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  • Writer's picture Dean Harrison - Counselling Psychologist

BORED? A to Z of Things to do Online

Updated: Jun 7

Time is a gift! Use it wisely. Boredom is what one doesn’t do. Here is a list of activities you can undertake online if you find you have spare time.

Art: There is nothing like visiting an art gallery and enjoying the ambience while you peruse creative works but if a trip to the art gallery is out of the question, then go online and search for images of art you like. Explore and learn more about your favourite artists, their lives and what influenced their work. The art pieces you see are often just the tip of the iceberg, below which you will find far more depth in the life stories of those that created the inspirational works. Acquire art and support artists who can struggle to make a living from their work.

Book List: Start a list of books you would like to read. A list prevents you wasting money buying books that sit on your shelf unread. Be strategic. Buy one book at a time and when you’ve read it, you can then reward yourself by purchasing the next one. Maybe think about buying e-books or borrow books through your local library. You can always buy a hard copy if it is one of those rare books you want to keep and will refer to in the future. Want the best price? Try This website will search the world and give you the best price (including delivery) on new and used books and DVD’s. Read or listen to an e-book.

Girl finding things to do online

Bucket List: Write a list of the things you would like to do before you one day kick the bucket. This helps ensure that when your lights go out one day, hopefully in the distant future, you die without regret. Keep a comprehensive list of activities that are easily achievable right though to your big dream ideas! Then regularly ensure you are adding to the list and crossing off items as you achieve them. You only live once. Be silly and creative, but nothing illegal, naturally. Unless going to jail is on your bucket list? I certainly hope not.

Chess: Join our online chess group (ICON: iflow Chess Online Network). Find us on Facebook and request access. This group is growing in numbers and provides a platform for members to engage in social games of chess and develop their skills.

Do List: Keeping a Do List can eliminate worry about forgetting to do something. Recording activities you need to remember helps externalise your thoughts, have less on your mind and even become more organised and efficient. Never let the list become your master. Balance the Do List with your motivation and mood on the day and maintain spontaneity in your life.

Man creating a to do list

Events: Even if you are not ready to celebrate, start planning. Planning an event is half the fun! Make a list of who you would invite, possible venues, themes, music, decorations, and items for your menu. Planning will help ensure you get more enjoyment from the event.

Find your Flow! Each of us needs to find our flow activity, or activities. These are activities we find intrinsically rewarding. When we engage in flow activities, we lose track of time and have a laser focus. These activities are undertaken, at least initially, for no other purpose except the fact that you enjoy them. The more you engage in flow activities, the more you gain skills. As you gain skills, you pursue increased challenges, and vice versa. Think about activities you enjoyed in childhood. Start by searching online for subject matters that interest you such as: sport, music, arts, crafts, cooking, car maintenance, and so on. The list is endless. Explore, make lists, and start engaging in your flow.

Goals: Think about short term, medium term, and long-term goals. Time spent thinking and planning the future is helpful. Keep this planning intentional, so we are not just engaged in worry about the future. Think about things you would like to do, try, see, taste, feel, smell, experience, achieve, and so on. Use DUMB goals! Dream-Driven, Uplifting, Method-Friendly and Behaviour-Driven.

Woman engaging in a moment of gratitude

Gratitude list. We have so much to appreciate and for which to be grateful. Gratitude is associated with positive mental health. So often we dwell on what we do not have, rather than appreciate what we do have. Adopt an attitude of gratitude! Be thankful for your health, for having a roof over your head, to have fresh drinkable water, for shelter from the cold in winter and the heat in summer, for having an abundance of food available, for the fresh air we breathe, and so on. Thank you also for reading this blog!

Homework: Oh! That word! We should ban it from our vocabulary. Why does learning have to be work? It should be called home-learning, or even home-growth. When something feels like work, it becomes aversive. Reframe the experience. Approach your learning at home as a growth experience. If you must do it, then you might has well enjoy it, right!? I know this sounds crazy to many, but the attitude we adopt when we approach a task can change the whole experience. A positive attitude will also enhance learning and creativity. Avoid procrastination too, as this makes the task ultimately more aversive. Embrace your learning and stay ahead. It will be a far more positive experience.

Invest: Now, playing the stock market can be like gambling. It can be addictive for those who love numbers, graphs, trends, and risk. Start by using systems that offer play credits, so you are not investing real money and see how you go. If you decide to venture into real investments, then you are acting alone! We take no responsibility for any losses, but we are open to donations if you become filthy rich!

Man investing online

Journaling: Now Journaling is not recording what you have done each day. A journal is an important tool for survival but needs to be used in a positive and creative way. Record the three G’s. Write down your Goals, things for which you are Grateful and acts of Giving you have or will undertake. If you need to externalise pain points write them down on something you will delete or destroy. That way you never have to be reminded of your pain points. Leave the suffering behind.

Kindness: Be kind. Think about donating your time or skills to a good cause. If you do not have time to volunteer for something, then reach out to people and share words of kindness. Tell you friends about how much you appreciate them, or something they have done for you. Remind members of your family you love them. Share posts to make someone laugh. It just makes the world a better place and is good for everyone’s mental health. Watch video’s or read stories on random acts of kindness. It is often inspiring seeing the unconditional goodwill people can display. There is nothing more wonderful than seeing humans save wildlife for instance, rather than destroying it.

Mother and daughter sharing kindness

Learning: Ever dreamed about learning a new skill or gaining knowledge in a specific area. There is a world of knowledge at your fingertips. Just start googling. Be careful of where you source your information, though. Check the qualifications of individuals sharing knowledge and access information from reputable organisations. In this era of rampant misinformation, there are too many lounge chair experts sharing uninformed views. Remember the sayings: ‘Empty buckets make the most noise’ and ‘Shallow brooks are noisy.’ Check your sources.

Music: Listen to music online and try an app like Spotify. When you hear songs you love, save them to your favourite playlist. While relaxing, develop your own playlist of favourite music tracks, or multitask, and do it while you are working.

Network: Explore your existing networks and reconnect with people whom you might not have had contact with for a while. Explore new connections through social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn. We all need connections. Don’t be afraid to reach out and share.

express yourself but don't offend

Object, obstruct, offend! Just kidding. Don’t be a troll! Why waste time being negative, hurtful, and expressing anger. Trolling is the act of poisoning the world, you included. It can have devastating consequences on others. It just isn’t healthy, appropriate, or justified. Sure! Express your opinion, if you feel the need to, as that is the freedom, we have in a democracy but express your opinions and debate topics in a respectful manner. Different perspectives, ideas and viewpoints are healthy as long as they are not too extreme or pose harm to others.

Planning: Once you have listed your goals, you need to do some planning. How will you achieve your goals? Use SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely) Goals, that’s right. DUMB goals are great for the initial goal formulation, but SMART goals will be useful to provide a more concrete pathway to achieve your dreams.

Quotes: If you are looking for inspiration, try searching for quotes. Pinterest can be a good place to start by looking for memes. Create your own noticeboards where you can save images and memes for later reference. Quotes that contain wisdom tend to survive the test of time and are shared because of their inherent value.

Recipes: There is no time like the present to clean up your recipes and go digital! Download, scan and type up your recipes. It will save space, make them easier to access and allow you to add notes. When it is time to relinquish your family’s top-secret recipe, you can share them with your loved ones through the cloud.

learning to cook

Resume: There is nothing worse than deciding you want to change jobs and before you can even start applying you have to update your resume. Make it easier by using your free time to stay ahead and regularly update your resume so when you are ready for the big vocational move, you lighten your load.

Research: Thinking about your next project or purchase? Do some research online. Explore the range of products and services available. Learn, take notes, download images, and optimise your planning to get the best of your project or purchase. This is, however, not an endorsement of retail therapy.

Scrapbook: Think about creating a digital scrapbook where you simply collect images you enjoy or appreciate. This is a great mindfulness exercise. It can bring you joy and inspiration. Other people have travelled the world, endured challenging conditions, or just been in the right place at the right time, to bring those moments of awe to our screens in the comfort of our own homes. Enjoy! We get the view without the frost bite, sunburn or snake bite!

Track your daily life: No, please don’t. I have never seen the point of this self-indulgent exercise. Why waste time recording past events when it means you are missing out on the present moment. Unless you have an incredibly interesting life and intend to publish an autobiography one day, writing a daily report on your life just seems obsessive and meaningless. Convince me otherwise! Always open to ideas.

Unclutter: We all gather paperwork that we never really look at or use. Now is the time to sort through it all. Grab some papers and sort them into four piles: shred and recycle, recycle, scan or file. Shred any files that contain confidential information. Recycle all shredded and non-confidential information to help sustain our environment. Scan as much as you can or find the information online and download it into a file. Only keep items where it is necessary to keep the original, such as birth certificates, qualifications, and so on. Once you are finished, your new problem will be what to do with the newly acquired space!

Do you really need to keep hard copies of items like: theatre programs, ticket stubs, travel brochures, love letters and so on? Unless you are keeping items for sentimental reasons or as a collectors item, consider taking photos of them and saving the images. A word of caution though, check with your partner before throwing out love letters? We don’t want that suggestion to end in tears!

Regarding children’s artwork, I must confess, I am conflicted by this one. Being a sentimentalist and an obsessive-compulsive puritan, I am not yet convinced a digital copy of art cuts the mustard. If you can cope with a digital copy and the artist is not going to be offended, then this is a great way to save space. For now, I will keep my drawer full of my children’s artwork and cards from when they were little. That's irreplaceable!

Time to sort through all that other clutter too! Get organised. Tackle one cupboard, draw or section of a room at a time, so it is not too overwhelming. Sort your items into five piles: keep, sell, donate, recycle, and bin. Then go online and start selling your unwanted items of value through Gumtree, eBay or Facebook Marketplace. Make a few bucks and provide supplies for someone else’s retail therapy! An uncluttered desk, room, office, or house reflects an uncluttered mind.

Plan your next adventure

Venture: Even if you are not able to travel or attend events, you can start exploring and planning. Enjoy anticipatory excitement about your next trip or event by spending time researching and exploring places you would like to visit and optimising the holiday experience? Don’t just travel straight to your destination, plan an interesting route and some stops along the way and support regional businesses.

Work: Well, most of us do have the privilege of work so we must not forget to include that in this list. If you are bored, then use that time to work and then swap that time when you are supposed to be working but just don’t feel motivated. If you are inspired to work in your time off, go online and smash it out so you can engage in recreation or relax later. Go with the flow!

X: That’s right X (Cross it out! Delete!). Clean up your online files. Delete old and unnecessary files. Your computer will love you!

YouTube: My favourite life hack lately is going on YouTube and finding a live concert performance by a band I enjoy. I don’t feel I have to sit and watch it like a documentary or movie. I can just listen to the music, have a peek now and then, beat my bongo drum occasionally, and when I’m really inspired, perform spontaneous unchoreographed, and certainly uncoordinated, dance moves without shame in the privacy of my own home.

meeting online with friends

Zoom! Use video conferencing to go online and meet with your friends. Reach out to them and be adventurous. Have a theme, play trivia or Who Am I, sing, jam together if you are musicians, or orchestrate a virtual dance party!

This list is just some of the activities you can do online to conquer boredom. We hope you are inspired by the list and venture forth with enthusiasm to overcome any boredom to use your time wisely.

If your mood is still low, bored or lonely call us.

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The information provided on this website is for informational purposes only. Prior to making any decisions, we recommend consulting your treating doctor, health professionals, and legal representatives. This is particularly important if you have health concerns, existing mental health or medical conditions, or if you feel you are not coping.

(c) 2021 Dean Harrison

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