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04/07/2020

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Things to Do When Bored

It’s fair to say the world has learned some things about isolation and that special term, “social distancing.” The truth is that there are going to be circumstances that force you to be alone or stay home. Whether you’re trapped by gubernatorial order, or you’re just taking a sick day, these are some tips on how to fight the boredom and restlessness that often accompany isolation.

Get Productive

Let’s go ahead and get this out of the way. Everyone is going to tell you to try and be productive with your downtime. In fact, you’re probably telling yourself that too. Hey, there’s free time. Better put it to good use!

We all feel that pressure, and the worst part is that it isn’t entirely misplaced. The truth of it all is that when you’re handed an unexpected slot of time that no longer involves your day job, a natural part of yourself is going to want to put that time to good use. You will inevitably feel like you're supposed to be productive, and at least to an extent, that feeling is right. So, these are some tips to help you be productive without turning your isolation into a grind.

Work Out

things to do when bored

This has to be first, right? If you’re home all day, suddenly, you have the chance to work out for half an hour, and it won’t even feel like a big deal. But, we need to go ahead and inject the disclaimer that will be recurring throughout this blog. If you’re actively sick, the rules are different. A workout is a terrible way to get over pretty much any illness, so if that’s why you’re home, focus on rest over exercise. There will be more tips for you later, so don’t worry.

For those of you fit enough to get some exercise, it doesn’t have to be life-affirming. A simple workout counts, as long as it isn’t less than your normal workout routine. If your isolation is keeping you from the gym, and you’re pretty good about your fitness, then you need to put more effort into your workout. Also, you probably don’t need to read this section.

If you're like the rest of us and slack on your exercise routine, then spend 15 to 30 minutes working on a problem area. If your cardio is lacking, hit those jumping jacks or 8-count bodybuilders, or whatever gets you going. If you’ve been skipping leg day, do some weightless squats. They’re still good exercise.

Most importantly, do your exercise early in the day. This isn’t a universal truth, but if you start your isolated day with some flowing blood and endorphins, it takes the edge off of the cabin fever that might try to creep up later.

Get to Cleaning

Oh, look. Another cliche answer. Who could have seen this coming?

Let’s dig a little deeper. You do not need to polish your entire house today. You don’t need to polish your entire house while you’re in isolation. Instead, you need to pick one cleaning chore to do each day and get it done. This is psychological more than anything else. When you’re home more, the house gets messier, faster. That messiness grates on your nerves, even if you don’t think it does. Over time, it becomes a negative feedback loop that adds avoidable misery to your time at home.

Clean one specific thing each day. It could be laundry. It could be the kitchen floor. It doesn’t matter too much. The idea is to get that satisfying feeling of accomplishment and to fight back the ill effects of a messy home. For double effect, prioritize clutter. You’ll be shocked at how fast it helps your mentality.

All That Boring Stuff

things to do when bored

On a list that includes working out and cleaning, this will be your least favorite, and it’s something you sickies can do too. You have ‘adulty’ things that need to get done. Maybe you haven’t done your taxes yet. Maybe it’s time to finally look for a better quote on car insurance. How’s your life insurance looking?

There are countless annoying chores that we all have to do. This is a great chance to get ahead of them, and once they’re done, you get that subtle feeling of relief that they will no longer be nagging at the back of your mind.

Take Up a Hobby

Here’s the thing. If you’re at all prone to binging (like some unnamed persons here), you’ll want to have more than one hobby. You’re not going to master five languages, sculpt a masterpiece, build a car from scratch and write a book all in one go. But, a lot of people are prone to going a little overboard on a single hobby when they’re trapped in the house. That leads to burnout, and it keeps the hobby from accomplishing its real goal: keeping you sane and occupied.

So, you want to think about a couple of different hobbies that you can rotate. Playing video games or catching up on shows/movies can be one of them, but you also want to rotate in a hobby that fuels that sense of accomplishment, and this is supposed to be different from the accomplishments of checking items off of your productivity list.

We’re going to skip watching movies or playing games here. That should be obvious enough. These are hobbies to add to what you already do.

Make Something

No, literally. Make something that never existed in the world before. It can be woodworking. It can be a popsicle figure like you made in elementary school. You can build a ship in a bottle. The content isn’t what matters. Finding a constructive task that you actively enjoy is the trick. And, if you’re truly stuck at home, finding something you can do without new supplies is extra tricky. Still, flexing your creative muscles to find a way to make something will be half the fun and value of trying this hobby. Also, your creation doesn’t have to be a masterpiece. This really is one of those times where it’s about the journey.

Fix Something

Making something might not be practical. There’s almost always something to fix. If you already have an affinity for certain areas of repair, feel free to lean into it. Isolation is a good time for a motorhead to catch up on routine maintenance. The handymen can fix squeaks, leaks and other small problems. The tinkerers can get into their electronics.

If you don’t have a fixing affinity, then this is even better. You get to learn a new skill while you fix something that has been bothering you. The great thing about isolation is that it doesn’t ban YouTube. You can learn how to do absolutely anything with a good YouTube tutorial. No excuses. Get to it.

Up Your Cooking Game

things to do when bored

It doesn’t matter if you’re a ramen and cereal guy or a bonafide professional chef. Downtime means you have the spare minutes to clean up after some misadventures in the kitchen. Try something new. Order some exotic foodstuffs if you have to.

Conversely, you can really up your game and play “eat the food.” The idea is to make the most impressive meal possible only using stuff you already have on hand. This will be far more challenging for some than others.

As for those of you who are under the weather, you can lower the bar. Assuming your illness isn’t forcing you into fasting, you should still make the best meal you can handle, but sometimes, a cup of noodles is an accomplishment in the throes of fevers and head colds. That’s perfectly acceptable.

Treat Yourself

At last, we get to everyone’s favorite part of isolation advice. But, we’re going to put a small — albeit slightly unoriginal — twist. When you’re trapped at home, a little delayed gratification goes a long way. If you want to get the most from treating yourself, you should intentionally postpone it until after you get through your chores. 

Relax

Being stuck at home can feel stressful. This is doubly true if you’re sick. It’s ok to take some deep breaths and devote some time to your mental health. Who says guys can’t enjoy a beer in a scented bath (but skip the beer if you’re sick; it’s not worth it)? You really can watch some TV or a movie. Read a book. These are all relaxing things.

The trick is to avoid overdoing it on relaxation. If you stay too complacent, you’ll get that nagging, internal feeling that you haven’t accomplished enough. So, make sure a sense of accomplishment (including all of the ideas above) is part of your plan. Also, don’t push yourself. If you’re struggling to get out of bed, you can count a shower or downing a meal as an accomplishment. We all have rough days that we just get through. There’s no need to feel any worse over it.

Manscape

This is pretty much the ultimate advice for being stuck at home. Manscaping checks all of the boxes. You can create something brand new by having a little fun with the aesthetic of your body hair. You can get a sense of accomplishment, because even though it’s not a chore, it is a task. 

Best of all, manscaping will make you feel amazing. If you do it right, it’s a genuine treat. Proper manscaping should include moisturizer, a good cleaning, and removing the irritation that is known as pubic hair (we recommend trimming over shaving for first-timers). You’re basically giving yourself a spa day. If you’ve never experienced that, you’ll understand why so many women love it.

For those who aren’t veterans at manscaping, we suggest two things. Trim the pubes, but not very short. The longest cutting guard on The Lawn Mower 3.0 is a great place to start. Secondly, follow up the grooming with skincare. That can include a good shower and some ‘aftershave’ treatments to keep the boys feeling great. Crop Preserver and Crop Reviver are the proven duo that will make your underparts feel magical.

manscaped

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