81 Positive Things to Do When You Are Bored
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Do you often feel bored?
If you do, then you need to do something to counter it. Author Wayne Dyer states that being bored is just a spinoff of procrastinating. Boredom puts you at risk for developing bad habits.
The best way to counter a dull moment is to fill your time with meaningful activities.
In this article, you’ll find 81 positive things to do when you are bored. We hope these handpicked suggestions can make a difference in your quality of life, improve your health, and strengthen your relationships with family, friends, and colleagues.
First, let’s understand the psychology of boredom.
What Is Boredom?
Boredom is actually a common occurrence among humans. It is when we are left feeling unsatisfied or frustrated by an activity. You’ll notice emptiness in you.
You’ll have difficulty concentrating, and there will be a growing lack of interest in whatever’s going on. It can also have physical manifestations such as fatigue and nervousness.
We suggest you try the activities listed below to counter a boring moment. We have suggestions on things to do to fight boredom indoors, outdoors, online, at work, with a friend, with kids, and at school.
1. Re-watch your favorite movie
Have you ever heard of movie therapy? It turns out that watching a favorite film can revitalize you.
You can get at least a couple of hours of relaxation and may help decrease your anxiety. The different perspectives in the film can encourage you to be more innovative and creative when tackling issues in real life.
2. Create a vision board for the year
Creating a vision board is a guaranteed way to meet your goals. Using imagery can boost success by giving you confidence to reach your goals.
You might want to make use of your free time to envision where or what you want to be a year from now. Gather some pictures and images to represent your vision and put them in poster form.
Speaking of success, this post on the success habits of highly organized people offers 21 useful tips to achieve your personal goals.
3. List down the names of people who inspire you
Instead of whiling away the time thinking how boring your day is going, grab a pen and a notepad and start writing down the names of people who inspired you throughout your life, as well as the impact they had on you.
You can list down people who influenced you early in your life. Then you can think of those who made a positive impact on you when you went to school or when got your first job. Also, write down the names of inspiring strangers, e.g., book authors, leaders, or a kind stranger.
4. Color some pages
If you have plenty of spare time on your hands, consider using it creatively by coloring some pages.
Coloring pages are no longer just for kids. If you have not tried it yet, adult coloring offers many benefits. Some of these are: stress reduction, anxiety relief, creativity booster, and brain workout.
Check out our recommendations of the best adult coloring books.
5. Try a new layout for your bullet journal
Keeping a bullet journal has significant positive effects on our mental health and our productivity. It can help keep your life on track. Moreover, it can serve as a useful record of the things you do in your daily life. It is a way to clear out the clutter from your head so you can focus on equally important stuff.
Boosting your creativity is another pleasant benefit of keeping a bullet journal. Counter your boredom by creating a new layout for a spread. Visit this post for awesome bullet journal layout ideas.
6. Write a journal entry for the day
Speaking of journaling habits, use your spare time to update your personal journal. Write down your thoughts without censoring yourself. Record how you’re feeling as of the moment. And don’t forget to date your entry!
At a loss for what to write? This post gives you 33 ideas for what to write in your daily journal.
7. Organize your closets
Put your spare time to good use by organizing your closets. Choose one area at a time to guarantee that you’ll get the job done. You can also make organizing your closets part of your daily 10-minute decluttering habit.
8. Write a letter of gratitude to someone who made a positive impact in your life
How does expressing gratitude benefit you? For starters, it increases your sense of happiness.
It promotes your personal success. Plus it relaxes you and helps you live longer. This article provides a long list of benefits you can reap from expressing gratitude.
Remember that list you make of people who inspire you? Choose one and write them a heartfelt letter of gratitude. It’s your choice whether to mail the letter or not.
9. Do a quick workout
If you’re wondering what to do with a half-hour spare time, why not do some workout? Doing some quick exercises can improve your mood and help you think more clearly. Studies show that even 15 minutes of HIIT provides the same benefits as jogging for 45 minutes.
10. Watch your spouse or partner’s old videos
You’re guaranteed to be smiling after watching some old videos of your significant other. Seeing videos of your loved one can spark memories and serve as awesome reminders of why you fell for them in the first place.
11. Be with your pet
Spending time with your pet has been proven to improve your quality of life and your health. You can teach your pet a neat trick.
Perhaps it’s time to give them a bath. Or you can take out your fur baby for a walk around the block or to the park. It will do both of you a whole lot of good.
12. Get into creative writing
Aside from writing in your journal, you can use your prevent boredom by getting into creative writing. Unleash your soulful side by writing a poem, a short story, or a song (if you’re musically inclined).
Who knows? You might become a published author or a recognized composer one day.
13. Call a friend you haven’t spoken with in a long time
Doing positive things when you’re bored can be as simple as reconnecting with a friend you’ve lost touch with. Keeping in touch builds you a stronger support network. Speaking with a friend and re-living memories of your adventures in fifth grade is more amazing than being tagged on your elementary class picture in a Facebook post.
14. Watch a classic film that was made before you were born
If you are longing for days when things were simpler, watching a classic film can take you back to a specific time period. These films are our windows to the past, giving us a glimpse of a bygone culture and providing us with a point of comparison with what’s going on in the present.
15. Make a gratitude list
The attitude of gratitude has been proven time and again to do you a whole lot of good. For example, a study has shown that grateful people have better sleep quality. They also experience fewer aches and body pains.
So if you find that you have a few minutes to spare, use it to jot down the things you’re thankful for.
16. Make and install bird feeders
Making a bird feeder is one way of overcoming boredom. Once you’ve set one up, you will be closer to nature, enjoying company of the winged kind.
Having different species visiting your feeder will also be a great educational opportunity for people of all ages. In addition, you’re helping the environment by encouraging flower pollination and bug control.
17. Use the macro feature on your phone or camera and photograph bugs and plants
You may find that macro photography done indoors can be pretty boring. However, taking your camera outside and finding subjects in nature can be an adventure in itself.
18. Enjoy the beauty of the night sky
Transform an ordinary evening into something memorable. Do a bit of research so you can identify the constellations visible in your hemisphere. Also, try going on a full moon walk to reconnect with nature and as a form of meditation.
19. Climb a tree
When was the last time you’ve been carefree and happy? Climbing a tree can bring back those happy childhood times.
But it’s not only that. A Stanford University study reveals that tree climbing and other activities in nature lessen mental disorders that include depression.
20. Take a swim
Head to the pool and trade in your boredom for a full-body workout. Swimming can also help you de-stress when other methods for quieting your monkey mind don’t work.
21. Be a tourist for a day in your own city or town
If you have time on your hands, why not explore your own city or town for the day? Get a guided tour from your local tourism office.
Hopefully, by the end of the day, you’ll have a deeper appreciation for your hometown.
22. Enjoy the sunset
Instead of griping about how boring the day has been, try to infuse awe and wonder into it by watching a sunset. There are no rules on how you should watch the sun dipping in the west. Nevertheless, it will lift your mood and gives you a chance to be present now.
23. Sign up for geocaching
Geocaching is the adult version of being told to “go outside and play.” It promotes “good” stress, gets you moving, and engages your creativity.
If you’re interested to understand more about the different types of stress and how you can benefit from them, this post provides in-depth information.
24. Go for a walk
Here at Develop Good Habits, we campaign for an active lifestyle. Walking is an ideal way to get moving.
It is also a cure for boredom. Try it. A quick stroll around the neighborhood can uplift you.
Check out this review of the best walking shoes for 2019 to find the right pair for you.
25. Start an herb or a vegetable garden
The next time you feel bored, get some seeds and plant them in your back yard. You’ll thank yourself later when you’re savoring the salad made from the fresh greens picked from your own garden.
26. Plant trees
Aside from planting your own vegetables, why not go out there and plant trees to counter your boredom? We cannot overemphasize the importance of trees.
With the simple act of planting some seedlings, you’ll be leaving a wonderful legacy for generations to come.
27. Visit the library
Libraries have a lot to offer than just books. It’s a haven of relaxation, plus it’s the only place where you’re guaranteed to get smarter after a visit. Consider participating in the activities offered in the library, too. Most of these activities, such as foreign language classes, are for free.
28. Go someplace you’ve never been
Traveling someplace new is a great way to blast away boredom. It’s easier to find fun and meaningful stuff to do when you are in a new place. Excitement finds you in every street corner when you travel.
29. Research new ways of saving and making money
Being financially literate goes a long way in giving you a secure future. It empowers you to make good decisions when it comes to investments and in saving and spending your hard-earned funds.
Subscribing to financial newsletters is a good way to start educating yourself about how money works. Also, you might want to check out this post featuring helpful tips for developing better money habits.
30. Study a map of your neighborhood
You’ll get a better understanding of the physical and cultural characteristics of your own neighborhood. Moreover, it can give you a visual of places of safety in case disaster strikes.
31. Research places and organizations where you can volunteer
Counter your feelings of restlessness and apathy by becoming a volunteer. Search online for an organization or a place that fits your principles and sign up. Use your spare time to make a difference.
32. Email someone you admire
Reach out to people you admire, whether it’s a vlogger, a workshop speaker, an author, or anyone you look up to by sending them an e-mail. Communications like this allows these influential people to see that their work is making a difference. Who knows, you could just make someone’s day.
33. Check out podcasts you like
To prevent boredom, activate your growth mindset by listening to podcasts. Choose podcasts that enrich your life and expand your knowledge.
34. Create a personal blog
People blog for many reasons. Perhaps you should start one if you are bored. Your blog is your own platform for personal expression. Plus, if you’re into creative writing, this is an avenue for honing your writing skills.
35. Enroll in an online course
Improve your skills set and knowledge base. Use your free time to enroll in a course online.
There are many online educational platforms that offer free courses on a wide range of topics that enhance your knowledge and improve your skills. To learn more, check out this review of our favorite online course platform.
36. Learn a foreign language online
Speaking of online courses, how about enrolling in a foreign-language class? Among the benefits of learning another language include enhancing your capacity for decision making, improving your network, and keeping your mind sharp. (Also, be sure to check out this review of the seven best language learning apps and software platforms.)
37. Declutter your social media contacts and only follow people you actually know
Put the time you spend on social media to good use. Spend a few minutes going over your contacts and make the decision to follow only the people you know in real life.
38. Update your resume
Even if you’re not currently looking for a job, updating your resume when you have time has certain advantages. It reminds you of what you’ve achieved, gives your self-esteem a boost, and provides a profile of your soft skills and strengths.
39. Reconnect with someone you knew in high school through social media
Friendships are important. They help break the chronic loneliness experienced by at least 35% of adult Americans.
Open the communication lines with long-lost friends. Social media can help rekindle the old friendships.
40. Trace your ancestry
Another way to break the boredom is to enroll in an online family ancestry research service. Getting to know your ancestors is a rewarding personal experience. It helps you understand yourself better.
41. Remove clutter from your workspace
Our brains tend to get distracted by clutter. Use your spare time at work to organize your desk. This increases your output and boosts your productivity.
42. Create a database of possible mentors
A mentoring relationship offers several advantages when it comes to your career. Create your list of potential mentors. You can include their personal data, accomplishments, and your own reason for choosing them.
43. Read news about your industry
Be an industry insider by reading news that’s relevant to your industry. The best opportunity to squeeze in these readings is during your free time. Staying on top of industry-related news increases your value as an employee.
44. Transfer business cards you received from contacts to a digitized file
Keep all contact information of people in your network in one place by going digital. Make use of a downtime to scan business cards into digital format.
There are card scanner apps that make this process easier.
45. Offer to help your colleagues
Fight off boredom by offering to help your co-workers. It fosters collaboration and develops better relationships with your colleagues.
46. Research some upcoming events related to your work or industry
One other way of becoming an industry insider is to know about upcoming events relevant to your company or industry. Keep boredom at bay by browsing through events that you’d like to attend for professional development.
47. Join the organizing committee for an upcoming event at your workplace
Again, offering to help at a workplace event is a good opportunity for collaborating with your colleagues. It is also a way of forging stronger bonds with the people you work with.
48. Join a thirty-day challenge
Joining a 30-day challenge is one good way to improve yourself. Use your free time to browse challenge ideas to see which ones you can do for the next 30 days.
49. Clear your browsing data
When you clear your browsing data, you maximize your browser’s speed and performance. This translates to increased productivity.
50. Streamline your newsletter subscriptions
Lessen your inbox stress by going over your newsletter subscriptions. Some of them may have gone unread for a while now. Unsubscribe from those that are no longer relevant for you.
51. Draw up your meal plan for the week
You need to stay healthy in order to work. We suggest never missing a meal and making sure you eat healthy.
Drawing up your meal plan during your free time helps you achieve both. Check out a review of the best meal planning apps and websites that help you save money, time, and effort.
52. Brew coffee for the team
Curb your boredom by getting up and going to the pantry to brew coffee for the team. Not only will this gesture be appreciated by your coworkers, you’ve also displayed your skill as a team player.
53. Practice meditation
Meditating in the workplace increases your focus and improves your mood. You’ll be less affected by the daily stressors in the office. This translates to better relationships with your coworkers.
54. Let your thoughts wander
Allow your mind to wander. A study shows that people who often daydream are smarter.
55. Go over your investments
Again, being financially savvy helps you have a secure future. Instead of being bored, use the time to check your investments.
56. Join an interest-based group
Your company probably has clubs for biking enthusiasts, amateur photographers, and bookworms. Join the group that fits your interests. You’ll get the chance to meet new people, improve your relationship with your colleagues, and learn new skills.
57. Write thank you cards for business contacts
Expressing gratitude to your clients and other business contacts can strengthen your relationship with them. Specify what you’re thankful for in your card, and sign off on a positive note.
WITH A FRIEND
58. Have an impromptu picnic
A picnic allows you to enjoy the outdoors. It’s also a wonderful way to bond over healthy food you’ve prepared yourselves.
59. Host a small party
You can both polish your hosting skills when you organize a small party together. It’s interesting to see the results of combining your artistic styles to welcome your guests to the party venue.
60. Check out a new coffee shop in town
Discovering new places is fun when you’ve got someone to share it with. Visit that newly opened coffee shop in town. Talk about the usual stuff while hanging out in the new place.
61. Organize a yard sale
Organizing a yard sale together with your friend is a good way to meet new people from the neighborhood. Moreover, it’s also a way to enjoy the outdoors and to help the environment by saving landfill space.
62. Start a book club together
If you and your friend are bookworms, consider putting together a book club. It will give you a chance to meet others who share the same interest and listen to others’ perspective.
Your book club can be a venue for healthy debates of stuff other than politics. Plus, it’s a fun and affordable way of socializing.
63. Plan a road trip
Planning a road trip together helps you gain a new perspective about your friend’s personality. It is also a way to strengthen the relationship you have with each other.
64. Have an art exhibit with Play-Doh sculptures
Challenge older kids to get creative with Play-Doh. Encourage them to make unique sculptures. When they’re done, you can put together an exhibit of their masterpieces.
65. Stage a play
Kids love role playing. Work together to create the script and prepare costumes. Have a rehearsal, and then let them perform.
As an extra challenge, invite some special guests as your audience for the play.
66. Visit places of interest
You can ride bikes at the park, visit a museum, or go to kiddie amusement centers. Make sure choose a place that provides age-appropriate entertainment for the kids.
67. Make a fort together
Gather together boxes and blankets and make a box fort together. Get suggestions from the kids about the design and enlist their help in making their dream box fort into a reality.
68. Write a letter together for their grandparents
Letting kids establish a strong bond with their grandparents is beneficial in many ways. Grandparents can serve as positive role models. They are also a great resource of family values and heritage.
Encourage your kids to write a letter to grandma or grandpa. They can send it through e-mail or the conventional snail mail.
69. Research slime recipes and make some slime
Use your spare time to show kids a cool science project. Making slime falls under chemistry.
Gather all the ingredients, explain the basic chemical reaction that creates slime, and let them mix their own batch of the gooey stuff. You can make your own slime, too.
70. Wash the car together
There are three important benefits at the end of this activity. First, you get a clean car. Second, your health will benefit from this free exercise. Finally, you get to bond with the kids while doing something that benefits the whole family.
71. Get creative with snacks
We sometimes worry that kids consume too much junk food. You can change that by introducing them to healthy eating the fun way.
Encourage the kids to have a cook-off challenge. Tell them the goal to create the healthiest, most delicious snacks. Provide fresh ingredients for this challenge.
72. Make a time capsule
Help your kids make a time capsule that their future selves will cherish. Gather all memorabilia in a sturdy box. Choose the site where you’re going to bury the time capsule.
To make it more special, you can write a letter to each kid and include it in the box. Hide or bury the box in the chosen place. Open after 10 years or so.
73. Make a gratitude board
Teach your kids the value of a grateful attitude by making a gratitude board together. Make it age-appropriate.
For younger kids, help them choose pictures that represent what they’re thankful for. Put together the images on the board and display in a prominent place.
74. Read something purely for fun
Reading is usually a part of academic requirements. Poring over textbooks can become tedious.
Try reading something purely for the fun of it. Studies show that reading for pleasure has long-lasting benefits to our health and well-being.
75. Recreate something from a video tutorial
Make it a habit to learn a new skill at least once a month. Browse video tutorials for fun things to do. Try your hand at wood working, electronics, baking, or calligraphy.
76. Make mug cakes and invite friends over
As a challenge for the month, make the perfect mug cake. Invite your friends for a get-together. Let them sample your latest creation while catching up with each other’s lives.
77. Make it spring cleaning day
Fight off boredom by doing a general cleaning of your place. It has surprising benefits such as strengthening your immune system, promoting a healthier way of living, and increasing your productivity.
78. Go jogging around the campus
Go jogging around the campus to fight off boredom. It keeps you fit and gives you the opportunity to appreciate the scenery of the places you rarely visit.
79. Keep in touch with your family
Check in with your family through a video or phone call. Life as a student can be challenging most of the time, and connecting with loved ones can help lessen the loneliness.
80. Watch TED-Ed videos
Conquer boredom by watching TED-Ed videos. Their carefully curated educational videos are guaranteed to broaden your understanding about a wide range of topics. You can use what you’ve learn as conversation starters in a social event.
81. Do your laundry
Wearing clean clothes has an impact on your self-confidence. If you have some free time, do your laundry. You’ll thank yourself a few days later because you have clean clothes available when you need them.
Do you have a favorite among the suggestions featured today? Or, do you have other tips on what to do when you’re bored? We’d love to hear about them. Please feel free to share in the comments below.
When we are mindful of how we spend our time, we usually don’t get bored. Check out this post that features 71 mindfulness exercises for living in the present moment.
Another way to ward of boredom is to have a hobby that keeps you engaged in an activity that’s meaningful for you.
Use your time wisely!