From Good Housekeeping
Let us guess: you’ve run through all the best movies on Netflix, you find yourself pacing between the fridge and the couch — and the walls start to feel a little closer than they were before. The dreaded boredom has sunk in. Well, one things is for sure — you’re not alone! Everyone is adjusting a life that may mean (for now) forgoing your usual go-to activities. But that certainly doesn’t mean you’re doomed to boredom for the foreseeable future, it just means that you have to get a little creative. Instead of sitting around on your phone getting lost in the news and social media, pivot to some fun things you can do at home or in your own backyard. We’ve rounded up the best things to when you’re bored, depending on your mood. From board games and self care to indoor gardening and organizing, these exciting activities will keep you entertained no matter how long you’re stuck inside.
Fun activities to do when stuck inside
Play an instrument. If you don’t know how, this is the perfect time to learn how to play your favorite tune on the piano or guitar.
Write a short story. Or any essay. Or a play — anything that’s out of your comfort zone.
Do a deep dive on a subject that interests you. If you find yourself continuously drawn to a specific subject like World War II history or the animals of Amazon rainforest, set up a queue of documentaries, articles, or books on the topic to check out one evening. We promise you’ll feel much smarter afterwards.
Fill out a crossword puzzle. Anything activity that will make you feel so much smarter afterwards! Go solo, or ask your family for help if you find yourself particularly stumped by a certain clue.
Try Origami. It’s harder than it looks, but there are plenty of online tutorials to give you a hand.
Play a board game. Turn off the TV and challenge the family to a board game. Introduce the kids to a classic like Chutes N Ladders or Monopoly, or try a newer one like Settlers of Catan that you can all learn together.
Put together an epic puzzle. When you’ve got lots of time on your hands, get your hands busy. It’ll take your mind off boredom, and completing a big puzzle feels great.
Watch a rom-com marathon. We’ll admit it, romantic comedies have stolen our hearts.
Sing along to some Disney songs. Get your endorphins flowing by taking it back to childhood. Belt out your favorite musical hits from Disney movies!
Plan your next getaway. Don’t just daydream about getting away from it all. Do one better and actually look up plane tickets and hotel rooms.
Build a fort. Kids know this already: The couch cushions or a few chairs and blankets make an awesome wonderland. Embrace your inner child, or let your kids show you the way.
Get a workout in. You don’t need a gym membership to sweat it out. Pull on your favorite leggings, choose a workout app, and get your blood moving.
Write a letter. In the age of text messages and FaceTime, we don’t write out our feelings in long form. Get out some nice paper and spread some love to a friend or family member.
Watch a sports game. No sports on TV? Queue up some classic old games.
Call a friend. If you’re usually a text person, pick up the phone or video call a faraway friend. The extra connection really makes you feel closer.
Watch a performance. Instead of turning on Netflix, watch an online opera, ballet, or symphony.
Learn a new language. Thanks to apps like Duolingo, you can stretch your mental muscles wherever you are.
Watch a movie solo. Getting whatever snacks you crave, hoarding the couch, and laughing or crying as loud as you want: Movies make an excellent date for one.
Have a dance party. Turn on some tunes and get those socks hoppin’. Throw it back with oldies from your glory days or find some hot new stuff to shake your booty.
Learn a dance. Download the Tik Tok app and challenge yourself to learn one of the trending dances everyone is doing.
Play a video game. If you don’t have a gaming console, try some of the fun new games that are added to the app store on your phone every day.
Creative things to do indoors
Tie-dye an outfit. Who doesn’t love a craft you can wear (if you don’t know where to begin, check out our step-by-step guide for beginners!)
Paint a picture. Unwind with a DIY sip and paint — there are so many beginner’s painting tutorials on YouTube. Plus, you can get a solid set of water colors for under $10.
Start scrap-booking. Relive your favorite childhood vacations and memories as you paste them together in a fun, personalized photo album.
Make jewelry that matches your style. With the right DIY jewelry kit, it’s unbelievably easy.
Learn a how to do new hairstyle. We’d save anything involving scissors for the professionals, but French braids, half-up ponytails, and space buns are all super easy to master.
Start a new book. If you’ve run through your TV queue, go analog. Try one of the best books of the year to transport yourself to another world.
Download an audiobook. If you can’t get out to the bookstore or want to lighten your load, try audiobooks for listening on the go. The best of the best will make the hours fly by.
Listen to a new podcast. If you’ve never tried podcasts, you’re in for a treat. From true crime to comedy, there are endless options to choose from.
Try a coloring app. Adult coloring books are available in-stores and in mobile app stores, so no need to head to the store. Colorfy and Happy Color will help you get creative without any supplies needed.
Make a custom photo book. You don’t need the talent of Michaelangelo to create a memorable photo book. A variety of online services can help you collect your photos into a beautiful keepsake.
Change up your décor. From the bedroom to living room to kitchen, we have countless ideas to help give your home a quick and easy makeover. Even just rearranging your furniture a little will feel fresh.
Make some wall art. You don’t need to be a master painter to DIY some of these fabulous wall decor ideas.
Try a new recipe. Stop opening and closing the fridge hoping new snacks will magically appear. Take matters into your own hand and make your own tasty dish.
Bake cookies. Choose a healthy cookie recipe so you can feel good every time you reach for one.
Make homemade ice cream. Give Ben & Jerry a run for their money and beat boredom. Simply combine a few ingredients in an ice cream maker and you’ll be in awe.
Work on your wish list. Go ahead, dream big for the next holiday. Put together a wish list of items (or experiences) you have your eye on, so you’ll never be caught off guard.
Become a YouTube star. Pretend you’re Julia Child and film your own cooking show, or teach the camera how to DIY a craft or organization technique. The lifestyle of the rich and famous awaits.
Put together a care package. Take the focus off your own predicament by making a friend or family member feel extra special. Mail them a package full of their favorite things, perhaps with a theme like self-care.
Indoor stress-relief activities
Make a gratitude list. It’s easy to get caught up in all the bad news, but writing and reflecting on all of the good in your life should help you balance the equation.
Unplug your devices. Endless scrolling on social media can certainly take a toll on your mental health. Break free from the temptation by giving yourself an hour a day were you turn your phone off.
Do a random act of kindness. Whether it’s as simple as a paying for coffee of the person standing behind you in line or picking up your partner’s favorite ice cream, it feels good to pay it forward.
Give knitting a try. There’s a reason this craft is a favorite — many find the repetitive motion very calming.
Head outside. Even if it’s just to check the mail or take your dog out, a change of scenery can be much needed when you work from home.
Paint your nails. Create an at-home spa experience with a mani-pedi. Choose a trending summer hue, add an interesting design, and finish it off with a shiny top coat.
Take a bubble bath. Embrace your free time with a mountain of bubbles and a few drops of essential oils. Bring a good book in there with you, if you don’t mind it getting a tad damp.
Do a face mask. For a quick pick-me-up, apply a nourishing face mask. You can choose one to target a number of issues, including dry skin, acne, or to brighten up a dull complexion. Whatever ails you, there’s a mask for that.
Start journaling. Time will fly by as you jot down your thoughts in a journal. If you want to go even deeper, venture into the artistic world of bullet journals.
Listen to a meditation video. When your mind starts to spiral, turn it inward. Meditation videos can easily guide you through mindful exercises and techniques to reach inner peace.
Try living room yoga. In addition to strengthening your whole body, yoga helps center your mind. You can do it at home with no equipment using a free app, too.
Do Zumba. There’s something about this structured dance party that is sure to lift your spirits.
Organizing activities to pass time
Straighten up your junk drawer. That drawer or space where you put everything you don’t know where else to put? That drawer could probably use a little organization.
Move around your furniture. You’d be surprised how different your room could look with a few of your pieces of furniture swapped around, it’s like a room renovation with a $0 budget.
Meal prep for the week. Fans of this meal planning method say that it’s helped them lose weight and eat healthier in the long run.
Clean out your attic. Or your basement. Or your crawl space — or where ever you keep the boxes of stuff you’ll never use again.
Clean your dishwasher. Did you know that your dishwasher has a filter? And that you should be cleaning it regularly? It’s actually really satisfying watching the debris rinse of your filter — and it will make sure your dishes are as clean as possible after every wash.
Scour your whole house. When we get bored, we often feel helpless. But tackling even the simplest task, like doing the dishes, can boost your mood immediately. Start with these easy cleaning tips or try a full schedule to tackle every inch of the house.
Shine the windows. You’ll be amazed how much brighter things look with sparkling clean windows. Let the sunshine in with these tips for the best results.
Wash your makeup brushes. When was the last time you cleaned all of your makeup tools? Yes, even your ride-or-die Beautyblender could use a scrub. Your skin will thank you.
Sort through your purses. As the seasons change, so do our handbags. While switching between bags, we all leave stuff in the bottom (receipts, gum wrappers, pens, etc). Clean out your purses and you just might find that lost lipstick – or at least some spare change.
Clean out your closet. Go through your clothes to rediscover some old favs. If you haven’t worn it in the past year, consider posting it on a clothing resale app so it can find a new home.
Organize your kitchen. Already mastered the KonMari Method? You’re ready to dive into the wonderful world of drawer and cabinet organizers. Please hold the applause.
Refresh your mantel. Make the most out of your fireplace by thoughtfully decorating the mantel for the season. Rotate in a fresh crop of family photos or add a pop of color with fresh or silk flowers.
Spruce up your outdoor space. Out of sight, out of mind, but outdoor spaces also deserve a little TLC.
Spot-treat your white shoes. White shoes pretty much go with every outfit, but only if they stay that way. Making your Converse or Vans look like new is oh-so-satisfying.
Shop for new essentials. Whether you need to stock up on more cleaning products or your bed is ready for new sheets, grab a notepad or your Notes app and take a lap around the house to see what you need.
Give an old piece new life. Maybe you’ve got an old chair that never quite fit, or odds n’ ends that could become something else. Go ahead, DIY it.
Tackle a trouble spot. You know that corner that hasn’t been organized since you moved in? Use your free time to fix it.
Outdoor activities to do when you’re bored
Get lost in your home town. Even if you think you know the area that you live in like the back of your hand, there may be a hidden gem or two right under your nose. Do a quick google search for parks, hiking trails, or outdoor spaces near you — your new favorite spot could just be the next town over.
Set up a blanket and go stargazing. You don’t have to wait for a meteor shower, dozens of constellations are visible on an average, clear night.
Go for a jog. Believe it or not, the sights and sounds of the great outdoors are even more beautiful when your endorphins are rushing.
Light a campfire. Just don’t forget the marshmallows for S’mores!
Watch a movie outdoors. With a projector and a couple of blankets, you can change the scenery for your movie night.
Enjoy food outdoors. Take your lunch to the backyard or patio to get a little vitamin D while you indulge. A glass of wine doesn’t hurt either.
Go for a long walk. Plan a route past your favorite landmarks, a local park, or just around the neighborhood. Stop and smell the flowers – literally.
Take your pet to the park. Whether you have a lively dog, an adventurous cat, or even a sweet rabbit, they’ll appreciate a wander with their favorite person.
Start a garden. Roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty in the backyard or even your windowsill, if you don’t have outdoor space. In addition to the de-stressing benefits, all that digging quickly turns into a workout.
Go for a bike ride. Take a tour of your surroundings and get some exercise in by jumping on a bicycle.
Take a drive. You don’t need a destination — just a great playlist and the open road.
Hit the beach. Slather yourself in sunscreen, grab a beach towel, and make your way to the shore for a day of fun in the sun. And don’t be afraid to swing by in the colder months — the crashing waves feel like the picture of zen.
Have a backyard campout. Pitch a tent between your back gardens and see your outdoor space in a whole new way. Or if the weather isn’t cooperating, do the same in your own living room.
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