Photo courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo.
About this series:
I spend a lot of time on this blog sharing the ways I document life through scrapbooking and list-making. But equally important to me is actually living a creative and memorable life! A little over two years ago, on the verge of turning 30, everywhere around me I heard and saw reminders that our 20’s are supposedly the “best years of our lives.” While I certainly had some significant moments in my 20’s (meeting my best friends, meeting my now-husband, completing my Master’s degree, skydiving in Africa!), I refused to believe that it was all downhill from there. So I introduced this series highlighting 30 ways to make life more memorable, regardless of your age. While EVERY life no matter how seemingly boring is worth documenting, there are always ways to make life more fulfilling! To see all of the posts from this series so far, click here.
With summer in full swing here in the northern hemisphere, many of us find ourselves in a bit of a catch 22. On the one hand, nicer weather and longer days provide more flexibility for fun activities, especially outdoors. On the other hand, more hours in the day means more hours to have to keep ourselves occupied. Particularly if you have children, the phrase “I’m bored” is bound to pop up now and then during the summer months. And for those of us interested in memory keeping, one of the biggest causes of getting stuck in a rut is thinking our lives have become too boring to be worth documenting. As I’ve said many times in previous posts in this series, while every life is worth documenting, there are always ways to live more memorable, documentation-inspiring lives!
Below are 10 free or low-cost ways to deal when “I’m bored” rears its ugly head (bonus points for photographing and journaling about these activities when you’re done!)
Nice-Weather Boredom Busters:
- Scope out your neighborhood and pick out a nice, quiet spot to sit and read a book away from home. For us, this happens to be a little shaded area full of benches by some office buildings behind our local Target store, which are typically deserted on weekends. Maybe for you, it’s a local park, a hiking trail with benches, or a secluded beach.
- Go on a photo scavenger hunt walk. Make a list in advance (or search for one online) of things to look for and photograph during your walk. Have children? Get them each a disposable camera and let them play along! Not only is this a great way to stay entertained for an hour or two, it’s also a great way to document your neighborhood for your memory keeping projects!
- Picnic blankets aren’t just for lunch! Grab a blanket and your favorite board game and head to the park, the beach, or even your backyard on a non-windy day (don’t want those Monopoly dollars blowing away!) and play your favorite game somewhere other than the dining room table! Sometimes a change of scenery makes activities we’ve grown tired of seem new and interesting again.
- Take a trip to your local farmer’s market (or grocery store if you don’t have a market nearby) and pick out one item from every color of the rainbow. Bonus points for purchasing something you’ve never tried before. Double bonus points for creating one dish that includes every item you purchased!
- Research local volunteer opportunities. Could you spend the afternoon serving meals at a homeless shelter, joining in on a community clean-up project, working at the registration table for a 5k race, or shopping for supplies to donate for the families of sick children staying at your local Ronald McDonald House (my personal charity of choice)?
Rainy-Day Boredom Busters:
- Load up Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime (don’t have access any of these? Sign up for a free 30-day trial of Prime! You can always cancel after completing this activity). In the search bar, enter the first letter of your last name. Commit to watching whichever show or movie auto-populates in the suggestions list first (or whatever the first kid-friendly option is, if that’s a concern!) Already seen it? Watch it again, or move down the list until you come across one that’s new to you.
- Forts aren’t just for kids! Whether you have children in the house or not, set up a blanket fort, grab a reading light or a lantern, a floor pillow, a favorite snack or two, and a book you’ve been meaning to catch up on, and escape into your own little world for awhile.
- Set up a “Make Your Own ______ Bar” and invite over some friends or extended family (think cocktails, smoothies, sundaes, waffles… the choices are plenty!)
- Spend one hour reading about, researching, or practicing something you want to learn more about or get better at. Some ideas include learning how to say 20 common phrases in a foreign language, teaching yourself how to fix that leaky pipe under your kitchen sink, or Googling “little known facts about _____” [World War II/outer space/the human brain/elephants/etc.]
- Just because it might not be feasible for you to jet off to a distant island today doesn’t mean you can’t spend some time traveling “virtually.” Do some online research to create your dream vacation itinerary. Plot out what sights you’d like to see, where you would stay, and what restaurants you’d love to try while you’re at your dream destination. Not only is this a fun way to mentally escape the stuck-in-a-rut blues for a while, it might also come in handy the next time you’re actually able to travel!
What other activities have you tried recently to combat the dreaded “I’m bored”? Did you scrapbook these activities later? Let’s chat about it in the comments!