Life is crazy right now, which you already know because you’re living it, too. It’s going to take a lot of effort to get through this with our sanity intact, but I know we’re up to the challenge. There are plenty of great posts out there already with ideas to keep you occupied while quarantining or social distancing, but can you ever have too many boredom busters? Try out one of these activities by yourself or with your whole household!
Write a letter to your favorite celebrity telling them how much you appreciate their work.
Celebrity contact information is usually available online somewhere, even if it’s just a social media handle. Let your favorite artist, writer, musician, actor, or maker know how much you appreciate their work and the impact it’s had on your life! Everyone likes to hear nice things about themselves, and most of your favorite famous and almost famous people are stuck inside with nothing to do, too. Just don’t be creepy about it.
Cultivate your green thumb.
It’s springtime, which means it’s the perfect time to start gardening. Whether you propagate plants you already have or plant new ones, whether you tame a plot of land outside or grow herbs or succulents in your kitchen window, tending to growing things can give you a sense of accomplishment and hope. And it’s a good reminder that, like a houseplant, you, too, need water, sunshine, and some tender loving care.
Create your own game show.
Whether you’re quarantining with other people or you compete over video chat, creating and performing in your own reality tv or game show is good for a few laughs and epic memories. You could go the route of Chopped and see who can make the best meal out of ramen noodles, peanut butter, and old packets of Taco Bell hot sauce, or you could challenge your friends to The Newlywed Game or an Epic Rap Battle. You could even create your own bad 90s dating show and see who can come up with the worst contestants. The weirder the better.
Learn a new theory of philosophy or theology.
Check out a digital library book, browse Wikipedia pages, dust off that one book on your shelf somebody gave you years ago and you never got around to reading. With all the craziness going on right now, learning more ways to understand the world can help deepen your empathy and critical thinking skills, or at the very least keep you occupied for a few hours.
Plan a road trip.
Even though we can’t go anywhere at the moment, now is a great time to look to the months ahead and plan out the perfect road trip. Where have you always wanted to visit? What’s the cheapest way to do it? What are the weirdest tourist traps along the way? Giving yourself something to look forward to is a good way to get through the next few weeks, and you’ve now got the time to make your plans absolutely foolproof.
Make a list of the things that make you happy.
Whether you list ten things every day that you’re grateful for or just sit down one day and make a master list of every little thing that brings you joy, taking the time to intentionally focus on the things that brighten your life is good for both your mental and physical health. If you’re comfortable with it, share your list on social media and encourage others to do the same! Intentional positivity is a great step toward a more encouraging and empathetic culture.
Learn a new skill.
YouTube is full of how-to videos, with more and more being offered by both amateurs and respected institutions. Many libraries also offer free resources for learning, and many educational websites are offering discounts right now. So go learn something you’ve always wanted to know how to do but never thought was worth investing the time. Try yodeling or interpretive dance or origami. Or go for something more practical like crocheting or brewing the perfect cup of coffee or even learning a new language. The possibilities are endless!
Clean out your closet.
If you haven’t already compulsively cleaned your house top to bottom, spend a few hours cleaning out your closet. Make piles of what you want to get rid of, what you want to donate, and what you want to keep. Then, instead of throwing out your old clothes, consider how you can upcycle them. Mend or embroider holes, and see if you can turn an old pair of jeans into chic new shorts. Use clothes that are beyond repair for t-shirt yarn, cleaning rags, or scrap fabric. Make scrunchies or headbands. You’ll be amazed at how much you can do with a little creativity and a pair of fabric scissors.
Build a Rube Goldberg Machine.
It’s like the game of Mousetrap, but bigger. And better. A highly impractical machine built out of basic household items made to do a totally inane task. It might teach you a little about physics, and it’ll definitely keep you (and the family!) occupied for a good couple hours. Plus, it makes for great social media content.
Become an amateur archivist.
Many respected institutions are looking for help from everyday people to get through backlogs of document and diary transcriptions or tag scientific images. You get to keep yourself occupied and you get the satisfaction of knowing you’re contributing to history and science. Win win.
Go on a social media positivity campaign.
You’re probably already scrolling through social media, so take that time and do something useful. Make a specific goal for spreading positivity, and do it! Whether that means sharing ten images from your favorite instapoets or artists and telling people to go follow them, or making fifteen encouraging comments on your friends’ posts, or leaving eight five-star reviews on your favorite small businesses, or posting one Bible verse or inspiring quote every day, or something else entirely, take the time you would spend scrolling and stressing and use it to make someone else’s day.
Teach someone something fun.
You’ve got skills! And talents! You’re pretty amazing! Use this time to share one of those skills or talents with another person. Whether you start an Instagram live video, make a YouTube tutorial, or teach a friend or family member one-on-one, now is the perfect time to pass on everything you know.
Make a playlist of all the songs that make you smile.
Or the songs that make you want to dance. Or the ones that remind you of someone you love. Or songs you loved in junior high and haven’t listened to since. Or the perfect workout mix. Anything. Curating a perfect playlist is a good way to waste a few hours and fill your home with good vibes. Once you’re done and proud of it, share it with the world! Or just keep it for yourself to boost your mood whenever you need it.
Build an epic blanket fort.
Who doesn’t love blanket forts? Move the furniture and go all out. Embrace your inner kid. Play Candy Land or Chutes and Ladders, start a game of MASH or learn a secret handshake. Watch a Disney movie and eat junk food. Don’t worry about getting everything done. Just have fun.
Delete and organize old files.
Remember those digital camera photos from 2006 that you said you were going to go through in 2008 and then never did? Or those old school assignments that you need to delete but couldn’t bear to look at again? Now is the time. Save your poor computer and go through all those old documents, images, and gifs, deleting what you don’t need and organizing the rest for easy access. You’ll thank yourself later.
Send happy mail.
Write a poem, color a picture, buy a greeting card, practice calligraphy. Send something heartfelt snail-mail style to someone you love. Or someone you kind of know. Or someone you think could use a smile. Include stickers or a bookmark or something they can hang on their fridge. Emails and instant messages are great, but there’s something special about knowing someone was thinking about you enough to send you mail.
However you get through the next few weeks, know that you’re not alone. We’re all bored and scared and frustrated, we all have weird sleeping schedules and an iffy grasp on the passage of time. We’re all in this together, and we’ll all come out of it together. Give yourself grace and just do the best you can. That’s more than good enough.