Things to Do When You're Stressed and Living Alone

Updated on April 13, 2020
Jade Hassenplug profile image

By using my personal experiences to reach out, I aim to help others in their dark times.

If you live alone it can be difficult to find things to keep you busy when you can’t go hang out with friends or go to work. This time can be stressful and make anxiety worse. The following list will help you relax and calm your anxiety and stress! These activities can be done if you're sick, stuck inside because of weather, or self-isolating during a pandemic, so keep this list on hand!

Scrub Your Stress Away
Scrub Your Stress Away

Take a Hot Bath or Shower

This one is pretty basic, but if you add a few things to your bath it can become ultra relaxing. Try to add 1 to 2 cups of Epsom salt to your bath to help with any aches and pains or just to detox your body. You can also add some of your favorite scented essential oils to your bath to give a soothing smell. If you have a dimmer light you can turn them down to a glowing level or light some candles.

If you only have a shower you aren’t out of luck! You can make a simple salt scrub and use it in the shower to detox and smooth your skin. A basic recipe is:

  • 1 cup Epsom salt,
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil and
  • a few drops of your favorite essential oil.

Mix together, scrub on your body and rinse. Be careful when doing this as the bottom of the shower can get slippery.

You can also use a dimmer switch if you have one, and dim the lights to a glow or light some candles. If you are in the shower or bath you can also light incense if you don’t have or want to use essential oils for a relaxing scent during this time.

Get Creative!
Get Creative!

Coloring or Painting

You don’t have to be an artist to enjoy coloring or painting even. If you already have one or are able to get your hands on one, a coloring book is a great investment. While sitting and watching TV or listening to music it’s been found that coloring is therapeutic and an effective stress reducer. You can use almost any medium you want depending on how thick the coloring book paper is. You can color with crayons, colored pencils, pens or even markers. They have a lot of different themed adult coloring books these days so it should be easy to find one that fits your style.

If you don't want to buy a full coloring book, the internet has thousands of free printable coloring pages to choose from. Click here for a site full of free coloring pages.

Acrylic painting is another thing that can be good for reducing stress and anxiety. If you have any heavy-duty paper around or white dishes you don’t use anymore, you can use these instead of going out and getting a canvas. You can look up tutorials or ideas online for inspiration but, you don’t need to know how to draw to have fun. Painting is rather forgiving, especially acrylic, and you can splatter the paint or just paint random strokes of colors until you are happy with what you have created.

Watercolor does need a more specific paper but it’s not extremely expensive. Watercolor isn’t as forgiving but it’s still fun! You can try out simple designs like flowers or ladybugs, or just paint wildly and see what you come up with.

Practice Drawing
Practice Drawing

Drawing or Doodling

Drawing can also be a great way to keep boredom at bay as it takes focus and concentration to draw. This will help you keep your mind off negative things and give your mind a break. You can look up ideas online for inspiration to also help keep your mind busy while still feeling productive too. Once you find something to draw you can take as much time as you want to make it perfect. Drawing consists of the sketch, then hard lines, inking the whole drawing and eventually coloring. This activity often leads to the one above and can become a full day of artistic fun.

Doodling is similar to drawing but it’s easier for those who don’t normally draw or feel they aren’t very good at drawing. Doodling can be done in a sketchbook, on scratch paper, in a lined notebook or anywhere really. You can be free to make mistakes, draw weird things and experiment because it won’t become a permanent drawing unless you want it to be one. This is also an excellent way to practice drawing if you want to get better. It can be a little more relaxing than drawing because you have more freedom and no strict rules for your creations. You can doodle with pens, pencils, crayons or colored pencils even. So go grab a scrap of paper and a pen and get to doodling.

Find a New One!
Find a New One!

Find a New Hobby

Do you have a lot of things in your house just sitting around doing nothing? Maybe boxes piling up from sodas or that bag of clothes that will eventually get to the goodwill? You might be able to turn these items into hobbies. Old shirts can be turned into pillows or even bags, boxes can be turned into beautiful organizers that you will be proud to show off on your desk. Got old socks? Wash them and use them to make adorable plush animals for gifts. If you aren’t sure what you can do to recycle your junk into a cool DIY project you can go online. The internet is a wonderful place for inspiration and tutorials.

Maybe you’ve been wanting to try a hobby for a while but just never had the time? Well if you are stuck inside your home and can’t go to work then this would be the best time to look into it! Go do research on your preferred hobby and start practicing it. By the time you get back into normal life, you could be a pro. Depending on what hobby you choose you could even make a little side money by selling your products or crafts.

You could also take up reading or writing as a hobby, start looking up writing prompts online or think up some short stories. If you have a stack of books you’ve been wanting to read but never had time, now would be a prime opportunity to start.

Get a Little Dressed Up!
Get a Little Dressed Up!

Dress up to Video Chat With Friends and Family

This activity can be beneficial to more than just your boredom. This can help lift the spirits of everybody involved and gives you a chance to have some social interaction without breaking the social distancing rules. If you have an old costume from past Halloween that still fits, you can get dressed up and call your family or friends. Don’t tell them you're in a costume, let it be a surprise! Depending on the costume, you can also talk in character to add more fun to this activity.

This can be especially fun if your friends or family member has children who would enjoy talking to a character. If you don’t have a costume on hand, you can always just wear funny clothes combinations or simply put on some fun makeup. Give yourself whiskers and a pink nose for a kitty or a dog nose with an overly large dog tongue drawn on the side of your chin/mouth. You don’t have to go all out or to the extreme (if you have the means and drive to do this though then go for it), just simple makeup or a silly shirt could work too. You can challenge them to do the same next time you video chat to make it more interactive.

Click here for some simple DIY costume ideas.

Enjoy All Online Cinema Has to Offer
Enjoy All Online Cinema Has to Offer

Play Movie Roulette

If doing arts and crafts just isn’t your thing, you can also play games with your favorite movie streaming service. Whether it’s Hulu, Netflix, or any other service, you could play a movie roulette for some fun. Grab your popcorn or snack of choice and the remote. You can pick your genera or have that random too. Close your eyes and hold down the button that moves to select the movie. Let go and open your eyes to see what movie you will be watching. It’s that easy and while you might find some movies that you hate, you will also find some that could be your new favorites. This is also fun to do if you don’t live alone. After you are able to hang out with friends again host a Movie Roulette party and let the fun begin again.

This activity can be played over and over and movies generally last around 1 1/2 to 2 hours so this could keep the boredom away for a while.

Whatever you choose to do to get rid of your boredom and stress, please remember to make safe decisions for you and your community.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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