Things to do during lockdown outside

Ways to stop boredom

The pandemic has changed many things in our lives. By limiting our social interactions, halting the things we do for fun, and pausing travel and holidays, we are living more subdued, and ahem, more bored lives. Without the normal activities that break up daily monotony, some of us are experiencing a bit of lockdown blues – an inevitable experience, but also a luxury. A year spent at home has had its positives – let's look at what we’ve loved during lockdown, from walks to recipes and online film catalogues.

A few reasons for boredom

We all know what it feels like: when you feel dissatisfied or disinterested in an activity, and nowhere to direct your extra energy or thoughts. It leaves you feeling hollow, frustrated, or in a complaining mood. It makes sense why we are feeling more bored now than in the past – it arises when we have a lack of control over our daily activities. However a little dose of boredom is actually good for us: it can boost creative thinking, with time for thought and reflection.

How to survive boredom

Rather than think ‘This task is boring,’ or ‘I have nothing to do,’ try to use these thoughts as a way to listen to your mind and problem solve. It is alerting you that something doesn’t feel right, which is an opportunity to do something new.

Things to do during lockdown: outdoor and indoor

Those lucky enough to have back gardens or balconies have enjoyed time in a private outside oasis, gardening and nurturing veggie patches or house plants. For the rest of us, long walks in nature have provided immense solace, exercise, and peace. A simple hour in the park is beneficial not just for our physical health but our mental and emotional health too.

Over the past year, we have loved returning to cooking; making things from scratch, learning new skills, reading cookbooks, and watching cooking tutorials. We’ve tended to our indoor herb gardens, revamped our interior spaces, learned new hobbies like painting and yoga, and listened to podcasts and online courses. There’s so many more options out there: drawing, making floral arrangements, virtual games with friends, virtual wine and cheese nights, or learning a new language for when travel resumes – really, the choices are limitless, so read on for more suggestions.

How to get rid of boredom

Recipes and food columns abound, but look up this list by The Guardian’s Meera Sodha, an excellent resource for delicious meat-free recipes. This newsletter by Cat Sarsfield provides weekly recipes and food stories with lots of personal reflections about life. To keep moving, try online yoga, meditation, and fitness classes with Glo, or look up this list created by Passerbuys of the most recommended home workouts.

To nourish your mind, this curated list by The Guardian provides one new thing to read each day for one month. This New York Times article lists the best podcasts from 2020; we love On Being and 99% Invisible. If you’d like to educate yourself on issues of racism, this interactive feature on American slavery is a great place to start. Meanwhile, this account is devoted to using optimism and imagination to democratise climate change.

Longform.org has fantastic podcasts on topics as varied as arts, politics, and science, and Very Good Films is a new and expanding catalogue for beautiful, non-mainstream (and some mainstream) films. For music, tune in to independent music platform Hör Berlin and watch their weekly live-streamed sets. For information on the fashion industry, Advance-Copy is a platform featuring independent brands and musings on inspiring industry change. As for art, in 2021 virtual gallery exhibitions are all the rage; this list suggests ten of the best tours. Similarly, here are 52 places to read about for when travel can inevitably happen again. Many options to keep boredom at bay.

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