Beating the Boredom

Anissa Peoples, Staff Reporter

While Ohio is on a stay-at-home order, many are finding an excess amount of time on their hands. Some may find this to be a welcomed chance to relax and get a much-needed rest. However, for many, the isolation and boredom can be setting in, causing even more worry about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. To help keep you stay occupied in healthy ways (looking at you, Netflix and snacks), here are some ways to beat the social-distancing boredom.

  • Enjoy a walk at Shawnee State Park – While the bathrooms may be closed, Shawnee State Park is still allowing visitors to use the trails. Providing everyone maintains proper distance (the Ohio Department of Health suggests six feet), this can be a great way to get some exercise at your own pace.
  • Play a game online – The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests online gaming as a way to stay connected with friends. There are many free games on most Apple and Android phones to play with friends through social media. Some good places to start are Words With Friends and Draw Something.
  • Get a jump start on spring cleaning – Spring cleaning can feel daunting at a glance, especially for the big yearly tasks. An easy way to make it more manageable is to take one area or room per day. Need to dust the knick-knacks? There’s an afternoon’s work. Got a closet to organize? That’s a day’s work alone. Small steps add up to make a big impact.
  • Try a new book – The Choose to Read Ohio Booklist has 20 book suggestions to help you get started. The Portsmouth Public Library may be closed, but they provide access to many e-books online that you can download and read for free.
  • Break out the lawn games – Stay-at-home doesn’t have to mean stay indoors. On a nice day, you can go outside and enjoy some cornhole, hopscotch, tag, or other games with your family. However, the extended family will have to sit this one out. The stay-at-home order prohibits gatherings of people that aren’t in your household.
  • Video call friends and family – For many, stay-at-home can mean staying isolated from nearly everyone, especially for those in nursing or elderly care facilities. If possible, use Skype or Facetime to call a friend or family member and have a chat. Chances are, you probably aren’t the only one who is feeling the boredom or isolation.
  • Try something new for dinner – This is a great time to use up the stuff that has been sitting in the back of the cabinet for a while. You can also look up some new recipes on Pinterest and try something completely new.
  • Start learning a new language – If you’ve ever wanted to try learning a new language but never had the time, now is a good time to integrate it into your routine. There are many resources online to start the process of learning a new language. A good place to start is Duolingo, found on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
  • Do a craft – Dig out some paint, crayons or colored pencils and flex your creative muscles. If you have a printer, here’s a free coloring book you can print to get you started. Coloring books can be relaxing as well as distracting, so they’re a great way to escape for a little while.
  • Try some yoga – If it’s cold or rainy outside and you still want to get some exercise in, you could try some yoga. Even if you’ve never done yoga, there are resources out there to get you started. YouTube has yoga videos that are great for beginners, like this one. 

For people with children around the house, some of those boredom-busters can be relatively difficult. Here are some kid-focused activities to help them beat the isolation and boredom too.

  • Check out fun educational websites – PBS Kids and both have a plethora of games and activities to try for nearly any age group. Learning doesn’t all have to be the schoolwork they were sent home with, after all.
  • Make a scavenger hunt – This one can be as simple as hiding and finding items around the house or as expansive as making a list and taking a walk around your neighborhood together. Keeps kids engaged and keeps you occupied, win-win!
  • Dance! – As simple as it sounds, dancing around the living room can be a fun and easy way to burn energy and escape the stress of the outside world. If you prefer a less structured dance party, just blare your favorite songs and have fun. If you’re the type that likes structure to your dancing, games such as Just Dance or Dance Central are available to download on most major consoles, or you can look the dances up on YouTube.
  • Make a mess (that is easy to clean up) – For smaller children, you can get some shaving cream and spread it on a table or counter. Kids can draw pictures or letters in the foam, or just play with it. For cleanup, grab a towel and wipe clean. Easy hours of fun!

While the stay-at-home order is in effect, we may be stuck at home, but that doesn’t mean Ohioans are stuck with just Netflix and snacks to stay occupied. There is a plethora of creative ways to beat the isolation and boredom out there, and this list is just the beginning.


For more ideas on ways to stay occupied, check out the Ohio Department of Health’s list here.