Things to do when You’re Bored

Quarantined-at-Home Ideas

In Canada, most of us have been in social isolation, and practising social distancing, for at least 2 weeks, some places longer.  By that I mean, we are advised not to go out unless it is for something essential.  In Nova Scotia, we were told only to go out once a week for groceries, and not to go for a walk if you need to drive to the place you want to walk.  Right before the end of March break they announced in Nova Scotia and many other provinces that schools are closed, though many places are still attempting to hold classes of some sort.  We had a dentist appointment on the third day of March break, and it was cancelled due to COVID-19.  The vets haven’t been taking any appointments for vaccines for new puppies or kittens either, as the vet’s website told me.

That is when I, and many others, knew this was serious.  So, we had to find things to do.  For me, it wasn’t a huge change, but a lot of people were, and are, struggling with not going out.  Here are some ideas of what you can do or try while in self-isolation.

Take an online course if you have spare time.

Coursera offers free courses, even some University degrees, and it is 100% online.  You can choose a course about something that you were once been interested in, or one that you can’t take at University because it is not part of your program.  For example, Instructional Design, or other computer programming courses, as well as languages, art and history.  They also offer some certificates and masters programs like machine learning and data science.  There is also SkillShare, where you can explore a new hobby or learn something new such as illustration, animation, or photography.  They have many different art projects and other interesting classes.  You can get a basic plan for free, or a premium plan (which offers unlimited access and the ability to download the classes) for 11.75/ month.

For anyone with kids, Scholastic has some online lessons for free.  Anything from pre-kindergarten to grade 9.  Another website for children is IXL.  This is a paid website, but it has a pretty good curriculum that teachers use as well. is a paid resource for younger aged kids such as pre-kindergarten to grade 2, and it offers educational games, books, and fun, and the price is reasonable.


When you are bored, you can catch up on your favorite book.  If you’ve already started one, now is the time to finish reading it (this includes textbooks).  You can also start a new book that you have not had time to read.  Some libraries also offer e-books.  You simply log in with your library account number and you can take out virtual books for free.

Visit a museum.

Some very large museums offer a virtual tour.  There are options such as The British Museum, The National Gallery of Art Museum, and the Van Gogh Museum.  Check out this link for the full list.  Another option is to watch some BBC or other nature shows such as the classic Blue Planet, or Deep Ocean on YouTube.  They are wonderful for adults or kids.  There are countless of BBC and National Geographic documentaries online you can watch for free or paid.

You can still get to travel while in quarantine too because some National Parks also offer a virtual tour.  Just click the “virtual tour” link under each heading to start your tour.

Do your taxes!

For anyone who hasn’t finished, or even started their taxes, with nothing better to do, why not get it done.  You can also make your budget for the year, if you do that type of planning and haven’t already made one.  Think about how much you could save if you make a plan.

Lastly, it is time for spring cleaning.

Why not do some extra work during spring cleaning.  People are organizing and re-arranging things in their homes.  It is also time for planting in a greenhouse or inside.  You can make a garden outside if you don’t already have one, and if you do, now is a good time to start planning what you want to plant.

For Those Who Are Essential

But maybe you’re still working because your employment is considered an essential service. Even so, you still cannot participate in birthday parties, get togethers, classes, restaurants, and other activities you might be used to, so why not make the most of it with some of the ideas above?

It is a good time to learn a new hobby or practice one you already know, learn something new about the world, work a little extra at home, or indulge in some virtual travel.  Whatever you do, always remember, it could be worse.

And if you are one of the people who got sick, I am sorry.  It will probably suck, but I hope you recover well.