16 ways to beat self-isolation boredom

Having to self-isolate can be difficult, but here are some ideas if you’re running out of things to do

Written by spunout


If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or if you have tested positive, then you will need to self-isolate for a number of days. This means staying in your room alone and avoiding contact with other people. Being stuck by yourself for so long can be difficult, and you might be finding it hard to keep the boredom at bay.

16 ways to beat self-isolation boredom

If you’re currently self-isolating and you’re looking for ways to deal with the boredom, here are some things you can try:

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.

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.

3. Focus on the positives

After a difficult two years of COVID-19 restrictions, 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.

4. Exercise

When you’re self isolating, you might be doing a lot of lying down or sitting around. If you have access to an outdoor space where you can be completely alone, you might be able to get some fresh air and stretch your legs. If not, you could try doing some exercises in your room, provided you are feeling well enough and you have the space to do so. Here are some things you could try:

5. 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.

6. 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. 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.

7. Learn 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:

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. Flirt with people online

Dating in person might be on hold at the moment 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.

11. 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.

12. 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 contributors’ recommendations on their favourite podcasts as well as our own “Change the World” podcast series.

13. 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.

14. 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.

15. 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.

16. Volunteer with an organisation you like

There are still plenty of options to volunteer and give back online. 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.

Feeling overwhelmed or want to talk to someone right now?

Our work is supported by