Search our Archive


'Ways to keep boredom at bay' - Patrick McLoughney

'Ways to keep boredom at bay' - Patrick McLoughney

IF you've already watched pretty much everything on Netflix and you've already seen every meme that WhatsApp has to offer, it's time to change up your routine and get your creative juices flowing.

Being on lockdown doesn't have to be boring, not if you keep your mind active. From learning a new skill to organising your wardrobe, starting a blog to sorting the garden out, there are loads of productive things you can do to pass the time – so why not get started? Here are a few tips to help keep boredom at bay during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Reading Books

Now is the perfect time to read those books that have been gathering dust on your shelf for months (maybe even years) or introduce yourself to the world of e-reading. A good book will inspire you and offer an escape to a different world for a few hours. It need not be a solitary experience either. Reading a bedtime story to your children can be a calming way to spend quality time together. You could also start a virtual book club with your friends as a way of staying connected.

Sorting Out Your Wardrobe

There will never be a better time to do a wardrobe clear out. Dedicate some free time to sorting out your clothes, cutting anything you never wear or haven't worn in years and organising anything that makes the cut into easy to access sections – it'll make your mornings easier when things get back to normal. It's also a great opportunity to rediscover some old favourites and create new sustainably fashionable looks. As for the cast-offs – you can either pass them onto friends and family, donate them to charity or at the very least, find your nearest clothing bank and recycle.

Cooking & Baking

Life in lockdown provides a great opportunity to hone your skills in the kitchen and learn how to whip up a few tasty meals. Treat yourself and indulge your sweet tooth by learning to bake some of your favourite desserts. If you have children, get them in on the fun. Following a recipe and weighing ingredients can help develop their numeracy skills. Just make sure they help with the clean up as well.

Watching TV

If like me, you haven't watched everything on Netflix and before coronavirus was a thing, the majority of your television viewing had been sport related then now is the time to arrive at all of those TV show parties that you've been very late to. If you've never seen Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Narcos, Orange Is the New Black, Stranger Things or you're just wondering who the hell the Tiger King is? sit back, get comfy and get ready to switch your brain off while you commit hours of your life to watching other people's drama. There's also a brand new streaming service from Disney that's just launched here in Ireland featuring every Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars movie available on demand. Oh, and every episode of The Simpsons ever made. See you in June!

Doing Puzzles

If you'd rather leave your brain switched on then why not do some crosswords or Sudoku puzzles and see how far you can get? Put your mind to the test and challenge yourself to find answers without googling. There are tonnes of online crosswords and word puzzles you can do which means not having the morning paper won't be an issue. There's even a 'Scrabble Go' app that you can play with friends.


Sick of being indoors all the time? Well then get out in the fresh air and cut that lawn, pull those weeds, plant some flowers and transform your garden into a tranquil space so that you can venture outside for some much-needed R&R. Flowers will also introduce some much-needed colour into your garden and your home.


Missing the gym? Yeah me too! But working out at home can be just as beneficial for both your body and your mind, it just takes a little bit of getting used to. Most Irish fitness bloggers and PTs are now posting home workouts on social media so why not try out some different types of workouts over the next few weeks and find the routine that works for you. You can also think outside the box and get dancing. Try a dance-based workout to some of your favourite tunes and let the sweat roll while you rock. Hairbrush microphone optional.


Writing can be an incredibly therapeutic practice and a great way to pass a few hours in your day. If you haven't done much writing since your school days then try starting with a blog. Whether you're using it as a space to share your passions or as an opportunity to try something new, it's a great way to get your creative juices flowing. If you're an experienced writer then why not try writing a short story or a novel? Just open Word, start a blank document and see what flows forth.


If you've been telling yourself or your significant other that you'll get to all those DIY jobs when you have time, well guess what - now you have lots and lots of time. Use that time to tackle those odd jobs and home improvement tasks you've been putting off. Can't stop staring at that annoying crack in the wall? Fill it. Desperate to give the bathroom a new lick of paint? Paint it. Try your hand at a spot of DIY and tick off everything that's been lingering on your to-do list. Please remember health and safety at all times!

Learning A Language

Remember all those times you said you'd love to learn Spanish or French but just couldn't find the time? Well now is your chance. Challenge yourself to learn a new language before your next holiday - it might be a while before we can travel so time is on your side. With a wide selection of apps, websites and YouTube tutorial videos at your disposal, there's really no reason not to.

Learning To Play An Instrument

You could also dedicate your new-found free time to music. Dust off that old keyboard or re-tune that guitar that's been a conversation piece in your room for years and begin to fill your days with melodies. Just be mindful of your housemates/family/neighbours when you're deciding the best time to practice.

Getting Creative

Let your creativity shine by embarking on a creative arts challenge. Try anything from drawing to sketching to mindful colouring. Stuck for an idea? I was recently tasked with coming up with a creative social media challenge for My challenge was the Daily Doodle. All you need is paper and a pencil or pen. Pick a friend and doodle your favourite Instagram photo of them. Post the result to your story and tag them to get them involved. Don't stop there either, sketch anyone or anything you want. It's incredibly relaxing and good for the mind and the soul.

More News

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.