There’s no reason to be bored if you find yourself with extra time on your hands!
So it looks like we’re going to be stuck indoors more than we’d like in the coming weeks (thanks fifth wave!). It’s all for the greater good, but that doesn’t make it any less hard, especially when we’re all so used to heading out for dinner, day trips and beach days galore on a daily basis. This got us thinking about what we could do to help alleviate cabin fever – let’s face it, Hong Kong flats aren’t the biggest, and there’s only so much Netflix one can binge. So, after a quick brainstorming session in the Sassy office, we realised there are plenty of productive ways to beat boredom and keep ourselves busy within the comfort of our own four walls. Here’s our top 16 to try out the next time you find yourself twiddling your thumbs, or are stuck at home due to circumstances outside your control!
When You’re Feeling Productive
- There’s no time like the present to learn some new skills that will help you in both your professional and personal life. Get yourself a free trial of LinkedIn Learning and take your pick from a wide range of business (which includes Excel tips and critical thinking), technology (think HTML training or Blockchain basics) and creative courses (including Graphic Design tricks and InDesign Secrets). Also check out our guide on where to upskill in Hong Kong – many of the courses featured are available to complete online.
- Speaking of new skills, why not try your hand at learning a new language? We love Duolingo’s free language learning resources. You can unlock rewards as you go to help keep you motivated, and if you get your friends to sign up too, you can chart your progress against each other. There’s nothing like some healthy competition to spur you on! Also don’t forget to read our guide to where to learn Cantonese and Mandarin in Hong Kong.
- Take Yale’s popular “The Science of Well-Being” course, designed to increase both our happiness and productivity (that’s something we can get on board with!).
- If you’re anything like us and can’t resist snapping foodie-grams, cheers boomerangs and hike views, then it’s likely you have a vast collection of digital images stored on your phone. If these could do with some sorting through (we’re guilty as charged), why not use this time to organise your photos properly and free up some space on your phone by deleting the ones you have duplicates of and just keeping your favourites!
- Ok, we get that tidying up may not be the most exciting way to beat boredom, but it will certainly give you a real sense of accomplishment afterwards. So channel your inner Marie Kondo and get tackling that wardrobe and drawers you’ve been vowing to sort out for months! And don’t forget to check out our guide to donation resources in Hong Kong so your second-hand items get a new lease of life.
- Watch a Ted talk or two. If you sign up for an account you’ll be sent recommendations based on what interests you, or just take a look at what’s currently trending and the Editors’ picks section for inspiration.
- Did you know that on average, women earn better investment returns than men? Yet few women actually take the plunge and invest. Now’s the time to rectify that. Check out our easy guide to investing and get started on building your long-term wealth.
When You’re Feeling Creative
- It’s the perfect time to take up a new hobby, whether you’re keen to learn the ukulele (you can pick one up from any Tom Lee Music store for under $400), or check out some of the free online tutorials from Skillshare, like this one on Hand Lettering. You don’t even need any specialist tools to get started – a sharpie or thick markers will do nicely!
- Stay-at-home days are also an ideal time to try out a new recipe. Our Cook Like a Pro articles walk you through recipes from some of our favourite Hong Kong restaurants. Think Bakehouse, MONO, Club Rangoon and more. Or, if sugar calls, whip up some no-bake sweet treats or your very own bubble tea from scratch!
- While we’re talking about cooking, get ahead with some meal prep. You’ll feel very virtuous when you realise how much money you’ll save by not eating out every day.
When You Just Want To Relax
- It’s no secret that Sassy HQ is full of bookworms, so days of uninterrupted reading is our ideal way to beat boredom. Ask your friends for inspiration (book swap anyone?), or if you still haven’t managed to get through some of last year’s most popular reads, now is the time! For bonus point, why not get a head start on this year’s most anticipated titles?
- Missing your regular pampering appointment? Take matters into your own hands with these DIY beauty treatments – light some candles and transform your living room into a makeshift spa.
- Explore unfamiliar cultures, catch a West End show, roam world famous museums and galleries, all from your living room. Yes, we’d much rather be out in the world doing the real thing, but until that day comes, these virtual experiences will keep you more than occupied as we ride this fifth wave.
- All Netflixed out? Why not try a podcast instead? One of our favourite discoveries is locally-founded HomeGrown, which documents the Black expat experience in Hong Kong. Alternatively, catch up on these best podcasts from the past year. We recommend plugging yourself in while getting stuck into some household chores – productivity at its finest!
When You’re Feeling Restless
- When you’re cooped up indoors, it can be easy to forget that movement actually makes us feel good. Maybe not whilst we’re in the middle of it, but definitely afterwards! Like with everything, starting can be the hardest part. This guide to integrating active movement into your daily routine is a good place to begin, or check out these online fitness classes we love.
- Just want to chill out? Download one of these apps for meditation and mindfulness. We also recommend getting some breathwork training in. If you want more meditation inspiration, read our guide to 5 Simple Practices To Try At Home.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in February, 2020, and was most recently updated in February, 2022.