emotionally. According to a 2013 study, listening to music can “beneficially impact health via stress-reducing effects.”
The study found that “music listening impacted the psychobiological stress system. Listening to music prior to a standardized stressor predominantly affected the autonomic nervous system (in terms of a faster recovery), and to a lesser degree the endocrine and psychological stress response.” So plug in your headphones and listen to your favorite tracks to relax your mind. You can also sing along to release some endorphins and feel even better.
11. Get creative
Do you like painting, sketching, writing or making crafts? Then this is the best time to get creative. Engaging in creative activities will not only enable you to use your time productively, it will also give you a sense of accomplishment and elevate your mood. If you find yourself lacking the resources or supplies, you can choose to make art or write online. Heather explains “Just about any digital device today has software for you to doodle your heart out. Art is a great way to keep our spirits uplifted; be sure to share the art you’re making with friends and other people online, as you never know what might inspire them and make their day better.”
There are innumerable benefits of meditation and the list of reasons why you should meditate will be a really long one. If you have meditated before, you know how amazing it makes you feel mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Now is the perfect time to catch up on your meditative practices and experience the beneficial effects once again. In case you are new to meditation, this is the perfect time to get started.
A simple 10 minute routine can help you a lot and make you feel a lot more self aware and peaceful. Heather adds “Life has been going by so fast, but sometimes we need to pause and reflect. Take this as an opportunity to do so and appreciate all the positives.”
13. Listen to podcasts, audiobooks and audio stories
If boredom is getting the best of you, then it’s about time to introduce yourself to the amazing world of podcasts. These are not only entertaining but highly educational and informative as well. With innumerable genres and options, you can find yourself entertained for hours while listening to a podcast. You can also download an audiobook and listen to your favorite stories and novels or a book that you always wanted to read. You can also listen to free audio stories online to spend time. There are also tons of audio story channels on YouTube.
14. Connect with friends and family
Our family and closest friends are always a phone call away. So when you feel that boredom is setting in, pick up your smartphone and call them. This is also a great opportunity to reconnect with friends you’ve lost touch with. You can also opt for video calls to experience a strong connection and the joy of seeing your loved ones in front of you virtually. So just call your friends and talk about anything and everything.
15. Change your decor
Being in a new environment can often be a great idea to deal with boredom. And that can be done with something as simple as changing your décor. Move your furniture around to give your bedroom, living room, kitchen and even your bathroom a new look and a drastically different appearance. Rearranging the furniture just a bit can make you feel a lot fresher when stuck at home.
16. Create a bucket list
Create a list of things that you wish to do and accomplish by a certain period of time. You can put anything and everything on your wish list that you fancy. Add your goals, travel plans, things you want to buy, career goals, skills you want to learn, or anything you wish. This list can be exceptionally helpful in the future as it will motivate you to pursue your dreams.
17. Become a YouTube vlogger
If you feel comfortable in front of a camera and can express yourself effectively through your words, then starting your own vlog can be an excellent remedy to cope with boredom. Simply find the topics you are interested in and feel most comfortable with and start shooting with your smartphone. Once you are done, you can edit it on any video editing app and upload it on YouTube. Your videos just might go viral and you might become the next YouTube star.
18. Spend time with your pets
What can be a better time to spend more time with our furry friends than when you are bored at home. Let’s face it, if you have a pet, you know they are more than that. They are our closest friends and a member of our family. They make us feel happier and give unconditional love. So if you feel bored, then playing with your friend is all you need. Teach them a new trick, give them a bath, make funny videos with them, do anything you like. And the best part is your pet would love to spend time with you.
Also read: Can Pets Cure Us Of Our Illnesses?
19. Get some sun
If you have a backyard, balcony or terrace, then step outside for a while and get some fresh air. Getting a bit of sun is good for your health. You can use this time to observe the nature and environment around you to refresh your mood. You can also choose to camp in your backyard with your family and kids and have some good fun.
20. Organize your phone and gadgets
Ensure that your phone is up to date by updating the latest operating system and upgrading all the apps. You can also organize the apps on your phone properly and delete the ones that you don’t use. Clear space up on your phone by deleting repetitive and unnecessary media and files like images, videos and texts. This can free up a lot of space on your phone and make it faster and more effective. You can also do the same with your computer.
21. Try origami
Origami is a super fun activity that requires you to be creative, analytical and patient. Although it may be a little hard to get started, once you learn the basics origami can be an excellent way to pass your time.
22. Netflix, YouTube & the like
Binging on your favorite shows on Netflix or watching funny videos and vlogs on YouTube is also a great way to deal with boredom and lift your mood. There are tons of amazing Youtubers that create funny and entertaining videos that you can spend hours watching. Moreover, Netflix has a mind-boggling collection of shows and movies that can entertain you for days and weeks.
Forbes writer Heather R Morgan explains “Sometimes we do need to watch a show or movie and just chill, especially if we’re sick and need rest. I would really encourage people to try watching some independent films, which can broaden our horizons and give new perspectives.”
23. Get a makeover
Being bored at home is a great reason to give yourself a makeover and completely change your look. Read up some articles on a makeover in magazines or online and think of a look that will suit your appearance and personality. It can be anything from changing your hairstyle, wearing your clothes differently to improve your attitude.
24. Organize your social media profiles
Now that you have a lot of time in your hands, it’s about time you did some spring cleaning for your social media profiles and upped your game. Delete old statuses, images or videos that are no longer relevant or seem inappropriate to you. You can also clean your friend’s list by removing haters or people who are only there to keep an eye on you.
When you feel bored at home, dance. Put on the grooviest music you can find and dance your heart out. Dancing is a great way to get your blood pumping and boost your mood. You can also choose to learn some new steps from online tutorials and choreograph your own dance routine. Dancing is extremely fun and a great boredom killer.
Heather R Morgan says “Dancing is a great way to exercise, and all you need is some music to dance. You can always dance by yourself, but some of my friends have been using social platforms and even Zoom video conferencing software to have remote dance parties on the weekend while they’re stuck at home,” in a Forbes article.
Also read: How Dance Can Improve Your Self-Confidence
Want more? Here are 50+ tips to help you deal with boredom and spend your time when you feel bored at home:
- Read a new book
- Plan your next trip
- Go stargazing
- Watch some sports
- Watch old videos of your partner or ex
- Start journaling
- Update your resume
- Create a personalized photo album
- Clean up and organize your emails
- Enjoy a relaxing bubble bath
- Start writing blogs
- Plan how you can save and earn more money
- Do your laundry
- Write online reviews on your favorite sites and apps
- Practice yoga
- Do a photoshoot and take killer selfies
- Watch the sunrise and sunset
- Study your city’s map
- Check out interesting articles online
- Write a short story or a novel
- Make your personal website
- Check out Wikipedia
- Create wall art
- Make popsicles in your home
- Put together a care package for your friends and family
- Upgrade your skin care routine
- Give yourself a pedicure and manicure
- Take some cool photographs
- Learn poetry and recite them
- Make list of your favorite quotes
- Understand your purpose and the meaning of life
- Use old newspaper to make paper hats
- Learn how to pick locks
- Make a collage with your favorite photos
- Start gardening
- Create a vision board
- Make an online dating profile
- Make new friends online
- Learn about your dream careers
- Plan for your future finances
- Paint your own self-portrait
- Learn to play a musical instrument
- Trace your family tree and ancestry
- Build a time capsule
- Learn keyboard shortcuts
- Wash your car
- Learn about ventriloquism
- Create a gratitude list
- Try DIY Crafts
- Take online personality quizzes
- Treat yourself
Also read: What To Do When You Are Bored At Home
Boredom can be good for you
Boredom is not all bad. Despite its many drawbacks, being bored at home can actually be good for your brain as it can help reduce stress and anxiety, believes bestselling author N.A. Turner. Prof. Enticott of Deakin University explains that feeling bored leads to the “activation of areas linked to negative emotions like fear and disgust. But we also see activation within various regions of the prefrontal cortex, which is largely responsible for our planned, goal-directed behavior.” Prof. Enticott believes that feeling bored is just like experiencing other negative emotions, “it motivates our behavior. It’s a way of keeping us on our toes, and aware of what’s going on around us.”
According to a 2013 study, feeling boredom “plays a valuable role in human goal pursuit.” The study adds that it “is a discrete functional emotion, and serves to encourage people to seek new goals and experiences.” Another 2014 study revealed that it is “a state that monitors and regulates our behavior. It informs us when we are out of tune with our interests, and, on account of its aversive character, motivates us to engage in situations that are perceived by us as fulfilling or meaningful. Boredom is important. It safeguards us from emotional traps and long-term dullness.”
However, it doesn’t mean that you have to feel bored and ‘blah’ every time you are at home. The important thing is that when we feel empty inside, we need to pursue things that make us feel satisfied and fulfilled.
Also read: Mental Health Benefits Of Boredom
Fight boredom and be productive
Now that you know boredom can actually be good for you, make sure you use all this time productively. By using this time smartly, you can focus on your own personal development and have some relaxing downtime.
The tips mentioned in this article will enable you to make the most of your time when you feel bored at home and engage in some exciting activities. So go ahead and use your time wisely to empower your mind, body and soul. And don’t forget to have fun.