What is there to do when you’re bored? There is so much time in the world and a myriad of ways to spend it, but it isn’t always easily revealed to us what we could be doing when we aren’t doing anything! There’s a saying that boredom inspires creativity, and that may be true! It just so happens that at this moment I’m bored, and this is what I chose to do: Come up with a list of things to do.
If you’re sitting in your room right now, looking for something to ease your ennui, don’t fret and don’t look any farther for ideas to sooth your lackadaisical feelings. Here’s a list of 10 easy-to-do, but not necessarily normal, activities for the bored.
- Watch live cameras.
I don’t think the average person readily has surveillance cameras or satellites set up to people watch, bird watch, or whatnot, but that isn’t a problem. The internet has a variety of sources for people who want to watch places and animals. I wouldn’t recommend watching people, as there are some sites that can do that, too, unless people watching could help you in your line of work (criminal justice, psychology, philosophy, etc.), but watching animals or beautiful sceneries can be a touching thing to do in your spare time.
The Panama Canal and Smithsonian National Zoo both provide live cameras. In fact, many zoos offer live cameras. Be sure to check out the pandas! They’re always quite adorable. A quick Google search will lead you to nature reserves and animal feeds all over the world. Audobon and LiveScience have good resources to find rainforests and other great views. YouTube does, too, and I think there’s even a live feed of space. So, if that’s your thing, what are you waiting for? Check it out! Oh, but, finish reading this article first, please. Haha.
- Stack things.
Stacking things sounds like a pretty childish thing to do, but once you get into it, it can be pretty fun! Seeing how high you can stack chips (not the edible kind), checkers, dice, coins, etc. can be a great, but fun challenge. Making card houses, an oldie but a goodie, is also pretty interesting.
Food can be stacked (cookies, macaroons, chocolate bars, Reese’s Pieces cups, sugar cubes, cubed fruit, crackers), and so can bottle caps. Books, DVD cases, CD cases, discs, tapes, tape cases, the list goes on and on. Be warned, however! Stacking is not for the easily frustrated or impatient. It can help to improve focus and patience, however. Maybe even mental stamina.
- Listen to church bells or Gregorian chants.
It may seem like a strange thing to do, but listening to church bells and Gregorian chants is very calming. Meditating to such soundtracks, or just chilling to them, is sure to ease the nerves. The hypnotic tolling of the bells and the monotone singing of the chants makes for good, quiet ambience to a restless mind.
If you don’t prefer the sound of bells or chants, try binaural beats which are able to aid in a multitude of things (just do a quick search and reading on them!) or other forms of ambience. The sound of water can help incite negative ions which can help to initiate and inspire creativity in an individual, so it’s another good option for someone who is feeling lethargic. Bird sounds are nice too.
- Come up with a new recipe.
People often eat when they’re bored, right? How about instead of eating food, why not make food? Go into your kitchen and brew up something good! Come up with a new, special blend of tea. Gather random ingredients and throw them together to come up with some sort of hors d’oeuvre or stew. Who knows? Maybe it’ll become the world’s next greatest dish!
Try bringing together things that one would not necessarily imagine paired with another food factor. Like flour and basil with a little turmeric and honey! What would that taste like? Turn your kitchen into a laboratory! Have fun and get creative! Just be careful and remember to clean the mess up when you’re done.
- Try to guess what card you’ve got.
Ever played “Is this your card?” with a family member or friend? Put a twist on it and play the game yourself, but in a blind-reading/guessing game fashion. Blind-reading is when you write things on index cards and turn them over to the blank side. Shuffling them around, and then closing your eyes and picking one after asking yourself a question you know the answer to can help build your intuition. Once you get better with it, you can do other forms of it, or start asking yourself questions you don’t know the answer to, or use it to help you make decisions.
With this game, however, you’d take a regular pack of playing cards and shuffle them. Place them in front of you and pick five. Try to guess what card you’re going to get and then pick it. It can help with improving your intuition and you might even be able to use it to help you make insignificant decisions if you assign cards to options and then get a card relevant to one of the choices. Plus it’s fun.
- Pretend to be someone you’re not.
Do you have a favorite fictional character or a celebrity or historical figure whom you greatly admire? Why not pretend to be them for awhile? Pretending to be someone else for just awhile can actually benefit you and be good for you. Why? It’s because it helps you to step into someone else’s shoes and imagine how they’d think, behave, and react to situations and decisions. It works the imagination and provides something fun for you to do.
However, don’t fall into the trap of being pretentious or losing your own identity when doing this. It’s okay to pretend to be someone else for a moment in time, but it’s still fun to be yourself! When you’re not pretending to be someone you’re not, try taking an introspective look at who you are, because that’s always fun, too.
What if someone asked you what the 79th element on the Periodic Table of Elements is and you could answer it right away? Or what if they asked you what the first 50 digits of pi is and it was a no brainer for you? Well, if you took the time to memorize these things then you could have these scenarios turn out exactly that way! People would be in awe.
Using your free time to memorize new words, interesting facts, the elements, the digits of pi, the multiples of different numbers, the square roots, and whatever else you’d find interesting or helpful could be totally useful in the future and a fun party trick to amaze your friends and family. Not only that, but it also helps improve memory function and recollection. What a bonus!
- Visit your local library.
Go take a walk to your local library or bookstore, pick out a random book and read it from start to finish. It can be any genre: fiction, non-fiction, self-help, poetry anthologies, reference—whatever genres are out there you can choose from. Seriously read it from start to finish, and don’t put too much thought into picking it. In fact, if you can, don’t put any thought into it at all.
Maybe you’ll find a new book that you love, or a new fandom to be a part of, a new series that will become a part of you, or perhaps you’ll become an expert on something you never thought you’d know a thing about. Maybe you’ll find a new favorite genre or a discover a new interest or motivation. No matter what, it’ll be worth it.
- Word Purge, Blind-Draw, or Spontaneous Sketch.
Drawing and writing are excellent ways to utilize your mind and develop your brain. There are different ways of writing and drawing that could benefit you further. Try word-purging, where you just keep writing whatever comes to mind for at least ten minutes, not stopping to look at what you’ve written until you’re done or satisfied. It’s a great form of stress-relief and a kind-of rant. If you do this with the intention of producing something creative, then you’ll probably find some good material to work with. Just write freely and let the words flow!
Try drawing something without looking at your paper at all, keeping all of your focus on the subject of your to-be masterpiece. This exercise can help develop intuition and observation skills. Don’t be discouraged if the end result is a total failure the first few times. It’s a really tricky exercise, and the few times I’ve done it, the finished piece was nothing reminiscent of its muse. Or try spontaneous sketching, which is really just liked advanced doodling. Get out a pen and piece of paper and draw whatever comes to mind, or draw random things until you see something recognizable that you could work with in your piece. Or go the abstract route. It’s up to you.
- Make a bizarre list.
Make your own outside-the-box-thinking list of ten or more things. The list can be about virtually anything. Let your mind run wild! Listverse is full of interesting lists that you could look to for inspiration. You’ll learn a horde of facts and ease your boredom as you search for ideas to comprise your own list. It’s a triple-entendre activity—you get three for the price of one!