Bashing the Boredom

Quarantine has affected so many aspects of our daily lives. Being stuck inside the majority of the time, separated from friends and family, can make even the sanest of people feel like they’re on the brink of insanity from boredom. Tigers can’t be kept in cages (*ahem* reference!), and neither can people. 

But there is a bright side to all this—while your home might feel like a prison in your most desperate hours, it doesn’t have to be. Transforming your quarantine experience takes a change of mindset and a bunch of fun things on your agenda. 

So don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! Below is a list of fun activities you can do from your house that will hopefully make it feel more like a home (and less like a prison). I’ve done lots and lots of searching and have combined a bounty of ideas I find delightful. Special thanks to USA Today’s article “100 Things to Do While Stuck Inside Due to a Pandemic” and Vice Media’s I-D Magazine article “100 useful things you can do to kill boredom if you’re quarantined at home because of coronavirus” for inspiring and offering many of these ideas! There’s something for everyone, and I hope at least a few of my suggestions can help you find a bit of joy—and something to keep you busy—as each day comes.

  1. WRITE (a book, short story, article, journal, blog, play, poetry, etc.)! It’s so important to document and have a space to express your feelings and thoughts during such trying times and help record history. For those of you saying you’re “too lazy” to give this a try, stop complaining because this is something to do! For those of you saying you don’t have enough time, now we’ve got all the time in the world. Get the pen and paper out!
  2. Make a song. GarageBand has never been so entertaining. This is also a good excuse to practice or learn an instrument. Just have fun with it!
  3. Time to get artsy. Pick up the watercolor paint set you never touched as a child and start practicing. Learn to draw. Animate. Make a comic! Make a portrait capturing your emotions over the course of the quarantine.
  4. DIY. Time to start actually DOING the ideas in the Do it Yourself videos you usually only watch on YouTube! For example, learn how to knit or crochet—this I highly recommend. You can kill two birds with one stone once you get pro enough to do it while watching TV. Double productivity never hurts!
  5. Teach your pet a new trick. My dog can dance and jump through a hula hoop now!
  6. Clear out your phone storage by uploading stuff you want to preserve onto a hard drive or your computer.
  7. Write out a list of everything you’re grateful for right now. My list grows a little every day. ❤
  8. Create a daily checklist routine. It will also motivate you to be more productive by checking each activity off!
  9. Read all the books you’ve been avoiding or haven’t had time to dive into until now!
  10. Have a “self-care” or spa day—every high-schooler needs and deserves one. With everyone still adjusting to distance learning and how draining Zooming on the internet can be, it’s important to take the time to treat yourself. This can come in many forms, from ice cream and going to bed early, to doing some yoga, meditation, bubble baths, face masks and a hair day. And of course, wash, wash, wash those hands!
  11. Reorganize your closet, bookshelf, bedroom and desk. Make sure the space you are now inhabiting 24/7 is clear so your mind can be, too.
  12. Get into baking or cooking! Now is the time to stress bake, more than ever. And time (for me, at least) to actually learn how to make a boiled egg.
  13. Reflect on yourself as a person and your life. Mindfulness is key to feeling free when it seems like you’re chained to your bedpost. In addition, it’s a valuable life skill to enjoy and be content with the presence of your own company. You are enough. While missing your friends, why not get to learn more about the person who knows you best?
  14. Build the ultimate survival fort/base camp in your home. Time to start feeling cozy! Blankets, quilts and pillows, oh my! Not only will setting it up be fun and give you a way to pass the time, but the result makes for the ultimate family movie night setting, too.
  15. Create a fun collage of your favorite things (“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…”). Organizing your basic fun facts is surprisingly satisfying. And for those who want to take a dive? Jump into the Pinterest hole. Time will fly by like seconds. Few climb back out once they step in…
  16. Alternate between reading the Harry Potter series and watching each movie.
  17. Do something crazy with your hair. (Shave, dye or cut it!)  No one has to see it if you don’t like it…
  18. Spend a whole day using only your non-dominant hand! (Any lefties out there?)
  19. Spend a whole day speaking and writing in only pig-Latin ! (Easier said than done…especially when you’re the only one who’s fluent in your family! Another task: teach your family how to speak it, first. Nothing like learning a new language!)
  20. Make a dream board (as Mapy, the star violinist who performed at a GDS assembly earlier this year, said, they really work)! Decorate and personalize it.
  21. Start keeping a dream journal. Having more weird and wacky dreams since the quarantine started? You’re not the only one. According to National Geographic, “Withdrawal from our usual environments—due to social distancing—has left dreamers with a dearth of ‘inspiration.’” The surge in crazy dreams we’re hearing the people have is connected to the drastic change in our daily lives and environment due to the quarantine! And who knows, lots of those dreams could make crazy awesome stories.
  22. Make a tie-dye T-shirt! Speaking of T-shirts, find old ones you’re bored of and freshen them up with a good old-fashioned home makeover. Cut, redesign, amplify!
  23. Just think. Take a few minutes every day to rethink your life experiences, redefine your goals and devise strategies for how to achieve them. You’ll come back stronger than ever. Try asking yourself a question a day!
  24. Family board games! For the siblings out there, revisit your childhood games, and for once, try to bond with your sibling(s) instead of beating them up!
  25. For the most desperate, as a last resort if you have absolutely nothing you want to do, try Buzzfeed quizzes. Trust me, you’ll get sucked in pretty fast.
  26. Interview family members via StoryCorps, an awesome app where you come up with or select provided questions and record 45-minute interviews. The time flies by as you are immersed in the fascinating stories of the people you grew up with, and in the end you both get to bond. Also, this is a remote community service opportunity!

I hope you were able to find something that sparked a light inside of you or have been inspired with some more fun ideas for how to productively (or at least enjoyably) spend your time during this quarantine. I hope you and your families are all safe and healthy!

Apparently an introvert,

Ava Blum ’23