How to Overcome Boredom During the Holidays

Seven Methods:Play gamesStart a projectThrow another partyStart your novelPlan a fundraiserClean the house, your room, the car...Get out of the house

No matter your age, from the very young to the very old, there can come a point amid all the holiday excitement where a bit of boredom sets in. For children, this might be as a result of having played with all the new games and toys and no longer finding them exciting. For workaholics, despite the welcome respite of a few days off to relax, the slower pace can sometimes seem way too slow. And for many, after the initial excitement of buzzing about preparing everything for the festive events and parties, a sudden drop in fun things to do can leave a sense of wilting into oblivion. But before you despair and waste those precious days off work, study or other occupations wallowing in boredom, transform your snooze-fest into a fun fest!

Method 1
Play games

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    Play board games. There are likely to be board games in the family home or at your friend's house. You can stick to the tried and true ones like Monopoly, Clue, or Snakes and Ladders. Or you can get more deeply involved in role playing or strategy games, like Agricola, Carcassonne, Puerto Rico or Settlers of Catan.
    • Some of the more famous board games are now available for playing on the iPad. This can be useful if you can't find the real board game at home––simply download the game (such as Monopoly), place the iPad down on a table you can all sit around and begin to play. You can pause for breaks and even come back another day, all without losing your places!
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    Play mentally stimulating games. Games like Pente, Blokus, chess and Quoridor will have you thinking strategy and pitting your wits against your opponent. You won't have time to notice boredom anymore.
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    Play card games. There are many card games, from solitaire, poker and Bohnanza, Tichu or Pit.
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    Play mind games. No, not the sort in which you wind up Aunt Matilda until she finally explodes. Rather, this is the sort of mind games mentalists engage in. For example:
    • Observe the people around you and try to work out what they're thinking and what sort of holiday experience they're having. Can you read their emotions from their body language alone?
    • Cold read. Choose someone as bored as you and offer to read their mind. Of course, you'll need to focus on something you don't know about the other person, so a friend you haven't seen for a while or a more distant relative might be better choices than someone close.
    • Make someone say something without realizing you're manipulating them. For example, see How to make someone say carrot by way of example.

Method 2
Start a project

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    If you have a day or more clear, now is a good time to get stuck into a project of choice. Whether you're crafty, handy with wood, crazy about it or itching to cook something, you can choose a distinct project to start and perhaps even finish within the holiday time. Make a slideshow, bake a cake, make a paper mâché, write a play. Your project might even involve redesigning your room or house, planning a trip overseas or creating a budget to follow.
    • Now is a good time to focus on a few things you've been putting off, like cleaning out the eaves, putting your tax receipts in order or de-fleaing the cat. Doing something constructive is always more effective than sitting about focusing on how bored you're feeling.

Method 3
Throw another party

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    Organize a party. If you're missing the party atmosphere, rev it up again by throwing your own. You don't really need an excuse––too much leftover food is probably good enough a reason! Some ideas for throwing a party include:
    • Have a sleepover. This is great for kids and teens but there's no reason why you can't invite your best adult pal from one town over for a sleepover, gossip catch-up together too!
    • Throw a "finish-my-leftover-alcohol" cocktail party. All those half and quarter empty bottles of grog left from the season's parties can be turned into a cocktail-making parties for your friends (obviously, drinking age only). Leave the bottles out on a table along with some cocktail making books or web pages to check and let your friends make their own crazy concoctions.
    • A picnic. Whether you're talking holiday season during summer or winter, a picnic is always a possibility to get everyone out of the house. Just be sure to rug up well if it's wintertime and look for warm spots or heated shelters.
    • Re-gifting party. If you have a bunch of friends who received gifts that they didn't much like, get together to re-gift. Just make sure that nobody re-gifts gifts from within the group of friends attending! Not for everyone but a bit of fun for those willing to give it a go.

Method 4
Start your novel

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    If you're a budding writer who has so far failed to blossom, use this time of apparent boredom to channel your inner author. Get hold of a pad and pen or your favorite laptop and make yourself somewhere comfortable. Remove all distractions. Then sit down and begin to write. Don't worry about how it reads or what you're writing to begin with––just get started. If you feel blocked, here are some ways to help you begin:
    • Write about how bored you're feeling and why. Explore the feelings.
    • Explore any interactions you've had with relatives and friends during the holidays. Does anything good or bad stand out? Write about it.
    • Start with poetry. It's often a great way to get some ideas out in a flowing way, allowing you to expand in prose later.
    • See How to write a novel for more ideas.

Method 5
Plan a fundraiser

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    Organize a fundraiser. Pick a charity that you feel strongly about and that is reputable. Think of a fun creative idea, a fashion show of charity shop clothes, a competition, a summer fete in your garden, a play, etc. Planning the event will give you something to focus on, even if you don't plan on holding it for a while yet.

Method 6
Clean the house, your room, the car...

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    Clean. It might sound undesirable but it's better than sitting on the couch moaning. Being active is a good antidote to feeling bored and the act of cleaning can be very inspiring, especially if you clear away last season's stuff and make room for the new things you feel like doing ahead.
    • Throw out clothes you haven't worn for a long time. Give them to a charity.
    • Clear off desk and shelf space so that you can see the areas again.
    • Re-organize a room or two. Changing things around can be a great boredom buster and the newly arranged furniture and items will inspire you.
    • Clean out the car. Remove all food wrappers, drink containers, crumbs, scrunched up papers, parking vouchers, etc. Give it a thorough dusting and wipe down, plus a spritz with a sweet-smelling spray.
    • Add something new to your home that is functional and beautiful. It'll take you time to find an object that is both things and that will fit well within your home, so it makes for a good way to dispel boredom.

Method 7
Get out of the house

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    Visit friends and family in their homes. Take along something to share and have a good long chat with them.
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    Offer to help out at a charity. Find out what you can offer, from making and serving food to handing out needed supplies. Getting involved with projects that help other people in need will give you a sense of purpose.
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    Exercise or get out into nature. Doing physical exercise like walking, running, hiking or cycling will give you more energy and quickly puts a stop to feeling bored. If it's too cold to be outside, look for indoor sports and exercise opportunities instead.


  • Keep in mind that if you are dead set on staying bored, you soon become boring to be around. This means that you risk scaring off other people, which isn't a good idea because they can often be a source of overcoming feeling bored!
  • Get up and get dressed! You'll feel a lot better for doing something and not just watching TV all day.
  • Start a group chat in WhatsApp/Facebook/Hangouts etc. Include all of your friends so you can stay in touch, share jokes, and socialize even from a distance


  • Don't let yourself get lazy. Sure it's okay to relax, but don't let yourself get to that stage of being in your PJs all day, everyday. It's a waste of your holidays and you'll end up regretting it.
  • Don't let yourself put on loads of weight! Instead of snacking all the day, plan your breakfast, lunch and dinner the day before.

Things You'll Need

  • Games
  • Notepad and paper
  • Party gear

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