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I'm BORED now...

Published on 08 April 2020 11:19 AM

Being in isolation, shielding, cocooning or on limited movement can be hard going and after visiting the linen closet for the 4th time this week it can be difficult to find something to do.

Below we have tried to put together a list of things you might like to try (we've even included some that don't need a computer or internet access!)

note: all suggested apps are the personal suggestions of the writer of this article. They are not endorsed in anyway by Age UK Bromley & Greenwich and we are not getting an affiliate payment for mentioning them.

Bear Grylls in conjunction with the scouts has put together a range of activities called 'The Great Indoors'.  why not connect with your inner 8 year old and see if you can remember the science behind making your own tornado?

  • If you are with other people, try a board game - introduce someone to your favourite game or finally learn the rules to bridge. (if you have a smart phone you can also play online with friends - Scrabble or Words with Friends is very popular)
  • Invent your own game - use familiar pieces or invent your own house rules.
  • Create a family or friends WhatsApp group - if you have a smart phone this is a great way of sharing information with a group of people at the same time – it’s like group texting but you can also share pictures, voice recorded messages and videos.  If you don’t know how to create a group, maybe one of your family or friends does and can add you in, but you can suggest forming the group.
  • Put on the radio or get the CD's or Records out and sing along
  • Put on the radio, CD's or records and have a boogie in the front room (it has the added advantage of sneaking in some exercise!  If you want something more structured try searching for easy line dance or Zumba gold on YouTube - and Joe Wicks is doing a live 30 minute session aimed at children every morning at 9am if you are more active)
  • Learn, Relearn or Play a musical instrument - even just having a giggle with a comb and peice of baking or greaseproof paper!
  • Dig out your videos, DVDs, streaming service or use one of the film channels on Freeview (such as Talking Pictures) and watch a new movie or an old favourite
  • Puzzle it out - put together a jigsaw (there are several apps to let you do jigsaws for free on your smart phone if you don't have one lying around)
  • Plan your next holiday or big project - where would you go, what will you see, what will you pack... remodel the garden or back room, plan a new kitchen.  You don't have to do any of these things but it can be fun to play with ideas and you might even discover you want to rearrange the living room to try out a new layout.
  • Rearrange your furniture - moving your furniture around can make your environment feel very different and therefore new and interesting.  You can always move it back again if you don't like it - and you might discover a layout you hadn't thought of before.
  • Build a fort - protect yourself from the world and build a cushion, blanket or pillow fort and 'camp' at home.
  • Workout - you can walk up and down the front room, round the coffee table, do wall push-ups, squats, high knees, lunges, tricep dips... you can even use some of those store cupboard tins to do a light weights workout!  Exercise is important to help stay strong and healthy. (naturally there are apps and YouTube videos to help you workout at home as well as free yoga apps)
  • Mediate - just sit, close your eyes and take some slow breaths.  Try focussing on just your breath - in for a count of 4 and out for a count of 6.  Can you do 20, 30 or 40 breaths without thinking about something else? (there are of course free apps for this, or YouTube videos)
  • Write a letter - most of us no longer sit down and write physical letters, and it's such a lovely thing to receive in the post.  You don't have to post it now, it can wait till you are ready to go to the post box.
  • Call a Friend - phone someone, or if you know how (or why not learn?) use skype to get in touch with family and friends.  Skype works as part of your data package so it also doesn't cost you much to call abroad - you've already paid as part of your internet connection.
  • Learn a Language - brush up on your school languages, learn a few words for your next holiday or even just learn for fun!  Free apps such as Memrise or Duolingo can get you started.
  • Watch a performance - if you don't fancy a film but have the internet, several platforms now show opera, ballet or orchestras - try YouTube or searching "watch opera online"
  • Play a video game - have a console in the house for the kids or grandkids?  Now is a great time to learn how to play or get a top score without an 8 year old judging you.
  • Read a book - try something you wouldn't normally read or lose yourself in an old favourite.  The Kindle reader app is free and can be put on your phone, laptop or desktop and there are lots of free books available on the Amazon Kindle store.
  • Read a Poem - learn a poem off by heart (just a line or 2 a day), try reading aloud and reading it in different ways to see if that makes the poem mean different things.
  • Practice your mental arithmetic- can you remember your times tables?  Do you know your 13x table or your 22x?  Can you count backwards from 100 in 7's? try Brilliant.org for some online tests
  • Try an Audiobook - you can use the Audible app to download a spoken book, and your first book is free.
  • Add some Colour to your day - get your pencils out and draw something, or use a colouring app such as colorfy or happy colour to get creative without the need for craft supplies.
  • Try a Podcast - tried an audio book but want something different?  Podcasts are like mini radio shows about a specific subject area.  Download a podcast (iPlayer, Podcast Republic, Spotify....there's lots of different apps to help you find them) and listen to topics, debates and stories on everything from True Crime to Comedy and everything in-between.  Friends might have recommendations for their favourites.
  • Smile! - get out your photos and finally get them into some order e.g. date, events, people in them... If you have your photo's digitally you can even use various online services to create a photo book (search 'make a photo book') and they will let you create your own book or calendar and post it to you.
  • Try a new recipe - dig out those cook books and make something you haven't made before.  Supercook will even suggest recipes based on what ingredients you have (as will bbcgoodfood and recipeland
  • Have a Spa (Half) Day!  Taking a bit of time to really focus on a bit of self-pampering can make you feel much better.  Run a bubble bath, do a wet shave, paint your nails, trim your beard, try a home facial, steam your face (with a bowl of hot water and a towel), do a hair mask with olive oil and some cling film (make sure to shampoo afterwards!)
  • Try Journaling - start an informal diary and jot down any thoughts you like - the weather, how you are feeling today, to-do lists, quotes you've heard, books you want to read, films you've seen... 
  • Start a Commonplace Book - Essentially scrapbooks filled with information around a general or common topic.  This includes items of every kind: recipes, quotes, letters, poems, tables of weights and measures, proverbs, prayers, legal formulas. Used as an aid for remembering useful concepts or facts, each one is unique to its creator's particular interests but they almost always include passages found in other texts, sometimes accompanied by the owners notes. Commonplace books are private collections of information, but they are not diaries or journals.
  • Write your Life Story - your life is fascinating, even if it is normal for you because you lived it.  Start with your key events, things that influenced you and your decisions or with the stories that get told at every family gathering.
  • Clean the House - tackle a specific task (clean the cupboards, polish the flatware) or room (kitchen, linen closet) each day and have a sense of achievement.
  • Open the Window - try and sit in natural light for half an hour each day.  If you do this early or at dusk you can also listen to the bird chorus.  Opening the window means you are getting some fresh air even if you don't want to or can't go out.
  • Do the weeding - if you are lucky enough to have a bit of garden (window box, patio, balcony, back yard, front garden..) then why not tend to it?  As long as you can maintain your social distancing you are allowed to go outside.
  • Go for a walk or a bike ride - the government say it is perfectly safe to go for a walk as long as you don't get too close to the people you may meet.   Walk around the block, post those letters you wrote, stand on the front step and take some deep breaths, do a loop around your garden.  Just a short 5 minutes will help.
  • What do you have in your pockets? - go through your jacket pockets, your handbag, wallet, purse and get rid of those old receipts, random washers, broken elastic bands...
  • Clean out the Closet - go through your clothes and get rid of anything you on longer like or fit into.  Try different outfit combinations and make a pile of anything that needs mending.
  • Fix it - sort those little jobs that you keep meaning to do - glue that knob back on that switch, tighten that washer, sew on that button, polish those shoes, replace that lightbulb...
  • Empty that Drawer - we all have one.  that drawer where everything that doesn't have somewhere to live ends up.  Go through it and organise it.
  • Organise the Kitchen - is there better places to keep things, would your cutlery drawer be better in a different drawer, could somethings be put in harder to reach storage, did your pot of oregano go out of date in 2003?
  • Refresh your Mantelpiece - rearrange your photos (or use some new ones now you've sorted through them), add a pop of colour with a favourite trinket
  • Make a List - as you are sorting through everything keep a list of things that need replacing or refreshing such as sheets, cleaning products, new photo frames that you can buy when things get back to normal.
  • Eat Al Fresco - if you have a balcony, garden space or back step, try eating breakfast or lunch outside and having a mini picnic.
  • Learn a new skill - use YouTube to watch tutorials and learn simple woodworking, how to fuse a plug, how to knit or crochet, how to paint or draw, how to sew...
  • Take an online course - there's lots of free courses out there - Open University have about 1000 free short courses and some have group forums so you can discuss what you are learning.
  • Have you met TED? - TED is a series of short lectures on every possible subject you can think of.  Dive in and learn something new -you can find videos on the TED site, or via YouTube.
  • Organise your Paperwork - shred or destroy papers you don't need anymore, label clearly the stuff you do need and make sure everything is kept securely.  Think about starting an instruction sheet for sorting your affairs such as bank details, passwords for online accounts (such as gas and electric) and the most recent copy of your will.  For example I have a list of the online groups I am part of and how to tell them I won't be logging in anymore, how to close down my social media and where to find the hidden gold.