We’re all spending more time at home, and while it’s nice to not be stuck in traffic or waiting to get into a bar, it’s also frustrating not to enjoy our usual social activities. Hanging out at home every day can get pretty boring. But boredom can be defeated with some creativity and determination.
The science on boredom suggests that it stems from a lack of stimulation, but what one person finds boring, another might find exciting. So the problem is not that we’re stuck at home—it’s that we need to find the right new ways to enjoy ourselves.
Trying new activities can alleviate boredom, but the trick is to be choosy and not overwhelm yourself. Find new activities that are fun or interesting enough to hold your focus. You might even feel grateful for this time to pursue new things. Here are some ideas.
Staying connected with people doesn’t have to mean a video call. If you need a tech break, write a letter or postcard to a loved one. If you’re bored while doing a mindless task like folding laundry, call a friend for a hands-free catch-up.
There are so many languages to choose from—maybe pick one from a place you’d like to travel to when it’s safe again. You can learn from books, audio CDs, DVDs, or a phone app.
If you’ve always dreamed of playing the guitar, painting a landscape, or sewing your own clothes, now’s the time! Second-hand instruments and supplies can often be had for free or cheap through a freecycling group or online classifieds.
While a news break can be good for our mental health, our brains are both stimulated and relaxed by reading about things we find interesting, so pick up some non-fiction or news magazines and settle in. Did you know that reading in a gently swaying hammock can help you relax and absorb information more easily?
Takeout gets expensive, and we all have to eat. Becoming a more proficient cook is fun and challenging, plus you get to eat the results. Can’t get to the fancy bakery? Make a gorgeous cake. Miss fine-dining restaurants? Create your own elegant meals at home.
Good news: You finally have time to get organized! Do the stuff you’ve been putting off: Rearrange the furniture; sort through old photos, alphabetize books or media, reorganize the kitchen or bathroom cabinets, or tackle the basement (eeeek).
While you’re reorganizing, give the house a serious deep-cleaning. Wipe down baseboards and walls, dust chandeliers and ceiling fans, polish the windows, and evict dust bunnies from under the beds.
If you find your home boring, consider redecorating a bit to make it feel fresh. Adding an indoor hammock is a fun, whimsical touch that quickly makes any room feel breezy and welcoming. It’s perfect for napping, reading, or storytime with the kids.
Consider journaling to get all the cranky and anxious thoughts out of your head and down on paper. Find a time of day that works for you and commit to it.
Regular exercise improves both mood and sleep quality, so find something active that you enjoy. Try YouTube, DVDs, remote fitness classes, or a daily walk or run. Stretching is also important to keep you limber after long days spent at a desk.
Music and dancing are near-guaranteed mood improvers. Get the whole family involved: create a playlist, push the furniture out of the way, turn down the lights, roll up the rug, and get your groove on.
If you need some serious relaxation, turn your bathroom into a home spa with candles, soft music, fluffy towels, and fancy bath products. Then take a long bath, do a face mask, or give yourself a mani-pedi.
The world of board games has gotten super diverse and engaging in recent years. If your family is sick of Monopoly and Apples to Apples, pick up some new games to try. If you usually play with friends, virtual gaming platforms can make it a remote party.
Do current events have you feeling anxious? A meditation practice can help you refocus that energy and stay calmer. An indoor hammock is an ideal place to meditate: its gentle rocking works with your body’s vestibular system to reduce spikes in brain activity and help you relax.
If you’ve finished Netflix, don’t despair: There are other options. Try a new streaming service, check out your public library’s selection of DVDs, or trade movies with friends and family. Consider adding a hammock to your TV-watching space for maximum comfort and relaxation.
If you’re feeling lost or stuck, you’re not alone. Writing down your life goals will help you determine how to achieve them. Start with the big goals, then break them into smaller milestones, so you can start accomplishing things right away.
If you don’t love your job or yearn for a change, polish your resume and cover letter and start applying for new positions. It may be a slow time for job listings, but when you see one that appeals, you’ll be ready.
A gratitude journal or practice is a great way to refocus your energy on what’s good in your life, not what’s missing. At the end of each day, write down three things you’re grateful for, or take a moment to thank someone sincerely for something they did for you.
Remember: Boredom is a state of mind, and our minds can be changed. Finding fresh new activities to challenge and stimulate our brains can quickly and easily alleviate feelings of boredom.