Things to Do

What to Do When You’re Bored: 265 Ideas for Every Mood


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href="" target="“_blank”" rel="“noopener noopener">Caitlin Schneider
href="" target="“_blank”" rel="“noopener noopener">Caitlin Schneider

It doesn’t matter how busy you are or how long your to-do list is, there will still be times when boredom inevitably strikes. It’s easy to get stuck in a repetitive routine, feel burnt out on doing the same workout or hobby over and over, or just not know what to do with yourself sometimes. It happens to the best of us, including the busiest of people. However, a lot can happen when you make the most of your idle time—you can discover new passions, step out of your comfort zone, and even learn how to stop boredom eating once and for all. So the next time you find yourself sitting around looking for something to do, turn to one of these 265 ideas for guidance on how to fill your free time. Keep scrolling to learn more.

265 Ideas for What to Do When You’re Bored

Fun Things to Do When You’re Bored

Source: Alexandra Pagar-Wolf

The next time you’re bored, let loose and get out of your funk with one of these fun activities.

  • Play a board game
  • Make a playlist of your favorite songs and dance around the living room
  • Watch a movie you haven’t seen before
  • Visit the library and check out books by a new-to-you author
  • Complete a puzzle
  • Start a new reality series
  • Learn all about your astrology birth chart
  • Chat with a friend or family member you haven’t talked to in a while
  • Take a virtual museum tour
  • Apply press-on nails
  • Try a virtual escape room
  • Play a video game on your computer, phone, or gaming console
  • Teach your dog a new trick
  • Volunteer at an animal shelter or local rescue
  • Treat yourself to a new vibrator
  • Have a favorite things day: do all your favorite things in your city
  • Check out a fan-favorite tourist spot
  • Go people-watching at your favorite coffee shop
  • Browse the aisles of Sephora
  • Go to your favorite bar and have the bartender whip you up a surprise drink
  • Read some erotica
  • Treat yourself to a facial
  • Order something new from a food truck
  • Visit a local art gallery
  • Go to an arcade
  • Make a seasonal sangria
  • Go to a drive-in
  • Visit a flea market
  • Order takeout from your favorite restaurant
  • Check out an outdoor drama or musical performance
  • Visit a carnival or amusement park
  • Take yourself on a scenic drive
  • Download The Sims 4 for some youthful nostalgia (it’s free, too!)
  • Plan an itinerary for your dream vacation
  • Plan a PowerPoint night with your friends
  • Pick up a hobby you did when you were young
  • Listen to a new podcast
  • Watch the Otter Cam from the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Productive Things to Do When You’re Bored

Source: Alaina Kaz

Boredom is the perfect time to check an item off your to-do list, and passing your downtime with one of these productive ideas will make you feel so accomplished.

  • Wipe down your desk and re-organize your work files
  • Deep clean the grout in your bathroom
  • Check-in on your investments and retirement portfolio
  • Meal plan for the week ahead
  • Update your resume or LinkedIn
  • Clean out your closet
  • Reorganize the fridge and pantry
  • Clean your makeup brushes
  • Organize family member and friend birthdays in your calendar with reminders
  • Deep clean your windows
  • Clean out your junk drawer
  • Vacuum underneath (or behind) your bed
  • Vacuum the inside of your couch
  • Inventory and organize important documents (birth certificate, passport, lease, etc.)
  • Clean out your email inbox
  • Deep clean your baseboards
  • Disinfect your door handles and light switches
  • Call your credit card company and ask for an increase on your limit (if approved, this can help your credit!)
  • Analyze your subscription services and cancel any you are not actively using
  • Take clothes to be altered
  • Make sure your pet’s microchip is up-to-date and registered with current information
  • Deep clean your vehicle
  • Learn to code
  • Watch iPhone photography tutorials and test some of the techniques
  • Print and frame those photos you’ve been meaning to
  • Organize and clean up your phone photos
  • Clean an area of your home you’ve been avoiding
  • Check the expiration dates on all your beauty products
  • Donate old and unused clothes to a women’s shelter
  • Create a budget for yourself
  • Open a high-yield savings account
  • Create a color-coded scheduling system in your planner or calendar
  • Power wash your patio or outdoor furniture
  • Take your area rugs to get professionally cleaned

Creative Things to Do When You’re Bored

Source: @_harlowejames

Whether you are looking for things to cook when bored, are interested in adult coloring books, or want to channel your inner Carrie Bradshaw, these ideas will help you tap into your creative side when you don’t know what to do with yourself.

  • Arrange a bouquet of flowers
  • Make a cocktail or mocktail
  • Bake something from scratch
  • Start journaling
  • Write a short story
  • Rearrange artwork
  • Scrapbook
  • Try knitting
  • Swap out table decor
  • Color in an adult coloring book
  • Take a paint-and-sip class
  • Tie-dye an old white T-shirt
  • Re-create a viral recipe
  • Invite friends over for a tasting: wine, ice cream, salsa, sandwiches—anything!
  • Play an instrument
  • Take a singing class
  • Try needlepoint
  • Watch a makeup tutorial and practice the technique
  • Sketch or paint something
  • Take a pottery class
  • Learn a new way to style your hair
  • Try out a trendy makeup look
  • Make your own ice cream
  • Write a letter to your younger self
  • Sew something
  • Try diamond dot painting
  • Make a wreath for your front door
  • Make a vision board for your goals and aspirations
  • Have an inner child day: do everything your kid self would want to do from sun up to sun down
  • Upcycle an old candle jar and find a new use for it (makeup brush holder, pot for a plant, the options are limitless!)
  • Organize and print photo books
  • Pickle your own vegetables

DIY Things to Do When You’re Bored

Source: @lizlovegrowswild

If there’s a project you’ve been putting off or a home refresh you’ve been planning to make, now’s the perfect time to tackle it. Get crafty with one of these DIY activities and kiss your boredom goodbye.

  • Make your own artwork using old relics (think: ticket stubs, magazines, etc.)
  • Touch-up paint around your home
  • Restore a piece of furniture from Facebook Marketplace
  • Install a peel-and-stick backsplash
  • Build floating shelves
  • Recaulk your shower
  • Reupholster furniture that’s falling apart
  • Soundproof a wall
  • Install wall sconces or picture lights in the living room or bedroom
  • Replace the hardware on your cabinets
  • Swap your bathroom mirror
  • Make a teeth-whitening paste
  • Repot indoor plants
  • Start composting
  • Make an herb garden
  • Swap out a light fixture
  • Give your front door a makeover: clean the door, swap your welcome mat, and add some plants or decor
  • Make a hanging pot rack for the kitchen
  • Create a homemade necklace for yourself or someone you’re close with
  • Repaint a room
  • Hang up new curtains
  • Put together a care package and send it to someone who lives out of state
  • Make a frame for your television
  • Make brush cleaner for your makeup brushes
  • Create a cleaning solution and clean jewelry pieces you wear most often
  • Turn an old dress into a shirt
  • Tailor a piece of clothing
  • Create your own tinted moisturizer
  • Make a DIY face mask
  • Shop your closet and put together outfits you’re excited to wear
  • Paint old picture frames and rehang art
  • Try a new smoothie recipe

Cool Things to Do When You’re Bored

Source: @gabbywhiten

Sometimes you just want to do something different. The next time you’re bored, switch things up with one of these cool and unique activities.

  • Take yourself out to eat
  • Get your palm read
  • Go to an antique store
  • Take an online meditation class
  • Get a new piercing
  • Explore a used bookstore
  • Check out a new bar or restaurant
  • Play tourist in your city
  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen or Boys & Girls Club
  • Find a new ice cream shop and try their most popular flavor
  • Visit a local thrift store
  • Take a mixology class
  • Hit up a winery or brewery for a tasting or tour
  • Visit the local zoo or aquarium
  • Visit local farms that offer activities or fresh produce
  • Visit a botanical garden or arboretum
  • Rally your neighbors, friends, and family and donate canned goods to a local food bank
  • Check out a local comedy club or show
  • Hit up a karaoke bar
  • Hand out flyers for a local charity or shelter
  • Create a bouquet of wildflowers and hand them to a stranger who looks like they could use them–it will make their day
  • Go to a local sporting event
  • Make a care package for a women’s shelter
  • Stroll through an outdoor art or food festival
  • Visit an ice cream shop and try their bestselling flavor
  • Watch a hometown singer or band perform at a local bar

Active Things to Do When You’re Bored

Source: @jessannkirby

Breaking a sweat and getting your heart pumping is never a bad thing, and with these activities, you can pass the time in one of the healthiest ways possible. Try one of these ideas the next time you’re bored and in the mood to move.

  • Do yoga
  • Take a dance class
  • Try pure barre
  • Try a new workout class with ClassPass
  • Go for a hike on a safe, well-known nature trail
  • Hula hoop
  • Go rollerblading
  • Play volleyball
  • Run or jog on the beach
  • Try the Taylor Swift treadmill workout
  • Ride a bike
  • Jump rope
  • Go for a hot girl walk
  • Try wall pilates
  • Visit an ice skating rink
  • Go swimming in a community pool, lake, or the ocean
  • Play pickleball 
  • Start a strength training regimen 
  • Sign up for tennis lessons
  • Start the couch to 5K training
  • Go for an after-dinner stroll
  • Foam roll tight muscles
  • Go beachcombing
  • Release some tension with a tech neck stretch
  • Play bocce ball
  • Tend to your garden
  • Go bowling
  • Play laser tag
  • Go on a coffee walk
  • Join a recreational sports league
  • Take yourself on a long, romantic walk on the beach

Educational Things to Do When You’re Bored

Source: Alaina Kaz

Life is a never-ending learning journey, and viewing it as one will help you grow and become more successful. Take advantage of your downtime and educate yourself with one of these ideas the next time you’re bored.

Outdoor Things to Do When You’re Bored

Source: @stephanietrotta

Nothing’s more revitalizing than fresh air. The next time you’re bored, head outside and soak in all nature has to offer with one of these fun outdoor activities.

  • Have a picnic
  • Watch the sunset
  • Take a leisurely evening stroll
  • Sit outside and meditate
  • Dine al fresco
  • Walk through a local park or hiking trail
  • Fly a kite
  • Go stargazing—the SkyView app makes it easy to do anywhere
  • Enjoy a relaxing evening around the fire pit (bonus points if s’mores are involved)
  • Go mini-golfing
  • Visit a local farmer’s market
  • Check out a botanical garden
  • Plant something outside
  • Photograph nature
  • Buy or make bird feeders and put them in your yard
  • Hang out at the beach
  • Collect rocks or seashells
  • Go flower picking
  • Go fruit picking
  • Play in a sprinkler or slip n’ slide
  • Lounge on your deck and read a book (don’t forget the SPF!)
  • Go on a local street stroll
  • Visit an outdoor mall
  • Cook some food on the grill
  • Watch some fireworks
  • Visit a water park
  • Host a traditional New England clambake
  • Drink a cup of coffee and watch the birds
  • Write in a gratitude journal outside
  • Go bird watching

Relaxing Things to Do When You’re Bored

Source: @ashbegash

Treating yourself with something that feels good and helps you unwind is one of the best ways to spend your downtime and reset. Give yourself permission to de-stress with one of these relaxing ideas the next time you’re bored.

  • Listen to a podcast and go for a long drive
  • Get a massage
  • Snag a hotel amenity day pass and treat yourself to the spa and pool
  • Apply a face mask
  • Give yourself a mani-pedi
  • Take a long bath
  • Get a blowout
  • Have a tech-free evening
  • Take an everything shower
  • Light some candles and enjoy a glass of wine
  • Learn to gua sha
  • Exfoliate
  • Do some deep breathing exercises
  • Listen to relaxing music
  • Write out a gratitude list
  • Order takeout from your favorite places
  • Get a scalp massage (or DIY at home)
  • Pick a nostalgic movie or TV series and re-watch from the beginning
  • Catch up with an old friend you haven’t heard from in a while
  • Wash your bedding and, if possible, let the sheets dry outside for that fresh smell