25 things to do when you are feeling bored – that does not involve scrolling on a screen
Guilty of the constant scrolling too?
It's all too easy these days to just reach for our phones or tablets the minute we sit down – or have a bit of time on our hands. Mindlessly scrolling through TikTok videos or checking out Instagram reels can be an easy way to check out and decompress for a bit – but honestly, when you get those screen time usage reports on your iPhone, it can be a bit scary.
Spending an average of three-four hours a day on our screens might not seem like that much, but guys – add it up. How much of our one wild, precious life are we spending scrolling? I know – scary.
However, this summer, I have promised myself to get a lot better at putting the phone away – and find other ways to spend my downtime. There are so many wonderful, fun, interesting, educational, relaxing and chilled out things we can do with our time – and to give us all some ideas for what to do instead of scrolling, here are 25 things to try instead the next time you pick up your phone to start scrolling:
Take a walk
Yes, we know – we have all taken more walks this year than ever before. However, it is amazing how refreshed it makes you feel, even leaving home for just 15 minutes. Try to leave your phone at home – or, at least, in your pocket – and focus on taking in your surroundings instead. People watch, enjoy nature and soak up all that lovely vitamin D.
Do a yoga flow
YouTube is filled with great ones to try, whether you are a seasoned yogi or have never done a Downward Dog or Sun Salutation before. Trust me – a few deep breaths and some stretches, and you'll feel so much better.
Unsubscribe to e-mails
Anyone else gets stressed at the sheer amount of e-mails that tick into their inbox? Unsubscribe from all of your spam emails, and inbox zero is within your reach.
Pick a room or area of your house to organise
Starting small is a great way not to get so overwhelmed that you abandon the entire project. How about tackling your guest room? Underwear drawer? Kitchen presses? Bookshelf? You might get so inspired when you see how good it feels to have a tidy room/drawer/press/shelf, you'll keep going.
Update your LinkedIn
Even if you are not currently looking for a new job, it makes sense to ensure your LinkedIn is up to date. Add in any courses you have done recently, projects you have managed or any other new and relevant information.
Cook a dish from one of your cookbooks (or Pinterest boards)
I love cookbooks, but often, after having flicked through them a few times when they are new, they are left to gather dust on a shelf. Which is why I have now challenged myself – Julie & Julia style – to attempt all the dishes in one of these books. Bored? Take out the book, and pick which dish you are doing today!
Take a power nap
Sleep is a powerful way to feel better. Just make sure to set the alarm so you don't snooze for too long – then you'll end up feeling more groggy and less invigorated once you wake up.
Get up and stretch
Between working from home and staying home, many of us are not getting the movement our bodies need. Remedy this by trying to stretch several times throughout the day – even it is just a big arms-over-the-head stretch. Stretch out your legs, circle your ankles, stretch your wrists and fingers and even gently move your head from one shoulder to the other. Repeat as needed.
There is actual evidence that growing something, be it rose bushed or basil plants, can actually make us happier.
Write down five things you are grateful for
Another surefire way to feel happier and more content is to count your blessings. It might sound a bit out there, but try it – you'll be surprised at the difference it makes starting to really take stock of all your riches.
Take a Bath
Light some candles, turn on your favourite music, and use some of your fanciest products. You're worth it.
Declutter your wardrobe
Channel your inner Marie Kondo and take stock of your wardrobe – and aim to keep it that way. Toss, sell or donate anything you are not using or that doesn't fit anymore. Be ruthless.
Then, once left with only things you want to keep, fold, hang and organise – you will no doubt feel calmer and less stressed just looking at your lovely, clean wardrobe.
Listen to a funny podcast
Nothing like a good laugh to make you feel less bored.
Wash Your Windows
Sun shining in through your windows and you literally shudder at all the fingermarks and grime? Time to wash them. More light will be coming in through your windows once they are clean, and even a little thing like that can make a huge difference to your mood and happiness.
Make some proper tea and sip it from a fancy cup
Sometimes, little rituals like this can make us feel better. Bonus – you'll get to have some me-time sipping your delicious cup of tea.
Sign up for a course
Learning something new, whether it is macramé or how to improve your SEO skills, is always a good idea, and a surefire way to beat the old lockdown boredom.
Clean out your junk drawer
You know that drawer in your kitchen or bathroom or hallway chest-of-drawers that is forever a mess of phone chargers, empty tubes of lip balm, old receipts, sunglasses, ransom packet of Kleenex etc? Tackle it today.
Lists always make me feel better, and more organised. And the more organised and on top of things I feel, the better I handle just about anything life throws at me.
And the best bit? You can make lists for anything! Dishes you want to try cooking, places you want to travel, clothes you want to buy, people you want to reach out to – you name it, you can make a list for it.
Look up some book reviews and order some new books
Check out what other people have said of the books, use hashtags for reference and then, once you have done some research, order yourself some new books to read when you are feeling bored again.
Painting is soothing, fun and will spark your creative juices – the perfect thing to do when you feel like you don't know what to be doing with yourself.
Clean your makeup brushes
Needless to say, these should be cleaned regularly. However, most of us don't. But now is your chance. Grab your brushes, dunk them in a large cup filled with warm soapy water. Let soak for a while, rinse until the water runs clean, then let air dry on a tissue or clean towel.
Create a home office area
It looks like we will all be working from home for a while still, so we might as well make life easier on ourselves, and create a little space in our homes dedicated to work, no?
Treat yourself to a desk, a nice lamp and some office supplies, like a paper organised and other decorative bits that make you happy being in your office.
Make a meal plan for the week
Get the cookbooks out, then your calendar and shopping list. Now, make a plan for what you are going to cook for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks this week, then write down what you have to buy, and get it all up on your calendar. Now, you are ready to hit the shops!
Organise your paperwork
Old bills, letters, recipes, work notes, lists – it can all add up, and if you are anything like me, you tend to stick it all into a box or a drawer, and figure you'll deal with it someday when you have time.
Well, make that day today. Get everything out on the floor, and go through it. Toss what you don't need, reply to what needs replying to, file away papers you need to keep – and try to make a system so that you can easily find it again should you need it.
Deal with the photos on your phone
Yes, it's a big project for many of us (I currently have 12.000 photos on my phone – many of which I absolutely do not need to keep). But it will feel so amazing to get it down – not to mention how it will free up storage space on your phone!
Delete anything you don’t need. Sort, using the favourite button, and make a note if there are images you want to print and frame.