Overcoming boredom when you’re used to being busy is tough.
If you’re someone who is always on the go, staying still (or at home) 24/7 isn’t ideal. But it’s where we’re at currently given the travel bans and stay-at-home orders. With all this extra time on our hands, it’s time to get creative and be productive.
As hard as it is, there is a bright side to all this time at home.
It’s making us reflect on simpler times. It’s also making most of us face the myriad of productive projects we now have all the time in the world to get done.
Whether it’s your spouse, your friend, yourself, or your kids saying, “I’m so bored!” never fear. Below you’ll find a list of ways to overcome boredom that will literally keep you busy for days.
Ready to get started?
Here’s a list of ways to stay productive while in quarantine that are good for your mind, body, and to-do list.
Activities to Improve Physical Spaces
Organize your closet – If your closet is unorganized and stuffed full of clothes, take the time to straighten it out. Toss stained or torn clothing. Create a donation pile for items you no longer use. Organize what you’ll keep in your remaining space.
Clean out your garage/attic – This is likely more than a one-day project. But if you’re stuck at home with nothing to do, it’s a great way to minimize excess junk you’ve been collecting for years. It’ll lighten your load for your next PCS move, too.
Organize family photos – If you have paper photos, organize them into photo boxes or albums. Prefer digital? Take an afternoon to scan them and digitally organize them or create a photo book.
Deep clean your house – Tired of looking at dusty ceiling fans? Now is the time to get all your deep spring cleaning done. Go room by room and deep clean each one from top to bottom. Yep, go after the baseboards, too.
Get rid of old paperwork – Paperwork has this magical ability to accumulate in the weirdest places. Now is the time to get rid of old bank statements, car insurance forms, explanation of benefits paperwork, etc. Most of it you can find online now, anyway.
Go through your junk drawer – Most every household has a junk drawer. It’s time to check out what’s lurking in this catchall drawer. Toss out all your old batteries, random paperclips, restaurant menus, etc.
Organize your pantry – If you’re home a lot more, you’re probably going to your pantry for snacks a lot more, too. Take some time to throw out expired goods and rearrange it for more efficiency.
Rearrange your furniture – This is for the day you get really bored and you need some major excitement and physical activity in your life. Changing up your daily set-up can improve the room lighting and open up space.
Activities to Clear Out Mental Space
Talk to a friend – With social distancing and self-quarantines, it’s normal to miss your social life. Take the time to call or FaceTime with friends you haven’t seen in a while.
Do art therapy – Art can be quite therapeutic, especially in times of stress. Consider picking up a new art skill or continuing your old love of the arts. YouTube has tons of videos covering drawing, painting, graphic design, and more.
Read a book – When was the last time you got lost in a really good book? Check out your bookshelf or digitally borrow one from your local library system. You can even set up a reading challenge among friends to see who finishes the most books before summer.
Journal – When you’re going through a challenging time, it can be helpful to journal about your emotions. It relieves stress and helps keep your thoughts organized. Both children and adults can benefit from journaling, according to the Positive Psychology website.
Meditate – Learning to sit quietly and calm the mind is a challenge. For those who can sit and meditate, the benefits are huge. Regular meditation can reduce anxiety, expand your attention span, and reduce stress.
Create a Facebook community page – If you’re craving social interaction, consider creating your own social community. We’re social creatures, so it’s important to have those personal interactions daily. You can set one up for your neighborhood or just a general one for staying sane as this Army wife did.
Good For Your Body Activities
Plant a garden – Not only do you beautify your property when you garden, but it’s also great for your health. Research shows gardening is a solid form of exercise and working in the soil can reduce anxiety.
Take a walk – When you’ve been cooped up in the house for days, cabin fever feels very real. Schedule times to get outside and go for a walk by yourself or with your family. Fresh air is excellent for your lungs and outdoor time is good for your mental health.
Stretch – If you’ve been doing too much binge-watching of your favorite shows, get up and stretch. You can stretch anywhere in your house to relieve back pain, improve your posture, and increase your energy levels.
Exercise – Health experts all agree that moving your body is a good thing. When you do so, it releases feel-good hormones that stave off depression and anxiety. Any activity that gets your heart rate up is good exercise.
Miscellaneous Activities for Overcoming Boredom
Send a letter to your service member – If your service member is deployed or in training, they want to hear from you now more than ever. Reassure them with positive and uplifting letters from home. Here are three letter-writing tips to ease their fears about Coronavirus, too.
Write a letter to your Congressman – Politicians need to hear from their constituents. If you have some ideas or insights you feel your local representative or Congressman needs to know about, send them a letter. Find your Congressman’s contact information here.
Update your resume – If you’ve been recently laid-off, you may want to spend this time spiffing up your resume and looking into a new career. As a military spouse, you also have access to free career resources. Start using them!
Take advantage of free training – Companies and universities everywhere are offering free training to bored individuals. Whatever your interest, just Google it + free certifications. From marketing courses to business courses and everything in-between, you can earn some incredible resume fillers.
Do a digital clean-up – Is your computer desktop looking like a scrambled mess? Organize it and discard items that you no longer need into your digital trash. This is also the perfect time to go through your 5,000 unread emails, too.
How You Overcome Boredom is Up to You
If you’re going to be in isolation, you might as well be productive while you’re at it. This massive list of ideas is a starting point. There are plenty of ways to overcome boredom that can improve your lifestyle while you’re in quarantine. Organized rooms, a clean house, new certifications to add to your resume…
…the list goes on.
This current global situation is one that no of us saw coming. While it may feel overwhelming and stressful at times, there is a positive to it as well — more family bonding time, extra opportunities to learn, and more.
You can sit and Netflix your extra time away (which is totally fine for those lazy Sundays, right?), but you can also spend a whole lot of time working on projects you’ve been putting off forever.
The choice is always yours!
How do you plan to make the most of your time while in lockdown mode? Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear how you’re being positive and productive!
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