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17 Positive Things To Do When You’re Bored At Night

It reaches nighttime, and you face a dilemma. 

  • Option #1 – Do you veg out and scroll through social media or binge-watch Netflix? 
  • Option #2 – Do you try to do something productive? Do you attempt to do something that moves the needle forward in your life?

Most of us end up choosing Option 1. After all, we’ve been engulfed in cognitively demanding tasks and personal obligations all day long.

Don’t we deserve a break? Don’t we deserve to curl up on the couch with a bowl of ice cream and just relax?

Yes, we do deserve a break – but breaks don’t have to be an excuse to waste time. Every hour of every day allows you the opportunity to move your life forward in some way.

You do not have to be productive 24/7. Small things like journaling, getting in touch with friends, and reading books all provide the same relief as our favorite Netflix show. 

In this article, we’re going to talk about what to do when you’re bored at night by outlining simple actions that are better uses of time than your typical evening routine.


What Can You Do When You’re Bored At Night In Bed?

Want some inspiration for what to do when you’re bored at night while you’re laying in your bed? Here’s a few ideas for positive actions you can take without even taking the covers off.


#1: Read A Self-Improvement Book

One of the easiest ways to upgrade yourself is to read self-improvement books. 

In each domain of life, there are true experts who have spent decades studying that specific domain. They’ve put thousands of hours into becoming a true expert in their field – why not take advantage of their knowledge?

When I began my journey through the world of self-improvement, I was particularly interested in topics like habits and behavior change.

I didn’t lack passion or curiosity for these topics, I lacked knowledge. However, after reading dozens of books from well-respected authors like BJ Fogg, James Clear, Stephen Guise, and many others, my understanding of both of these topics improved significantly.

My life began to improve simply by applying their wisdom into my own life. Furthermore, being exposed to their ideas inspired me to start this blog and pass on my knowledge to others.

Whether you’re struggling with productivity, behavior change mindset, personal finance, relationships, etc. —  the information you need is out there if you’re willing to go find it.

Related Article – 19 Best Self Improvement Books That You Need To Read


woman reading a book


#2: Start Journaling 

Another suggestion for what to do when you’re bored at night is to get out a pen and paper and start journaling.

The great part about journaling is how flexible it is. You can journal to reduce anxiety, get clear on your goals, analyze your current life trajectory, practice gratitude, and so much more.

Getting your thoughts down on paper introduces yourself to the real you. The unfiltered insights that pour out when you’re journaling offer the most accurate characterization of who you are.

Starting a journal is also a great way to regularly check-in with yourself and jot down solutions for making tomorrow better than today.

Related Article5 Ideas For Starting A Self Improvement Journal


#3: Stretch Your Back

You don’t need a yoga mat to work on your flexibility. The bed you sleep in every night will work just fine.

Most of us work jobs where we have to sit for extended periods of time. As a result, it’s easy for our backs to tighten up and compress throughout the day.  Compounded over time, the alignment of your spine can become compromised. 

You won’t feel the effects tomorrow or a year from now. But if you don’t intervene, you may experience some pretty nasty pain 5 to 10 years down the line — pain that takes a lot of work to correct.

So before you call it a night, take a few minutes to perform some lower back stretches.


stretching your back - what to do when your bored at night


#4: Meditate

One of the best productive things to do when bored at night is to engage in mindfulness practices like meditation.

You don’t need to be sitting in a chair to practice letting go of your thoughts and staying present. Put your hands on your chest and just focus on breathing in and out for a few minutes.

Each time a thought enters your mind, simply accept it and then get back to your breathing. Carving out a few minutes each day to focus on meditation will reduce stress, improve your focus, and give you greater control over your own mind.


#5: Perform The Three Good Things Exercise

Practicing gratitude is one of the key characteristics of happy people. Happy people have a tendency to view life events through a more positive lens and show more appreciation for what they’ve been given.

Gratitude rewires your brain to develop these commendable traits. The great part about gratitude is that it’s incredibly easy to put into practice.

The easiest way to practice gratitude while laying in your bed is to perform the Three Good Things Exercise.

All you do is  try to focus your mind on three things that you’re currently grateful for. The more you consciously think about the good in your life, the easier it will be to develop a positive worldview.


Productive Things To Do When Bored At Night

During the daytime hours, productivity is our main objective. The aim is to be laser-focused on getting our most important work done in a timely fashion so we can excel in our careers.

These cognitively demanding tasks drain our mental energy and willpower. That’s why most of us struggle to engage in focused work at the end of the day.

Quality of work suffers. Our thoughts aren’t as clear. Ideas don’t just come as fluidly as they do during our peak productivity hours.

While you may find it difficult to get high-priority work done at night, there are simpler, less demanding ways to be productive. Here’s some inspiration for what to do when you’re bored at night when you still want to get something productive done.


#1: Make A To-Do List For The Next Day

When you wake up, do you have clear objectives for the day? Do you know exactly where to focus your time and energy for maximum results?

If not, you’re losing the battle of productivity before it even starts. The nighttime hours are a great time to get a head start and craft a plan for tomorrow.

Having a to-do list set up the correct way gives you a better chance at being efficient with your time from the moment you roll out of bed.


making a to do list - things to do when bored at night


#2: Clean Up Your Workspace 

Another key element of productivity is keeping your workspace well-organized and free from clutter.

You are a direct product of your environment. If your workspace is messy and disorganized, it’s likely that your workflow will follow the same trajectory.

On the other hand, a clean and organized workspace promotes greater productivity since there’s less clutter to contend with.

So take a few minutes to prepare your workspace for the next day — it’ll be one less thing that you have to do before you start working in the morning. 


#3: Listen To A Podcast

Podcasts are helpful tools for exposing yourself to new ideas and receiving valuable insight from successful people. Even putting self-improvement aside, some podcasts are just downright fun to listen to.

Most of my podcast library is focused around personal development tools. But sometimes, I’ll throw on an episode of the Joe Rogan Experience and learn more about politics, health and fitness, finance, etc.

Search around and find a few topics that intrigue you. Delve deeper and find the top podcasts that cover this topic in detail.

The next time you’re wondering what to do when you’re bored at night, throw it on and see if you learn anything new!


#4: Work On A Hobby

Is there something that you want to learn to do, but can’t seem to find the time during the day to work on it? Well, the nighttime hours offer a perfect opportunity to carve out 10-20 for a new hobby.

Whether it’s painting, drawing, playing the piano, or learning a language – hobbies offer a productive way to disconnect from the daily grind.

And who knows — maybe you come to enjoy it so much that it becomes a potential career path.

Sound a little far-fetched? Well, a couple of years ago one of my hobbies was learning about self-improvement, and now this blog exists. 

You have no idea where your hobbies can take you when you really start to develop a passion for them.


painting hobby


#5: Clean Up The House

If you’re wondering what to do when you’re bored at night, cleaning an area of your home is yet another way to get something productive done.

The great part about cleaning is that it’s a mindless activity — it doesn’t take much mental energy to sweep floors and wipe down counters.

Furthermore, cleaning one area of your house for 10-15 minutes might motivate you to start oin another, and then another. The positive emotions you feel from tidying typically leads to more action.

There’s been several times where something simple like taking out the trash and doing the dishes has led to me cleaning every inch of the kitchen.

Once forward progress has been made on anything, it feels more difficult to stop working than to continue.


#6: Learn A New Skill Online

Online platforms like Skillshare and Udemy offer an easy learning experience for anyone who wants to increase their knowledge about a certain subject.

The whole goal of these sites is to make learning new things easy. They offer short, digestible courses — some taught by authoritative experts and others taught by talented everyday people just like you.

 Want to learn more about photography? Want to improve your time-management? Curious about graphic design or coding? There’s a course on these platforms that will satisfy your desire to learn.


What To Do When You’re Bored At Night To Improve Friendships

Maintaining a deep personal relationships is one of the keys to living a happy life. During the day, we can get so bogged down in our to-do lists that our relationships get pushed to the side.

The evening hours are a great time to course-correct. Showing your friends that you care, even in small ways, will reciprocate back into your life and create a deeper bond.

Here’s a few ideas for things to do at night for improved social connection.


#1: Text Someone From Your Contacts

One of the best things to do when bored at night is to simply reach out to the people closest to you.

As we go about our day to day lives, it can be difficult to give our personal relationships the time and energy they deserve. We all have personal obligations and work projects that get in the way, but nighttime is a different story.

Most of us don’t have much going on, especially during the week. Use this to your advantage and start developing deeper connections within your immediate social circle.

A simple check-in text is all that’s needed to let people know that you value their friendship. 


man texting some of his friends


#2: Facetime One Of Your Friends

If you want to take things a step further, peek through your contacts and facetime someone!

Facetiming is a little bit more personal than texting because you actually get to have a conversation. It’s yet another signal that you care enough to take the time out of your day to connect.


#3: Get Together For Some Food

Feeling hungry? Use this as an opportunity to see if any of your friends are up for a trip to get some food.

Skip Doordash or Ubereats for one night and make the effort to connect with your friends over ice-cream or any of your other late-night vices.


#4: Play A Card Game Or Board Game

At night, we all tend to wind down and prepare for the next day. However, that doesn’t mean we completely lose the desire to be social.

You’ll be surprised at how willing your friends are to skip binge-watching their favorite Netflix show and get out of the house if you make the effort to reach out.

Board games and card games offer a great opportunity for technology free-fun. 

Remember that card game you bought a year ago that’s been used maybe once or twice? Get a little spontaneous and break it out for a late-night gathering with your friends.


what to do when your bored at night - playing card games


#5: Plan A Trip

Do you have and your friends have that one trip that you’ve been talking about forever? Are there concrete plans in place or is it just something that’s nice to look forward to?

For most people, it’s the latter. So get in touch with your friends and see if they’re down to hop on a Zoom call to actually start setting things in motion.

Chances are that they want to take the trip as much as you, and will jump at the opportunity to start turning it into a reality.


#6: Do Some Reflection About Your Social Circle

This isn’t necessarily something you do with your friends, but it’s just as valuable. It’s important to spend time with your friends, but it’s just as important to self-reflect on who you spend time with.

  • Are they adding value to your life or dragging you down?
  • Are there certain people you need to see less?
  • Are there certain people you need to see more?

Humans have a deep-rooted desire to fit in. Our general view of the world is at least partly shaped by the company we keep on a weekly basis.

When going through this exercise, you may come to realize that certain people are anchors dragging you down. You may realize that there are some really positive people that you should strengthen your bond with.

All you’ve gotta do is start asking the right questions, and the answers will come to you pretty quickly.


Final Thoughts On What To Do When You’re Bored At Night

I hope you enjoyed this article offering suggestions for what to do when you’re bored at night.

Just because the night time is typically thought of as a time to relax, doesn’t mean that it’s an excuse to let hours float by without doing anything productive.

By focusing on simpler, less-demanding tasks, you can ensure that you get the most out of your day instead of escaping into Netflix on a nightly basis.

Pick some of these activities that resonate with you and try them out! I have a feeling you’ll sleep better at night knowing that you’re getting the most out of every hour.

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