Lockdown is still ongoing and at this stage you might feel you have tried everything to keep yourself occupied and enjoy your time. With restrictions looking like they will still be in place for some time, now is your chance to reassess and see what else is out there to add something new to your daily routine. Here are our top ideas to beat boredom while filling your days with things that can benefit both your physical and mental health.
19 ways to beat lockdown boredom
1. Be creative
Creativity can still flourish even in the toughest of times. Previously, your days may have been full with commuting, going to school, college or work or all the other responsibilities that can take time away from exploring your creativity. With more free time on your hands picking up an instrument, making art or writing might be just the thing to let you escape from the pandemic. Everyone has the capacity to be creative, regardless of what you may have tried before. Pick something new and let your imagination run wild.
- Why being creative helps my mental health
- Tips for keeping your body and mind active during the Covid-19 pandemic
- Share your story to support others during the COVID-19 pandemic
2. Build your self esteem
You may not think of confidence or self esteem as something you can learn, but self belief is something you can grow in yourself over time if you focus on putting it into practice. Read our articles below to hear about other young people’s experiences and what helped them grow their self esteem and confidence. You can also find some practical ways to grow self belief.
- How I learned to build my self-esteem
- How to improve your self-esteem
- How to be body positive
- Why loving your body size and shape is so important
- How to improve your body image
- How to grow your self-belief
3. Focus on the positives
After almost a year of COVID regulations you may be finding it difficult to focus on the positives, but they do still exist. Taking time to reflect on the things that add happiness to your life can help to put things into perspective and allow you to focus your energy on exploring them more. Read our articles to help give you ideas of the positives in your life before adding your own to your list.
- 5 positive things to focus on during the COVID-19 pandemic
- 5 ways to achieve wellbeing
- How to make the most of your time at home
Exercise is one of the few reasons why you are allowed to leave your home during the pandemic restrictions. And if you need another excuse to get outdoors, exercising can have amazing benefits to both your physical and mental health. If you are starting off, getting back into it or trying something new, there are plenty of options for people of different abilities. Find some inspiration in our articles below and try out different options until you find what is best for you.
- Exercises for people with limited mobility
- Outdoor activities to help you get exercise
- How to start running
- How to plan for 30 minutes of exercise a day
- How can I set realistic fitness goals?
- How exercise and meditation help my mental health
Regardless of if you love cooking or have never been that big of a fan, it is probably something you have been doing a lot more of lately. If you getting a bit fed up of the same recipes or looking for inspiration our Recipe sections offers plenty of healthy ideas
- Quick and easy dinner ideas
- Emma’s simple oat bread recipe
- Watch: Sophie’s Pancake Recipe
- How to make banana bread
- How to make vegetable lasagne
6. Practice self care
Self care is more important than ever. Remember each day that you are important and that your happiness and wellbeing are worth prioritising. Self care can be anything that benefits your day be that chatting with friends, reading, napping, taking a long shower or bath or spending time outdoors in nature. Recognising what brings happiness to your day while supporting your physical and mental health can help you to add more of these activities to your day.
- 8 self care activities for men
- What is mindfulness?
- Self-Care: My anxiety & stress survival strategy
- How exercise and meditation help my mental health
- How yoga brought me balance
- The best self-care podcasts online for your mental health
- How to make the most of your time online
7. Build positive mental health
Our mental health is the same as our physical health; something that is always with us. There are things that we can do daily to take care of and improve our mental health. Prioritising your mental health on days when you feel good can help you to be more prepared for your bad days. You can take care of your mental health by prioritising things that are good for you in your life, such as spending time with people you love, practicing mindfulness and positive thinking and taking care of your body with exercise and nutritious food. It isn’t always easy to give time to taking care of your mental health, especially if you are feeling low. Remember that regardless of how you spent the day before each day is a fresh start. If you are having a bad day, finding the smallest things you can do that can improve your mood are worthwhile, be that taking a shower, practicing your breathing or listening to music that makes you feel good.
- 10 ways to maintain your positive mental health
- 6 ways to promote positive thinking
- Learning from negative emotions
- Using breathing exercises to help anxiety
8. Learn about how to help others
The constant negative news of the global pandemic can be emotionally draining and may leave you feeling that you would like to contribute some positivity to the world. Even with the lockdown restrictions there are things you can do online to help others. Across Ireland there are people and causes that need your support and educating yourself on the issues can be a good place to start. Read our articles about some of the issues we feel passionate about:
- How can I help homeless people in Ireland
- How can I help end Direct Provision
- How to help people in period poverty
- Resources that help me learn about racism
9. Make new friends
The COVID-19 restrictions mean that we are not allowed to meet up with our friends as we used to, and you may think that making new friends during this time isn’t an option. But with so many different ways to connect online, there are still opportunities to speak to new people or connect with those you may have lost touch with. If you are in college take advantage of group chats and tutorials to speak to those on your course. Connecting with others can make your time online more enjoyable and is a great way to boost your mental health.
10. Get political & push for change in your community
There is a lot happening in Ireland at the moment politically. The homeless crisis, Direct Provision, the climate crisis and racism are just some of the issues impacting on the lives of young people. You can help create positive change by engaging with local politicians to lobby for change. Not sure where to start? Check out our articles below that give advice on getting involved in politics as a young person and lobbying politicians for change.
- How to get involved in politics as a young person
- Why young people should get involved in political parties
- How to lobby a politician
- How to contact politicians about climate change
11. Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness can be a helpful tool for looking after your mental health and your general wellbeing. The idea is to focus on the present moment and what is happening around you rather than getting caught up in your thoughts. Mindfulness is about becoming more aware of what’s going on in the present moment. It aims to help you manage your thoughts and feelings, so you don’t become overwhelmed by them. You can practice mindfulness throughout your day. Mindfulness is a skill that you can work on and improve in. Like any skill the more you work on it, the better you become at it.
- What is mindfulness
- 5 ways to practice mindfulness
- Does mindfulness live up to the hype?
- Practising mindfulness and staying positive during the COVID-19 pandemic
12. Flirt with people online
Dating in person might be on hold but there are still plenty of opportunities to connect and flirt online. Haven’t tried online dating before? Check out our articles to learn more about the different apps and which one might suit you best.
13. Have a movie day
Even if we are spending most of our time indoors, we are still busy working from home, keeping up with college work or busy doing house work. Some days it is great to completely relax and only do the things you enjoy. Having a movie day can be an enjoyable way to unwind while being entertained. Branch out and try watching something you haven’t seen before or enjoy your old favourites.
14. Listen to some new podcasts
Feel like you’ve listened to everything good there is online at this stage? There is always more to discover. Check out our SpunOut.ie contributor’s recommendation on their favourite podcasts as well as our own “Change the World” podcast series.
- 10 podcasts that you need to have in your life
- The best self-care podcasts online for your mental health
- SpunOut.ie’s ‘Change the World’ podcast series
- 5 podcasts that help with my anxiety
15. Get ready for your next career move
Okay you might be stuck indoors at the moment but that doesn’t mean you can’t plan for the future or make a career change if it feels right for you. Visit our Employment section to find advice on writing CVs and cover letters, applying for jobs and interviewing. A new job might be just the thing to make you enjoy 2021 more.
16. Spring clean your social media account
You may not have much opportunity to post on social media while staying at home, but having some downtime is a great opportunity to give your social media a spring clean and get rid of accounts that don’t make you feel good. There is nothing to be gained from following influencers who push diet products or make you feel bad about yourself. Prioritise accounts that are uplifting and share messages of genuine self love.
- What I’ve learned from my social media spring clean
- Secrets of social media influencers
- 8 ways you can make the internet a nicer place to be
17. Find a new book to read
Reading is an incredible way to travel the world without leaving the house. Escape into your favourite novel or try something new. If you don’t love to read you can find loads of options online for audio books that you can listen to. Check out our articles below to find some of our volunteers’s recommendations on their favourite reads.
- 10 books for all occasions
- 8 books that every young person should read
- Are the characters in young adult novels good role models?
- Take a closer look at what your library has to offer
18. Volunteer with an organisation you like
There are still plenty of options to volunteer and give back online during the pandemic. Volunteering can be a great way to fill your time while doing something worthwhile. Read our articles below to learn more about volunteering opportunities and some of our volunteer’s experiences with their chosen charities.
- My experience volunteering with 50808
- What are the benefits of volunteering
- How volunteering has helped build my confidence
- How can I get involved in volunteer work in Ireland
19. Join a youth group
Although youth groups aren’t able to meet in person, most of them have moved online and are still offering services for young people. Whatever your interests you will be able to find a group for you as well as groups specifically for LGBTI+ young people, Traveller youth groups and groups as Gaeilge (in Irish). Read our article to find out some of the options available to you or search online for one that suits your tastes.
- How to find youth groups in your local area
- Joining a youth group can change your life
- Join the SpunOut.ie Action Panel
- My time on SpunOut.ie’s Action Panel
Feeling overwhelmed or want to talk to someone right now?
- Get anonymous support 24/7 with our text message support service
- Connect with a trained volunteer who will listen to you, and help you to move forward feeling better
- Free-text SPUNOUT to 50808 to begin
- Find out more about our text message support service