How to Keep Busy when You're Stuck at Home

Four Methods:Keeping Your Body Active at HomeKeeping Your Brain Active at HomeCompleting Tasks at HomeGetting Creative at Home

Whether you’re stuck at home because of the weather, lack of transportation, or simply have nothing else to do, you may quickly get bored or run out of activities to occupy yourself. Learn how to keep your body or mind active while you’re stuck at home.

Method 1
Keeping Your Body Active at Home

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    Dance to music. Turn up some of your favorite music on the stereo and dance along to it for a fun activity that will get you smiling and get your heart pumping for a good workout.
    • Try learning some new dance moves from videos on the internet. You can even try out a classic popular dance move like the Moonwalk, Running Man, or the Electric Slide.[1]
    • Try a zumba video or program for a fun activity that combines dance and a physical workout.
    • Sing along to the music, too! Challenge yourself to learn all the words to a song, or all the dance moves in a music video.
  2. 2
    Do a home workout or yoga. Find free workout and yoga videos online to follow along with, or make up your own routine. Jump on the treadmill or other home workout equipment if you have it and listen to music or watch TV while you do.
    • You can also rent workout DVDs from your local library for free.
    • Try exercises like squats, arm circles, or a plank for something that doesn’t take up a lot of space or require a lot of movement in the home.[2]
    • Even if you have to be stationary for most of the day, challenge yourself to get up every hour or half hour to do a simple stretch or a few jumping jacks.
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    Go for a walk or run. If you can leave the house, go out for a quick walk or run, even if it is only a few laps around your own house to get your heart pumping and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.
    • Try identifying a flower you don’t know the name of, or making a point to notice five new things around your home or yard that you’ve never noticed before.
    • You can also do simple workouts in your driveway or sidewalk, like skipping rope or playing hopscotch.
    • If you can’t go outside but still want to run, try running up and down a flight of stairs in your home for a good workout. Just make sure you are wearing shoes with good traction and make any other precautions necessary to avoid slipping or falling.

Method 2
Keeping Your Brain Active at Home

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    Read a book or newspaper. Delve into a novel you’ve meant to read or an informative book or newspaper on a new subject to keep your mind agile and engaged.
    • Try picking up a publication you’ve never read before, or a nonfiction book on a subject you know nothing about. Next time you have a conversation with someone, you’ll be able to tell them all about what you learned.
    • If you have to read a book that you’re not too interested in for a class or work project, get into it by curling up somewhere comfortable with a cup of coffee or tea, take the book outside, or even read it out loud to make it more engaging.
  2. 2
    Do a word or number puzzle. Open up the newspaper to the crossword, sudoku, or other puzzles and try to solve them.
    • If you don’t have a newspaper or book of word or number games at home, find digital versions online or on your phone to play as much as you like.[3]
    • If there are other people at home with you, or you can have others come over, invite them to solve a puzzle or play a word, card, or board game with you.
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    Learn a language or take a class. Start one of many free courses available via the internet or mobile apps to learn a new language or skill.
    • Take a free course from a top university to learn something new from the comfort of your own couch or desk.[4]
    • Or try taking an online course to learn the basics of computer coding.[5]
    • You can also spend some time away from screens by picking up a physical dictionary or encyclopedia and learning a new word or concept.
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    Tune into a new TV or radio show. Keep your brain active and challenge yourself to learn something new by watching a documentary series or listening to a radio story hour.
    • If you have no access or limited access to a radio or TV, you can find many shows and documentaries streamed online. Almost all radio shows can be found in podcast form on the station’s website or other podcast platforms for download or streaming.
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    Catch up with friends or family. Call on the phone, video chat online, or send a text message to a friend or family member who is available to chat.
    • Try writing some good old fashioned snail mail to a friend. Write your letter on fun stationery and decorate it and the envelope with stickers, markers, or other fun surprises for the recipient.
    • If you can invite people over to your home, do so! Plan to make a meal together, play a game, or just catch up over tea or coffee.
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    Try a meditation exercise. Relax while also enlivening your mind by practicing meditation. Learn one of many easy techniques available for free online.[6]
    • Try a simple mindfulness meditation, which you can do anytime if you have just a few minutes to spare.[7]
    • You also don’t need any specific instruction to meditate. Simply try sitting quietly with your eyes closed to think or just notice all your senses being activated by the world around you.

Method 3
Completing Tasks at Home

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    Plan ahead for your time at home. Make a to-do list (or several) for the day, week, or any other amount of time you will be stuck at home to help you manage any tasks you’d like to get done during that time.
    • Try prioritizing your to-do lists by listing items in order of importance or breaking them into specified categories (e.g. Today, Tomorrow, Weekend, or Urgent, Soon, If Time Allows).
    • Make completing tasks more fun and satisfying by using colored pens, stickers, or other decoration, and make sure to cross off each item as you finish it!
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    Clean or tidy up. Get to chores you’ve been neglecting, like vacuuming, dusting, or washing dishes. Make it fun by putting on music or singing while you work.
    • Active chores that get you up and moving, like laundry, vacuuming, mopping, or washing windows, have an added bonus of giving you a good physical workout, too.[8]
    • If you do any work from home, focus first on decluttering and reorganizing your desk or office space to help you think clearer and be more focused while you work there.
    • Try rearranging and reorganizing areas that typically get messy, like closets or kitchen cabinets, so that it is easier to keep them consistently tidy.
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    Mend or fix broken items. Try to fix broken household items, mend clothing, or make other simple repairs that you’ve been putting off.
    • If you don’t know how to fix something, look up instructions online. It could be easier to fix than you think.
    • Use a simple needle and thread to sew on buttons or patches, stitch rips, or make any other adjustments to damaged clothing items so that you can wear them again.
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    Do some yard work if you can go outside. Rake leaves, mow the lawn, trim branches, or plant something in your yard to help keep it looking good and tidy while being active at the same time.
    • If you don’t have a yard, simply spruce up a patio or balcony with some plants, a spare chair, or a string of lights.
    • If you can’t be outside, try planting a few plants inside to grow on a windowsill. All you need is a pot with potting soil, seeds, and water.
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    Plan an upcoming event. If you have someone’s birthday, graduation, wedding, or other event coming up, use your time at home to plan out what you’ll do and make any calls necessary to reserve a location or order supplies.
    • Try making your own invitations or decorations for the event to save some money and lend a creative, personal touch.

Method 4
Getting Creative at Home

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    Start an art project. Draw or doodle with pencils or markers, paint with oil paints or watercolor, or sculpt something out of clay or dough. Look up new kinds of art projects or images to draw inspiration from.
    • Try coloring in a coloring book. You can even print off pages to color in from online, or download an app or computer program to color virtually.
    • Pick up an art form you’ve never tried, like embroidery, origami, or cartoon drawing.
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    Play an instrument. Pick up an instrument that you haven’t played in awhile or never had the chance to learn. Try to learn a new song, or just master a single scale or chord progression to start.
    • You can find chords or sheet music for guitar, piano, and other common instruments for nearly any popular song online. You can also use online tuners to help tune your instrument before playing it.
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    Pick up a new hobby. Try something you’ve always wanted to get into or never even thought you’d try. Pick up knitting or crocheting, juggling, photography, or anything else you have around the house.[9]
    • If you have a hard time sticking to one hobby, try setting aside just a half an hour at a time to focus on it before moving onto a different activity, especially if you get frustrated or distracted easily.[10]
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    Try a DIY project. Help make your life easier around the house, decorate, or create a piece of furniture or other fun invention by looking up instructions online for do-it-yourself projects.
    • Put together photos into a collage or frames to display on a wall or shelves, or organize them into an album or scrapbook.
    • Try making your own beauty or cleaning products, wall decorations and lighting, or clever ways to display plants inside or outside.[11]
    • You can also help to keep areas of your home tidy and organized by creating your own storage solutions out of simple items like boxes, jars, or tin cans.[12]
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    Make a new recipe or come up with your own. Cook for yourself, family, or friends. Look up a new recipe for a healthy meal, a decadent dessert, or a fun appetizer for a themed event.
    • Don’t worry if you don’t have a lot of ingredients available at home. Look up recipes that involve that odd ingredient you’ve been keeping in the back of your pantry or fridge, or recipes that need only a few simple ingredients to make.[13]
    • If you don’t have the time or opportunity to cook for yourself regularly, use the time you do have to make meals in large batches and then portion them out into individual meal sizes to have at the ready throughout the week.

Article Info

Categories: Boredom Busters