How to Avoid Being Bored When You Have Nothing to Do

Five Methods:Avoiding BoredomCuring Boredom at HomeCuring Boredom OutsideCuring Boredom at NightCuring Boredom Online

Ever been sitting around one day wondering what to do? There are all kinds of activities you may not have considered. Whether you feel like relaxing at home or having an exciting time with friends, there are a hundred different ways to break out of a boring mood.

Method 1
Avoiding Boredom

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    Know that you are in charge of your own boredom. Boredom, unlike most other emotions, is a choice. When you view boredom as a choice you suddenly realize that you have the ability to entertain yourself. At the bare minimum, you have a human brain at your disposal, an incredible organ that can invent, imagine, and think about the world around you. Don’t let yourself feel bored because there is no one around to tell you what to do – take matters into your own hands.[1]
    • Take a moment to think about why you are bored. Is it the world around you? Or have you just not chosen to do anything that stimulates your interest?
    • Some people find the history of volcanoes interesting, while others fall asleep at the thought of it. Everything has the power to be interesting—it is up to you to show interest.
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    Use your imagination. No matter how few things you have to do, your brain is always around to entertain you. Try creating an imaginary world or a new animal. This can be a silly project for an afternoon, or the beginning of a new story or series of art pieces.
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    Be curious. A curious mind finds everything interesting, and thus avoids boredom at every turn. Wonder about the architecture around your town. How was that building designed? Who painted the graffiti down the street? What techniques went into making the clothes in the window? Curiosity stimulates the brain and leads to ideas for new activities, like looking up the producer of your favorite albums or taking a cooking class.
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    Act spontaneously. There is no bigger block to getting over boredom than overthinking the situation. Trying to find the “perfect” activity is a sure-fire way to do no activity at all, so stop thinking and do something. Call a friend you haven’t spoken with, put on shoes and go walking, or turn into the café you’ve always wanted to try. Being spontaneous lends your life an air of surprise that makes everything less boring.
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    Bring a pencil and paper with you everywhere. A small notepad and pencil costs a little more than $1, but it can provide endless entertainment on the go. Simply slip it into your purse or back pocket and pull it out when you feel restless to draw or write on the go. Simple activities to try include:
    • Doodling or drawing
    • Writing songs, poetry, or short stories
    • Recording funny bits of conversation from strangers
    • Making shopping lists, studying for school, or journaling
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    Start a writing project. If you're interested in writing, but can't think of anything to write, try a freewrite or a stream of consciousness exercise. These might lead you to an idea for a more structured story, play, or poem. If you're stuck for ideas, try looking up writing prompts online. It may also help to challenge yourself to write a story with an artificial constraint, such as only using one syllable words.[2]
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    Strike up a conversation with a stranger. Depending on where you are, meeting someone new may be the best way to avoid boredom. Pay them a compliment, make a comment about your surroundings (the weather, the train, a street musician, anything), or simply introduce yourself. You never know what you will learn from a stranger, but it will certainly not be boring.
    • Always be careful talking to strangers in dark, private, or unsafe areas.
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    Volunteer your time for community service. This is a great way to meet new people and get out of the house, and it’s completely free. Call your local SPCA, American Cancer Society, or college campus and ask about volunteering opportunities, or look some up online.
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    Prevent repeating periods of boredom with mindfulness training. If you become bored or restless when standing in line, waiting for a friend, or during other short periods of time when you can't find an activity, finding a distraction in a book or cell phone may not cure this problem. Meditation is the art of focusing on your thoughts and mind, enjoying the little things around your instead of feeling restless or bored.[3]

Method 2
Curing Boredom at Home

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    Learn a new game with friends. Even if you don't have any board games or multiplayer video games, there are plenty of options:
    • If you have a deck of cards, play donkey cards, gin rummy, poker, go fish, Egyptian rat screw, or other games.
    • Short, silly games that don't require any tools include "rock paper scissors lizard spock,""sausage," Charades or chopsticks.
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    Build a blanket fort. Use pillows and blankets to build a blanket fort over chairs, couches or beds. Invite a friend over to help you or to play inside it.
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    Try on clothes and costumes. Try on your whole wardrobe and find new mix-and-match combinations or old favorites. If you're bored by your current clothing collection, visit a thrift store or organize a clothing swap with friends.
    • Kids may enjoy playing dress up.
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    Make your own cartoon, decorations, or other art projects for cheap. Look around for art supplies, scraps of fabric, or any small objects you can improvise with to make an art project. This can be a fun way to pass the time, and you might end up with a new decoration.
    • You can create an animated image using a marble, paper, and some other basic supplies.
    • If you have pipe cleaners and a couple other art supplies, you can make a silly alien.
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    Learn a new skill or hobby. Learning something new engages your brain and builds new neural connections, which can lead to new opportunities and entertainment. It also gives you something to study or do during downtime. For example, if you want to learn guitar, you can spend your time listening to new guitarists to study their technique.
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    Listen to new music. Most people listen to music passively, hearing it in the background while doing other things. This is easy with songs you already know and love, but it can be boring if the only thing you are doing is listening to music. Eliminate boredom by finding new music, which makes listening to music more of an activity and less of an ambiance.
    • Searching for new music on Pandora, Spotify, Songza, or other music apps is a great way to get new songs similar to the ones you love.
    • Try out podcasts, which are free radio programs you can download off iTunes. They cover comedy, news, music, entertainment, and more.
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    Stock up on materials for the next time you're bored. If you are often bored looking for something to do at home, take some time to pick out some arts and crafts supplies. You don't need to devote yourself to perfecting a new hobby, although you certainly can. Just try out a few different crafts, such as pottery or bead jewelry, until you find one that passes the time enjoyably.
    • If you are more interested in house improvement or "do it yourself" repairs, pick up a new skill such as carpentry or roof repair.

Method 3
Curing Boredom Outside

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    Exercise. Exercising may not be easy to start, but once you "get in the rhythm" you might start enjoying yourself, or at least be glad you're doing something instead of sitting around bored. If push-ups, sit-ups, and similar exercises bore you, try out a physical activity such as dancing, yoga, or running.
    • People who exercise with someone with a similar fitness level and similar fitness goals are more likely to enjoy themselves and stick to regular exercise.[4]
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    Play a team sport or physical game. If you can get a whole group of friends together, try an outdoor game such as ultimate frisbee or red rover, or capture the flag.
    • If you enjoy spending time with people and frequently get bored and lonely on the weekends, try organizing a weekly sports club.
    • Contact your local parks and recreation department and ask about local sports leagues for both children and adults. They are usually low key, weekly games that get you out of the house easily.
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    Go for a hike, walk, or picnic. Getting out of the house can often help get rid of boredom. Pack a few sandwiches and take a walk, go on a hike, or have a bike ride. This may clear your head and stop you feeling stir crazy.
    • On a hike or other longer trip outdoors, try bringing a book to keep yourself entertained if you get tired or bored of physical activity. Leaving electronic entertainment devices behind is recommended, however, as they make it difficult to enjoy natural surroundings.
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    Pick up gardening. Tending plants is very relaxing and makes you feel connected to the earth, and they require almost daily care. Go to your local hardware store to pick up seeds and topsoil and build your garden, or purchase potted plants to care for.
    • Water your plants every 1-2 days.
    • Buying fruit or vegetable plants is a great way to mix up your diet with new foods.

Method 4
Curing Boredom at Night

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    Mix up your social life with something new or surprising. A boring nightlife is usually the result of a stale social scene. When you see the same people at the same bar, movie theater, or restaurant every weekend, things can get dull. Try out a new waterhole, go to a dance club, see live theater, or go camping to try something new and eliminate the boredom from your nightly routine.
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    Camp out in your backyard. Simply sleeping under the stars is a new enough and entertaining enough experience to eliminate boredom in a heartbeat. Watch the stars, listen to the sounds of night animals, and enjoy the fresh, cool air under the moonlight.
    • Check the weather before committing to sleeping outside to avoid getting rained on.
    • If it is going to be dry, a simple sleeping bag and a pillow might be all you need to enjoy a night under the stars.
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    Plan an event. Even if none of your friends are available, you can organize an event to hold in the future. Deciding on activities, sending out invitations, and planning the snacks and decorations can keep you busy and entertained.
    • Host a chocolate tasting party and have your friends write evaluations of different chocolate bars. You can hold a party with a similar theme for any food or drink that comes in a wide variety of flavors.
    • Plan a tea party. Tea parties can involve a few adults chatting over afternoon snacks, or a crowd of kids playing dress up. Customize yours however you like.
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    Try out a new recipe for dinner. If you like cooking for fun, or have never tried it before, find a new recipe to experiment with. Flip through a cookbook or online recipe collection like FoodGawker, or try out one of these recipes:
    • Make hummus for eating with bread of crackers.
    • Make zucchini lasagna for a healthy and gluten-free dish.
    • Try making toasted seed risotto balls.
    • Find a green plantain at the grocery store and make mofongo.
    • Fry sweet potato balls.
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    Bake cookies or other simple desserts after dinner. Many people bake cookies when they're bored or stressed. You can find hundreds of cookie recipes online or in cookbooks, but there are other easy cooking projects to satisfy your sweet tooth and keep yourself entertained. Here are a few that you might be able to make with ingredients already in your kitchen:

Method 5
Curing Boredom Online

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    Find new websites from the one’s you normally visit. While most websites update their sites regularly, they can still feel stale when you’ve read them for the last 5 years. Try finding something new by searching online for your interests. Simply switching up your online habits may be enough to kick your boredom.
    • Ask friends what sites they visit every day.
    • Use aggregate sites like Reddit and Digg to find new websites under your interests.
    • Use “suggested videos” on YouTube to find new channels or producers similar to your favorites.
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    Play online games. The internet is full of free online games. Visit trustworthy websites with large collections, such as Kongregate, Armor Games, or MoFunZone.
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    Read webcomics. Thousands of artists put comics online for free, and many of them have archives going back for years. Use collections like Top Web Comics or The Web Comic List to browse the top-rated webcomics, or search the collection for topics you enjoy.
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    Watch videos. YouTube puts together massive playlists for people to browse, from music to sports to miscellaneous recommended videos. Hulu.com and Netflix.com have large collections of full-length movies and television shows, and depending on your region, you might be able to watch some of them for free or sign up for a free trial.
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    Use time-wasting websites to pass the time when you have nothing else to do. If you have a lot of time and have no idea where to go, find sites dedicated to lists of ideas and entertainment. Visit Urban75, or take a tour of the internet on The Useless Web or StumbleUpon.

Tips

  • If you have an outdoor pet, taking it for a walk or playing with it at a park is a great way to break out of a bored state of mind.
  • Write and direct a movie! Whether it is a stop motion, or a comedy, you'll have a blast and it will be a fun way to pass the time, and most phones can shoot video these days.
  • Try imagining new characters for your favorite series or just meditate.

Article Info

Categories: Boredom Busters