10 Ways To Prevent Adult Boredom


A couple of years ago, I wrote a piece about how to prevent kids from getting bored. The point was that when kids get bored, they get expensive. It’s tempting to give into the whining and take them to the movies, buy them a new toy, or take them to a paid play space. Well, the same is true for adults. While most adults don’t whine about being bored, bored adults can do way more damage to a budget than a kid. We have our own credit cards and transportation to malls and other spendy places. We can also take expensive vacations to relieve our boredom, buy a new car, or, heck, move to a new house in a new neighborhood.

The good news is that, unlike kids, we aren’t confined to our rooms. We can venture further afield to relieve our boredom and not all of those journeys need to be expensive. Here are some ideas to relive boredom that don’t involve shopping.

Learn Something

Brush up on your skills for work or learn something new like a language or how to cook. There are plenty of low cost classes at local community programs, or you can teach yourself using materials borrowed from the library.

Catch Up On Your Chores

If you’re bored, you have time to do all those things you always say you never have time to do. Clean out the closet, declutter your drawers, or trim the hedges. It’s not fun but it’s productive, and you probably won’t be bored anymore.

Take Up A Hobby

Many hobbies are free or inexpensive. Even those that are expensive often have lower-cost or entry level offerings. Think of what you might like to do and then try it.


There are many types of volunteer opportunities, ranging from in-person jobs to virtual volunteering. You can volunteer in almost any area of interest. You’ll not only get past your boredom when you volunteer, you’ll help others.

Take A Tour Of Your Own Town

We tend to take our hometowns for granted and assume there’s nothing fun to do. Usually, that’s not true. Visit your local visitor’s center and check out the offerings.

Make Contact

Maybe you’re not really bored, but starved for human contact. Call or email a relative or friend you haven’t talked to in ages. Join a new group or go visit a new neighbor. Spending time with others can be a great way to get over being bored.

Work More

If you’re really bored, you can work more and maybe earn some extra money. Volunteer for extra shifts or overtime. Get a part-time job or start your own business.


You don’t need to join a gym. Just go for a walk or a bike ride. Go to the park and play Frisbee. Do a workout DVD or exergame. If you’re moving, you’re probably not bored.

Find Free Entertainment

There are tons of free things to do in most towns. You just have to be willing to look for them. Most are not heavily publicized and you may have to do some digging, but the rewards can be worth it.


Sometimes being bored isn’t a bad thing. Our brains need downtime. Spend some time doodling in a notebook, sitting on the porch watching the world go by, or walking in nature. Daydreaming frees up your creativity and lets you work through problems. Learn to recognize the difference between true boredom and giving your brain a break.

If you’re really bored and nothing easy seems to relieve it, you need to ask yourself what’s at the root of the problem. Maybe you’re not so much bored as desperately unhappy. Maybe you’re using mindless shopping or TV watching to mask some other sort of pain. Those types of problems are different from simple boredom and they won’t be resolved by taking up a hobby or learning to dance. If that’s the case, you might need to see a counselor or find some other way to deal with your unhappiness. If you’re simply bored, though, there are plenty of things you can do to relieve it and most don’t involve spending much money.

(Photo courtesy of AliceNWondrlnd)

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4 Responses to 10 Ways To Prevent Adult Boredom

  1. Mae H says:

    I like what you wrote on daydreaming.
    I’m a professional you :p Happy Halloween!!

  2. Gailete says:

    As someone that is housebound most of the time due to poor health, I can barely conceive of being bored. I have too much to do! My MIL that lives next door is bored out of her mind. While her vision has diminished over the years due to an eye problem she hasn’t found somthing to keep herself occupied. She was over the other day and I was showing her projects that I’m working on for Christmas in my sewing room. She said how she wishes she could do what I do, but it isn’t possible as she didn’t have enough space. I reminded her of the spare bedroom. Nope she can’t set up a hobby space in there since about once a year, my SIL come to visit and needs to use the bed! Really it is excuses she has. She would rather be bored than make an effort to find something interesting to do with her time.

  3. ChuckD says:

    I find that since the dawn of TV (or actually radio) people expect to be entertained, as opposed to actually doing something. The word “hobby” is understated, to say the least. People will say, “I wish I could play piano” or, “I wish I could sew”,—or cook, or speak French, and the list goes on. But instead of looking at the endeavor as fun or enjoyment, they deem it like work. They want to be able to PLAY the piano but do not want to “practice”. The internet however, is blurring the line between these two views. There are so many videos and tutorials on the internet that it can now be very entertaining to learn almost anything, including dreaded things like math. There is also a fear factor,—many people define themselves by their egos and are terrified to leave it behind to start from scratch and learn new things. It is very ironic that beginning something without any knowledge of it is usually the easiest way to bring out the best in others, as most people will go out of their way to help newcomers or beginners in ANY subject. So I would say that if you’ve always wondered about art but cannot tell a Van Gogh from a Van Halen,—go to an art museum! Admit to others around you that you know absolutely zero about art. You will be very surprised how much you will learn, how much fun you will have, and how many nice and helpful people you will meet. Learning is the best anti-boredom cure available!

  4. Rachel says:

    For me, I looked back at the things that entertained me as a kid. I used to love walking down to a local river and just go fishing by myself, even then I was a bit of a loner (Imagine a 7 year old girl digging up her own worms, hooking them by herself and removing a fish from a hook with her bare hands) I remember how adventurous I was! I also used to pick a direction and just walk, seeing how far I could get. I would walk downtown and check out all the local shops I could get too, even if I had no money. I also have looked back on my childhood interests, such as ghost hunting and think as an adult I can make an adventure out of those interests. Been thinking about going out to the woods and building a fort just like a kid, haha. Too many adults dismiss the “kid stuff” that used to make us happy. Just a thought: Sometimes regression is a good thing.

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