10 Things To Do When You're Bored (And You Hate Reading)

Keeping you entertained during the coronavirus pandemic (without forcing you to read).

things to do when you're bored in quarantine hate reading Getty

Most of us have a lot more time on our hands now, but it can be hard to find things to do when bored in quarantine. Undoubtedly, the pandemic has made us search high and low for something to curb the boredom, but what else is there when you hate reading?

In times of stress, some turn to the fantastical realm of a new book. But I’ve never been one of those people. Perhaps my distaste for reading comes from the numerous school assignments I’ve had over the years, making any page turn feel like a chore. Or maybe it comes from my insecurity of not being a good reader — too slow and can’t pay attention.


Whatever the reason, I can’t bring myself to pick up the book that’s been staring at me for weeks. If you find comfort in curling up with a book, I envy you. If you can’t imagine reading a 200 page book in less than a month, I relate to you.

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While reading is a great way to take your mind to other places, there are many activities that will give you the same result.

Not all hope is lost for an entertaining quarantine. When you're stuck at home you must find ways to relax, global pandemic or not.

During this time, especially, it’s important to keep your mental health in check and do things that bring you joy. It’s not selfish, but rather essential.

No matter what it is, you should have some go-to hobbies that will ease anxiety and break up the tediousness of the quarantine sameness. Here are 10 things to do when bored if you hate reading.

1. Color in an adult coloring book.

It’s time to embrace your inner child and take a crack at a different kind of book. Adult coloring books are a great way to pass the time and focus on a simple project.


There’s something about seeing a page come to life with vibrant colors that’s very satisfying. Plus, you should take advantage of any chance to express yourself artistically.

2. Move your body in some way.

It can be challenging to get off the couch when you just want to hit “next episode,” but I promise you won’t regret it. Go for a walk in the fresh air outside and around your neighborhood, follow a 10-minute YouTube workout video, or do some yoga.

However you feel it best to move your body, do it. It’s important to stay somewhat active because the endorphins released will give you a positive mood boost.


3. Clean your house.

For those of you who like to clean, like myself, I’m sure you’ve already done this. But if you haven’t, get on it! Whip out the dust cleaners and vacuum — your house (and your mental health) will thank you later.

Split up the work so that it’s not so overwhelming. Do one room a day and deep clean where necessary. Why? Because you never know when you’ll have this much free time again.

4. Start a new television series.

Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime have never had so many viewers. Feel free to hop on the bandwagon and immerse yourself in the wonderful world of a TV series.

While it might not be as mentally stimulating as reading a book, watching a show can have the same effects. You become attached to characters, invested in the plot, and left wanting more.


5. Make a vision board.

The coronavirus pandemic has created a lot of negativity that makes it hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel. The truth is, there will be an end to this at some point.

It’s helpful to look towards the future right now, making this a great opportunity for a vision board. Log onto Pinterest and create a board that includes pins you hope to see in your future.

Whether it’s a wedding, cities you want to travel to, or quotes you hope to live by, make this the center of your focus. It’s a good reminder that the future is still bright amidst this current darkness.

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6. Learn how to cook.

While this may not be the simplest of tasks, anyone can follow a recipe. Find a dish you’d love to try and head out for the ingredients, with a mask of course.

Take it slow if you’ve never cooked before, it’s a learning experience. Listen to some music and enjoy making something from scratch. Bon appétit!

7. Organize your closet.

I’m sure there are clothes taking up space in your closet that you haven’t worn in years. Well, this is the perfect time to get honest with yourself about those jeans that are too small.


Only keep clothes that you truly love and know you’ll wear. Everything else can be donated or handed off to friends who will put them to good use.

8. Watch movies you’ve always wanted to see (but never had time to).

You know those movies you’ve never got around to watching? Do it now. Escape from reality for two hours and be productive by crossing things off your watchlist.

Maybe even broaden your horizons and watch a movie genre that you don’t usually lean towards. Use this time to find new movies you might enjoy.

9. Call a friend or video chat with a family member.

Quarantine can be very lonely, especially if you’re stuck in a one-bedroom apartment alone. Calling a friend on the phone or even FaceTime can make you feel more connected despite the circumstances.


Hearing a friend’s voice will bring back a sense of normalcy and comfort. It will not only be beneficial to you, but also to them.

It may be hard to support others during this time but it’s important to remember that we still have friendships to maintain. Pick up the phone and reach out.

10. Start listening to podcasts.

It took me a while to get into the podcast trend but once I found one I liked, I was hooked. There’s a podcast for every topic you can think of.

Whether you want to spend 20 minutes listening to people discuss politics or an hour of self-help talk, there’s something for everyone. During this time, podcasts can give a sense of company and be a unique form of entertainment. Happy listening!


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Isabella Pacinelli is a writer who covers love, relationships, self care, body confidence, women’s health, college, and entertainment topics.