These are challenging times, for everyone. Like you, I’ve been stuck at home with a lot of time on my hands. In some ways, I’m a little lucky because while my work has been severely cut back, I’m already used to working from home—something suddenly the vast majority of the American workforce is stuck doing right now.
Truthfully, I never actually enjoyed working from home. There were just too many distractions and I always preferred separating my home and work spaces. I then find it easier to compartmentalize my work, hobbies, fun activities, living so that I don’t go crazy stuck in the same place. But oh well. Here we are today; everyone working from home and staying in all day, every day (except for occasional, allowed trips to get necessities).
In these especially confusing and trying times, though, there are some things I am trying my best to simply *not* do. I’m finding it very hard to focus on the little work I still have. I’m not bored, per say. Because I do actually have stuff to do. But I don’t have a lot of motivation.
This dread and anxiety I think we’re all feeling is overpowering. It’s preventing me from finishing some of the most menial work I need to do to get paid. At the same time, I’ve been able to do a bunch of little things, which have helped improve my mood.
With a weird contrast of suddenly time & space to do things, but not a lot of motivation, I’m ~again~ feeling like my life is stuck on pause. I don’t like the feeling, but I’m continuing to take it day by day.
While I’m suddenly focusing on at-home exercises and meditation in my days, and a few hours work each morning, there are some things I am purposely *NOT* doing during this period. And I’ve decided: by not doing these things, I’m helping to stay sane and somewhat focused.
So, with a bit of levity during all of this, here’s my list of things I don’t think we should be doing during this weird time. Remember: stay home, stay safe, and keep your distance to protect others. But also, do these:
6 things NOT to do when stuck bored at home
Don’t start a TikTok
Okay, here’s where I reveal my age. I’m a millennial, but at the upper limits, so even though I’ve grown up with technology and obviously have a lot of love for social media, TikTok is definitely not my game. At least not right now.
Besides the security implications of using TikTok, the app is just really annoying. Okay, some of the things I’ve seen shared on Twitter and Instagram are mildly entertaining and make me laugh, but please: we don’t need any more inane and useless TikToks.
If you were already doing comedy and creating video content, sure, go ahead and keep doing it and use whatever tool you want (including TikTok), but, BUT, if you never had an intention to do this kind of work (and trust me: social media *is* work), just don’t start right now. By all means, practice and hone your creativity, but please, just no more TikToks! Unless you’re funny. Or cute. Or entertaining.
Actually, go ahead—start a TikTok if you want to. Might be fun.
Don’t start a podcast
There was a year a few years back when suddenly everyone started a podcast. It was cute for a moment, but then it quickly became overwhelming. A 2019 article from Forbes claims that today there are 800,000 active podcasts online.
That’s a lot of noise.
In my experience, we’re dealing with just too many choices—in a lot of things, but definitely in the amount of podcasts we can listen to. The anxiety of choosing something from too many oftentimes just makes me freeze up and quit the idea altogether.
Every few months, I think—”now’s the time for me to start getting into podcasts!” And I ask my friends what they’re listening to, and I download them, and then I quickly realize I just don’t care. I’ve yet to find a podcast that I’m obsessed with.
So, if you’re stuck at home and bored and thinking, “now’s the time I start a podcast!,” please only do so if you’re prepared! I can’t deal with another friend’s podcast to download and stream.
Don’t do an Instagram live
If you’ve been paying attention, you already know Instagram is my least favorite social media. Besides the constant pressure to follow and like and consume your friends’ content, it just never ends. And since so much of the world is currently stuck at home, that constant content has only increased.
TechCrunch reported that Instagram use has increased by 40% since our global lockdown and stay-at-home orders. In the same report, apparently Instagram live viewership has DOUBLED.
Okay, besides all the normal ways I dislike Instagram, so many Instagram Live shows I’ve joined have been incredibly boring. By all means, if you’re interesting, please go ahead and entertain us online. I’ve seen a lot of drag queens I love using Instagram Live in fun and creative ways, but many of them were doing that before the stay-at-home thing.
Just please don’t start an IG live if you’re bored. Do it with reason and purpose, and probably a plan! I’ve also gone crazy because I keep accidentally clicking on the in-app pop-up alerts for Live shows, including one for my ex-boyfriend’s roommate. Trouble! I almost died.
Don’t call or text or stalk your ex
Lol. I’m one to talk. But still: this is good advice.
Sure, in normal times, these are normal habits that are hard to break. But in normal times, you have space and friendships and activities to keep you busy. Right now, while we’re all in this weird pause, if you don’t think your feelings and emotions can be controlled, keep your space. It’s probably better in the long run.
And while I think it’s actually healthy to have a good relationship post-breakup, in these bizarre times, it’s maybe better to keep your distance unless you can actually behave and stay responsible. Emotions are running high right now. Don’t start trouble by dealing with relationship issues when everything is already strained.
Don’t tweet about how bored you are
Okay. I’m probably guilty of this, actually. But there’s only so many boring tweets we can read. Use your space online for yourself, sure, but try to keep the space as productive and useful as possible. The internet is already overflowing with so much content, we don’t need more of the boring stuff.
Unless you’re using it as a personal way to deal with your stress and anxiety, then by all means! Mental health comes first.
Don’t drink all the alcohol in one night
Stuck at home, you might be tempted to just drink, drink, drink. And while that might sound like a good way to fight off the boredom or anxiety you’re feeling right now. It’s probably best to not over-drink when in crisis.
I’ve been tempted to just keep drinking while at home, but in the past 10 days, I decided it was smarter and safer to limit my alcohol intake. Rather than binging on my drinks, I’ve consciously decided to just allow myself alcohol every other day. Better for the body. Better for the mind. Better for the budget.
Looking for other things to do that might be easier or more manageable while stuck at home? Check out my recent post on little things to do at home to manage your stress.