Wondering how to kill boredom when you’re stuck inside? Read on for some great ideas!
By Diane Small
Whether it’s due to poor weather, illness, or these days, quarantine, all of us get stuck indoors at some point in our lives.
For some, it’s a gift. It’s a chance to finish reading that book they’ve been meaning to dedicate time to. It’s also a great opportunity to connect with loved ones and play with pets more.
But what if you’re stuck inside for a really long time? Or worse – what if you’re stuck inside all by yourself?
That can be really isolating, boring, and even downright depressing. In fact, according to a 2018 national survey by Cigna, nearly half of 20,000 U.S. adults reporting they sometimes or always feel lonely and down – and that’s not even when they’re forced to stay inside.
Boredom is another threat to mental health. Psych Central says that for some, spare time means more opportunity to worry and over-analyse things that happen. This is common among anxiety sufferers, but for many of us in times of crisis, when we have too much time on our hands, troubling ideas can manifest themselves in any number of ways. Which is why I think it’s important that we have something to do.
Whether you’re stuck inside alone or with your family or friends, here are a few ways to kill boredom – and keep you feeling positive!
10+ Ways To Stop Boredom When You’re Stuck Inside
1. Plan a big movie night
Ok, so you’ve been glued to Netflix for days. Great! But why not try moving away from modern movie fare and try something different instead? You could watch one of these free documentaries on fashion, or maybe make a point of seeing some classic films that are still super-relevant today. For example? Some of my personal favourites are Chinatown, Network, Casablanca and The Shining. They may be almost 50 years old (or over!), but they still pack an emotional and intellectual punch. Get the popcorn ready, cosy up under a blanket, and enjoy!
2. Polish your cooking skills
Forget about ordering in: there’s really no excuse for not conjuring up your own grub. If you’re a novice cook, think about what you love to eat most (i.e. what do you usually order?) and look up a recipe for that. If you’re quite experienced in the kitchen, think about what you love to eat, but never dared to cook for yourself (as you thought it was too complicated, maybe), and give it a shot.
If you really miss travelling, why not whip up a delicious Pad Thai, or prepare a Greek salad? Even if you’re stuck inside, you can take your tastebuds on a trip around the world with recipes like these.
3. Learn how to meditate
Being stuck inside offers the perfect opportunity to slow down and reconnect to yourself. If you already know how to meditate – great! This is perfect situation for really putting some time aside for yourself. If you don’t know how, just click here for a few simple guidelines. It’s easier than you think! And in stressful times, meditation is the perfect antidote.
4. Update your skills with free online courses
Let’s get back to some more serious business. Maybe this is the perfect time to revive your career, or just learn something new. The valuable extra time you have when stuck inside brings you the opportunity to get up to speed with topics you’ve always been curious about, but never got the chance to dive into. Online courses like these offer anything from coding and graphic design classes, to courses on how to manage finances, allowing you to enrich your knowledge and improve your mind.
5. Tend to some plants
Being inside all the time means many of us really miss connecting with nature. If you have a garden, get out there and dig out the weeds, or take some cuttings of what you have to grow even more plants. Not got your own outdoor space? Buy some packets of seeds for growing smaller plants indoors, like parsley, lettuce, rosemary or mint. I promise your food will taste ten times better when you have the satisfaction of growing it yourself – and there’s something very warming about watching a plant grow! Here are some tips to get you started.
6. Learn how to stay fit at home
As if motivating ourselves to actually use our gym memberships wasn’t enough, when you’re confined to your house for whatever reason, staying in shape may not seem like the easiest thing to do. But if you’re struggling to motivate yourself, fear not as there are also plenty of apps, online resources and YouTube channels providing you with all you need to do your favorite exercises at home.
Why not take part in a 30 day yoga challenge online, or subscribe to an affordable fitness app like Shreddy, which has a home workout option, and comes complete with video tutorials and meal plans to guide you through your fitness journey. No excuses!
7. Master your own cocktails
Now that all bars and restaurants are closed, it’s really time to learn how to make that Margarita or Caipirinha all by yourself. You have the luxury that at home, you manage to make your surroundings cosy and ideal for an evening spent sipping on a delicious Mojito. Put on your favourite tunes, relax, and check out these recipes to get you started. Cheers!
8. Have an online cocktail party
Now that you know how to make your own tipples, tell your friends to prep themselves their favourite beverage, and get on a group Skype call. Catch up on news, gossip, and of course, swap cocktail recipes!
9. Improve your musical talents
Do you have a keyboard or piano in your house that’s mainly taking up space, or serving as interior decoration? Wipe off the cobwebs and get practicing! If you haven’t already learned an instrument, you can try to teach yourself, or check out YouTube tutorials for whatever instrument you’d like to master.
10. Declutter and donate
Most of us are guilty of hoarding items over the years – but now is the time to go through it all! Whether it’s old papers and expired bank cards, or clothes and shoes that are stuffing up your closets, decide what you want to do with it. Old papers should be recycled, of course, and old clothing can be donated to women’s or homeless shelters, who will be more than happy to take it!
11. Re-decorate your home
Now that you’re sitting at home more than usual, you might find yourself getting tired of your room arrangements pretty quickly. Time to turn it all around! Maybe you already have some paint at home, ready to to bring some new colour to your walls? Or perhaps you’d just like to re-paint that tired old desk in the living room? It’s easier than you think. Here are a few ideas to get you started. Get creative!
12. Visit a museum
Yes, really! Virtually, that is. Google Arts and Culture has partnered with more than 2,500 museums and galleries around the world in order to offer virtual tours and online displays of their collections to internet surfers. The “tours” allow users to wander through the interiors of the world’s most famous museums similarly to the Google Street View feature. Users can also download Google’s free Arts and Culture iOS or Android app for a much more immersive museum experience.
13. Play a game
Remember back when you were a kid? You probably loved playing games like Scrabble, Monopoly, Life, Risk, Jenga and other classics. Why not order one of these board games on Amazon and brush up your strategies, if you’re locked inside with others? If you’re on your own, there’s always my personal favourite: Words With Friends! But you can also download apps that allow you to play chess and other games with other people online, too.
14. Get entrepreneurial
Why not make some extra dosh while you’re inside? You can sell stuff on eBay, Facebook marketplace or wherever else makes sense in your region. Declutter your closet and/or house and see what sells, or maybe take up a new hobby like knitting, macrame, or crochet, and create an Etsy page. Alternatively, you could sign up with an online language school to teach foreigners English through conversation, for example. You’ve got nothing to lose!
Do you have any of your own tips on how to kill boredom? Share them in the comments section below!