by Kim Rosenthal MD, from Outside-the-Box Recovery.
You’re bored, life’s come to a halt, and you need relief right now. It could be boredom. It could be depression. Or it might just be that you need an idea to jump-start you along. Here are 150+ things to do when you don’t know what to do. Pick one and have fun.
Wait! There are several we recommend NOT doing. Can you tell which ones?
Take your dog for a walk
Take your cat for a walk
Take your spouse for a walk.
Think about getting married
Think about getting divorced
Think about getting divorced, staying with your partner, and living in sin
Instead, read a random list of things to do when you’re bored
Be marveled at the list’s caliber and quality.
Okay, here’s the real list…
Paint a picture. Paint your house. Paint someone else’s house… pink.
Ride a motorcycle
Listen to good music
Watch a good movie
Make a horror flick using your smart phone
Knit or crochet
Color in a coloring book
Post anonymous signs reading “No anonymous signs”
Play with a pet
Teach your pet tricks
Let your pet teach you tricks
Burn incense or candles
Ride a bicycle
Think about good memories
Cut out pictures and make a collage
Call McDonald’s and ask for the number of Burger King
Make paper airplanes and throw them off a tall building
Tell someone you love them
Tell someone you REALLY love them
Deal with restraining order in mature manner
Search your name online
Look at old photographs or letters
Write Christmas cards and send them to friends (when it isn’t Christmas)
Up the music, dim the lights, and dance
Play video games
Go for a walk
Visit your Book of Life
Talk to yourself out loud (say goofy stuff)
Laugh at yourself
Sing in the shower
Sing in the car
Make beads or figures out of clay
Play with Play-Doh or Silly Putty
Read something funny or inspiring
Donate all your money to a good cause
Soak in the bathtub
Soak in the tub with company
Be confused about ostriches
Make a memory book
Organize old photographs
Collect coins, stamps, watches, etc
Go to the aquarium and watch the fish
Make a photo album
Lie out in the sun
Do something artistic
Read about getting over depression, anxiety, stress, or whatever it is that ails you
Care for your indoor plants
Buy plastic plants when the real ones die
Doodle. Draw stick-people and have fun with it
Cook or bake
Read past journals
Make a gift for someone
Sit out on porch or balcony
Train your parrot to talk
Teach your dog to clean the house
Groan because dogs can’t clean houses
Groan because that was a ridiculous joke
Groan because that wasn’t a joke at all
Read and write poetry
Curl up with a cup of hot chocolate and listen to the rain. If it isn’t raining, download an app that makes rain sounds
Spend time with family
Look for quotes on the internet
Look for funny or cute pictures online
Read comic books
Document your dreams
Write out your goals
Design a website
Tattoo yourself or somebody else with henna
Get a real tattoo
Make yourself a cup of coffee or tea and drink it slowly
Take a nap
Dance some more
Smoke a cigarette
Go back to school
Play table games
Write a story
Search Facebook for old friends
Look at art books
Take care of a bonsai tree
Buy or sell stock
Go to the park and feed the ducks.
Go to the park and eat duck for dinner
Go to the park and feed pigeons…
Call a friend about food poisoning
Be nice to a telemarketer and make conversation. Ask them where they live, what it’s like, and how they got their job.
Act official and tell the telemarketer they’ve reached the FBI
Offer to sell (fake) pornography to a telemarketer and see if they give you their credit card number
Be nice to a telemarketer again. They’re only human.
If you are a telemarketer… we apologize. Please don’t buy pornography from strangers.
Plan a camping trip/ go camping
Plan a holiday (whether you plan to go or not)
Go on a picnic
Fly a kite
Think good thoughts about self and world
Go to an art store
Go to a pet store and look at the animals
Buy a dog
Buy a cat
Buy a large spider and teach it how to play dead
Sorry, another bad joke
Learn how to skateboard
Learn how to NOT fall off a skateboard
Try roller skates instead
Learn how to NOT fall using roller skates
Consider hiking instead
Go to an electronic store, play with the gadgets
Buy a gadget. No shoplifting.
Play an instrument
Go window shopping
Go shopping… for real. Wander about a department store for two hours, ask lots of questions, try on a dozen shirts, then buy gum and leave
Draw a maze
Go horseback riding
Roll down a hill, or take a piece of cardboard and slide down
Be careful because you’re dizzy from rolling. Consider not doing it again.
Play on kids’ swings
Go to church
Hang a bird feeder outside your house
Wage war against squirrels when they try to eat your bird food
Come up with ingenious ways to trick the squirrels… greasy pipes, spinning pipes, material that can’t be gnawed
Give up on your ingenious ways. Catch the squirrels one by one, drive them to a faraway place, and set them free. Then buy bird food without sunflower seeds.
Watch happy birds.
Take up a sport
Go downtown and people watch
Ask somebody to bail you out of jail for watching people
Go to court and use this article as a defense, “it told me to study people.”
Feed a stray or wild animal (in a safe way)
Go to the library and browse books
Go to the beach
Okay, travel 300 miles and go to the beach
Or visit a nearby lake
Or visit a puddle
Go house-hunting. Go see open houses
Go for a walk in the rain. Wear a hat to keep your face dry.
Go to garage sales
And go to flea markets too!
Spend the day fishing
Participate in a theater production
Write a play
Dress up just for the fun of it
Go for a short drive. Explore a neighborhood you’ve never visited before.
Sign up on a dating site and explore your options.
If you’re single, date someone
If you’re not single, consider not dating someone new
Visit the YMCA or YWCA
Learn how to read palms
Learn how to do tarot and impress your friends
Learn how to juggle
Learn a few magic tricks
Visit the local cafe and get to know the staff
Visit the local cafe and impress everyone with your palm-reading, tarot reading, juggling, and magic tricks
Put on funny clothing
Go see a psychic
Think about new ways to make money
Don’t think about robbing a bank
Join a mental health support group.
Join a hiking group, book club, writer’s support group, etc. Meet new people.
Attend a twelve step meeting. Tell them you’re working on your fourth commandment.
Go for a jog.
Buy music you like
Volunteer at a hospital, homeless shelter, animal shelter, library, or other place.
Adopt a pet.
Adopt a penguin. Having a penguin makes you cool.
Spend the afternoon cloud watching
Play card games alone or with someone
Practice karate or judo
Go to free events or discussions in town
Give a free lecture about something you’re good at
Give a free lecture and make everything up as you go
Use imagery to overcome stress.
Go to a comedy club
Become a comedian. Attend comedian school. It’s expensive, but the government offers great scholarships.
Read a funny book.
The next time it rains, go for a walk and jump in the puddles
Invite somebody over to your house and bake a cake together. Decide who gets to lick the bowl.
Go to the mall
Think about past vacations
Read a newspaper and catch up on current events
Build model cars, airplanes, etc
Use free internet at library
Go to the movies
Go to the front of the theater and make a speech as though you belong there (the author once did this)
Hang out in a bookstore.
Go out and drink a cup of coffee or two with friends
Check out the author’s Mental Health and You blog!
And learn about the author’s Outside-the-Box Recovery Workbook.
Share this list with a friend.
Share it with everyone you know.
Write a comment for the author singing her praises, focusing on her brilliance, making her feel special — and appreciating her humility
Thank you so much
No money? No problem. Check out Fun stuff you can do for free.