15 ways to combat stay-at-home boredom

Well, at this point, we’ve all organized our closets, cleaned every surface in our house three times a day, binge watched a few shows and sorta acclimated to this new normal. But, let’s face it: it can get a little (or a lot) boring looking at the same four walls day in and day out. So, what else can you do to make your time at home at least a little more inspiring? Whether you’re a single mom-to-be, part of a household with multiple adults and multiple kids, or anywhere in between, we hope you’ll find some concrete ideas here that work for you. You got this!

1. Break the rules This is our first piece of advice, and perhaps the most important. During this crazy time, it’s okay to break some of the usual rules in the interest of keeping things fresh and interesting. So, go crazy: have breakfast for dinner, or dinner for breakfast…or dessert for lunch! If you have kids, they’ll also get a kick out of this type of change in routine. Other ideas: let your kids have a slumber party in the basement on a “school night,” or eat off of the good china on a random Tuesday!

2. Have a picnic—indoors or out Pack a picnic—basket, blanket, and all—then, round up the troops and set off on your “outing.” Yes, you’re probably only headed as far as your living room or backyard, but it’s an event the whole family can help plan, and look forward to. 

3. Brainstorm about your next vacation Yes, the timing and logistics are TBD, but the simple act of thinking about where you’d like to go once it’s again doable, and exploring some tangible possibilities online, can be a real mood-booster. Take some time to gather useful information from friends, tourism websites, and other sources available to you—and you’ll be able to hit the ground running to finalize your plans when possible.

4. Learn something—anything No, it doesn’t need to be a new language (leave that to the quarantine overachievers!). But maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to cross-stitch or make hummus or do Tai Chi. Or maybe your family has always been intrigued by the prospect of growing a garden, or making pizza from scratch. There are quality YouTube tutorials for almost anything you could want to learn. And even if it’s something small or random, it’s so satisfying to master a new skill or find a new interest.

5. Watch or read something (different) Are there any movies or books you’ve long avoided but are secretly curious to check out?  Maybe there was too much hype when they first came out, or you just weren’t in the mood, or it seemed like too much of a commitment. Or maybe you/your family has never tried a certain genre but would enjoy the chance of pace. Well…now’s the time!

6. Try a puzzle—any kind Yes, jigsaw puzzles are experiencing a “moment.” If these aren’t your cup of tea, try a crossword. Try Sudoku. Try a word-search. And know that a certain amount of frustration is par for the course. But if you find a type of puzzle you like, you’ll get better each time you do it, and you just might come to savor the feeling of figuring them out. (Puzzles are also great for passing the time and getting absorbed in an activity that has nothing to do with what’d going on in the outside world!)

7. Make a list of friends and family to check in with, and work your way through it If you and your family are really missing the social aspect of life, set up regular video-chats with friends and family. Or, enjoy some quality catch-up time with your best girlfriend. If you like to write long emails, pick a different friend to reach out to each week. You’ll put a smile on both your face and theirs.

8. Create a shared GoogleDoc with a group of close friends or family This is the low-maintenance version of #7. Create a shared doc and invite a group of friends or family to “collaborate” on it with you. Use it however you/they want. Maybe it’s a good place to share newsworthy links, or hilarious memes. Or a spot for people to share what they’re feeling.

9. Reminisce It’s a great time to look back at old photos—whether from 40 years ago, or 40 days ago. If you have school-age kids, they might get a kick out of seeing photos from when you were their age—or of their grandparents as young people! You get the idea.

10. Make photo albums or scrapbooks While you’re at it with old photos and memories, why not organize some of them and/or make an album or scrapbook? A great activity for the whole family! 

11. DIY self-care Missing your trips to the salon? Running low on some of your beauty supplies? There are lots of easy recipes online for facemasks, salt/sugar scrubs, even lip balms, and more! See what works for you.

12. Take a nap Not sleeping great at night? Always wanted to learn the art of cat- or power-napping? Now’s your chance to enjoy this little luxury.

13. Update your resume Yes, this is a very practical suggestion. But, it’s one of those things that can tend to fall by the wayside in the day-to-day.

14. Tackle the dreaded email inbox If you’re really bored and especially motivated, what better time to clean out your email inbox; sort and organize files; etc.? You’ll feel such a sense of accomplishment!

15. Revel in your boredom If all else fails, we give you permission to revel in your boredom. Some of history’s greatest insights and creations have stemmed from someone being “bored.” It’s healthy for kids and adults alike—your next great idea may be right around the corner!

We wish you lots of satisfaction and inspiration during this time of being at home. And we’d love to hear from you with any additional tips you may have!

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