“The two enemies of human happiness are pain and boredom.”
– Arthur Schopenhauer
When you feel so sick you can barely lift your head from the pillow, you just want to get through the day in one piece.
But as you’re slowly getting better, your mind might crave some distraction, even though your body is still too weak to do much.
That’s when the boredom creeps in.
Sure, catching up on your Netflix queue is fun at first. But when you find yourself refreshing your social media feed every 5 minutes because the only other option is staring at the ceiling, it’s time for some entertainment!
Finding fun activities to do when you’re sick at home alone may seem like a luxury problem, but it can actually have a bigger impact on your wellbeing than you might realise. Studies have shown that you need 3 positive emotions to make up for every negative one – and there’s no lack of unpleasant experiences when you’re (chronically) ill.
So keep your happiness ratio up and fight the boredom with these 28 enjoyable ways to pass the time.
Fun Things to Do
When You’re Sick at Home
- Write your best friend a postcard.
- Curl up under a soft blanket with a cup of tea and an easy book.
- Have a movie marathon. You could pick an interesting theme, like travel (Lost in Translation, Into the Wild, Before Sunrise), art history (The Da Vinci Code, Goya’s Ghosts, Frida) or anything starring Ryan Gosling.
- Do crafts work: draw, string beads into a bracelet or have a go at knitting.
- Give yourself a soothing foot massage.
- Create a play list with happy songs. And sing along!
- Browse your cookbooks or food blogs for an easy but healthy meal.
- Call your mum. No one in the world will make you feel better when you’re sick.
- Do you physically feel unwell but your mind is still up for a challenge? Have a go at sudokus and crossword puzzles, watch TED – talks or listen to captivating podcasts.
- Give your bed room a mini makeover – especially if you spend much time in it! Hang new pictures on the wall, change up your pillow covers or display pretty items on a mirrored tray. Browse Pinterest for cute but doable DIY ideas.
- Reminisce by compiling a photo book of the special moments in your life.
- Turn a boring day in bed into a ‘slumber party for one’: put a chick flick on, make some dark chocolate and sea salt popcorn and pamper yourself with a face mask and sparkly nail polish.
- Build your own fantasy football team and join an online competition.
- Learn to play a new song on your guitar or piano.
- Bake something sweet yet nourishing, like these carrot and oats cranberry cookies.
- Keep a journal. It can be a safe way to express your feelings as well as boost your happiness by listing what you’re grateful for – despite your struggles – each day.
- Treat your body well: do some gentle stretching and nourish yourself with herbal teas or veggie juices.
- Watch an entire season of your favourite TV series. Some of my all-time favourites include The Bridge, Waking the Dead and Scandal.
- Create a physical mood board. Collect inspiring images, magazine clippings, motivational quotes or fabrics – anything that helps you visualize your dreams, decorating scheme or signature look.
- Sink into the tub for a long luxurious bath – with bubbles of course!
- Play Solitaire, solo chess or a video game.
- If you feel up for it, go for a slow walk around the block. Maybe you can pick up a magazine or flowers to cheer yourself up?
- Document your daily life with photographs. Even a dull day becomes fascinating when you’re trying to spot the beauty in everyday moments.
- Find something that makes you laugh: a YouTube-video, hilarious joke or a comedy show.
- Buy a colouring book for adults and get your crayons ready for some soothing creativity.
- Grow a small herb garden in your window box.
- Plan a fun event for when you’ll feel better – a mini road trip, a concert or a night out with friends. You could also buy a Future Listography Journal and make lists of all the cool things you hope to do one day.
- Disconnect from the world for a little while. Light a few candles, listen to relaxing music and just stare out the window.
If you spend a lot of time in bed or resting on the couch due to chronic health problems, I strongly recommend making your own list of fun activities or simple pleasures that you can enjoy even when you’re ill.
Write down names of movies you’d like to watch, which books you’d like to read or particular projects that would cheer you up (e.g. “make a birthday card for my niece”). Having specific ideas to fall back on when you’re in pain, lonely and bored out of your mind can really help you cope with bad days.
How do you keep yourself entertained when you’re sick at home?
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