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How to Beat Boredom

Updated on June 29, 2016

Adults don't have time to be bored do they? It's children whose second favourite holiday refrain is 'Mum! I'm bored!' (The favourite is probably 'Mum! I'm hungry!' but that's a hub for another time!)

But whether it's you or your kids that need a little inspiration, read on.

Anticipating boredom and preventing it.

Boredom is a creature that can creep up and be upon you before you know it. The secret is planning ahead. While you're on the work commute, doing chores or the school run, think about the following:

  • When does boredom strike? Is there a pattern during the day/week/month/school year? If you know he's creeping - start preparing.
  • What do you, your partner or children like to do? Make a list of your favourite things - hobbies, pastimes, places to go etc - that will inspire you. Think about:

What the kids can do on their own. Getting them to create their own anti-boredom lists may often engage them more than your suggestions. They can make the lists big and colourful and stick them to their bedroom walls.

What can you and the young ones do together?

What can you do alone?

What can you do as a couple?

What can you all do as a family?

When you've done all that, the next step is to think about what resources you might need. Be more creative than just putting 'money' at the top of this list; for children, what about a universal boredom-busting kit. Go round the house and round up any oddments that would be useful for the ideas on your/their lists. Dressing up clothes, paper, pens and paint, postcards and glue... Could the kit go into a box that you can pull out as soon as you hear 'Muuumm! I'm b -'?

For yourself or for you as a couple, make a list of all the crazy stuff you want to do. Getting these ideas down on paper can help you see when an opportunity to do one of them is knocking on your door.

Are there things that you could add to your own anti-boredom list that need to be done on an occasional basis, such as de-cluttering your wardrobe/closet, or tidying the garage? Doing dull chores can be satisfying, especially if you don't want to admit that you have the time to get bored!

  • Who do you enjoy spending time with? Are there friends or other parents you can team up with to keep each other and each other's children out of mischief?

Are there inspiring people you can look for to help you?

Some examples for your boredom-busting list.

  • Do a home spa treatment - a mani-pedi and a facial perhaps. Get girlfriends over for a fun afternoon.
  • Cupboards and closet clearout. Then plan a swapping party with friends.
  • Make a scrapbook from all the things you never get round to throwing away - theatre or sports tickets and brochures, holiday memories, children's drawings etc.
  • Print some of your favourite pictures and put them into albums or frames. Digital is great but if you want to share your memories you need to wait for the computer to flash up every time.
  • Go out for a walk.
  • Write an old fashioned letter to a friend.
  • Get lost down memory lane looking through old photo albums.
  • Play card games. Invite friends over and have a match.
  • Learn a new card game.
  • Have a board-game competition with friends or neighbours. Throw in some wine and food and you'll be having fun for days!
  • Do some painting or drawing.
  • Do some sewing.
  • Learn to knit.
  • Get into the garden/yard and tidy up out there.
  • Make a plan for Christmas - gifts, decorations, food, guests.
  • Write a short story or a poem.
  • Go for a bike ride.
  • Play the mystery destination game: get in the car and take the first left turn, second right, third left, fourth right, fifth left etc and see where it takes you. If you live in a city you could do the same by walking.
  • Write a journal.
  • Make your bucket list (all the things you want to do before you kick the bucket) or watch the movie.
  • Make your wish list for when (yes, that's WHEN) you win the lottery!
  • Get hands on with some papier mache and create creatures/bowls/etc.
  • Make a pasta collage - with or without the children.
  • Get cooking - make a big pot of soup, a tray bake or a big lasagne, divide it into portions and freeze them to use when you're short of time or too tired to cook.
  • Make a quiz by taking photos of everyday objects from unusual angles and asking people to guess what they are. An inventive party game perhaps?
  • Make a flower arrangement.
  • Stop procrastinating and start a project you've been putting off.
  • Take a breath of fresh air and make a point of noticing things you don't normally pay attention to - sights, sounds, smells, textures etc.
  • Make something out of wood.
  • Learn origami.
  • Make a candle.
  • Learn how to play a sport you don't know much about.
  • Write a letter to you now, from your 80 year old self.
  • Make a time capsule.
  • Bake a cake.


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    • jdavis88 profile image

      Joseph Davis 

      7 years ago from Florida

      Great long list of things to do!


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