School holidays are great. You don’t have to set alarms. You can wear anything you like. You can eat lunch whenever your hunger strikes. But sometimes, every so often, they can get, um, a bit… er, dull.

I know! I know, it’s not what you’re meant to say. You’re meant to be grateful and thankful and brimming with holiday-induced joy. But, well, sometimes you can end up sitting on the floor of your bedroom, completely out of episodes of Stranger Things to re-watch and with no idea what to do next.

Well, fear not! We have come up with some ideas for how to keep the boredom at bay.

1. Make face masks

Mrs Doubtfire

I’m not entirely sure what it is that I find so soothing about face masks, but pretty much as soon as I apply that first slather, I feel myself relax. You can do it on your own, pop some cucumber on your eyes and listen to soothing music or you can get together with a bunch of friends and experiment with different types. I particularly love this banana face mask. Plus, if any of it ends up in your mouth, it’s totally delicious.

2. Got some leftover bananas?

If you have any bananas left over after making your face mask, it’s NBD because you can make banana popsicles!

3. Learn the Parent Trap Handshake 

One rainy afternoon, my best friend Georgia and I decided we would learn the handshake from Parent Trap. Because I have very little coordination, it took a ridiculous amount of time, but it was totally worth it when we showed our routine off to all our friends at school the next week.

parent-trap

4. Or if you’re more musically inclined…

You could learn “Cups” from Pitch Perfect, which will have the same effect.

5. Learn to face paint

Look, I’m not entirely sure when this life skill will come in useful but I promise you that if you learn how to paint your face so you look like Scar from the Lion King, a situation will arise. Halloween? Why not. A circus themed party? Sure. Next mufti day? I’m game if you are.

6. Marie Kondo your room

I wish I knew the words to describe the look I got in the betty offices when I said I didn’t know who Marie Kondo was. According to her Wikipedia, she’s a Japanese organising consultant and author. My friend Lauren told me that after she read Marie’s first book, ‘The Life-Changing Art of Tidying,’ she actually re-organised her wardrobe and it did, in fact, change her life. As someone who spends about five minutes every morning trying to locate the top I have in mind, I have to admit, I’m tempted.

7. Head to your local library

Holidays are always a great time to get on top of your reading list. If you’re feeling a little uninspired, why not check out Zoella’s new book club reads or some of our betty book reviews?

8. Or… get crafty with books

If you’re not that into reading or have got a lot of old books lying about, you could try some of these DIY projects that re-purpose old books into beautiful new accessories.

diy-inspiration-smashbook

9. Stage a tribute to Bey

What better way is there to spend your hols than learning all the words to Bey’s, ‘Hold Up’? Or, if you’re feeling really ambitious, why not try and get the whole Lemonade album down? Put on your yellow-est dress and get crackin’.

Boredom, BE GONE. Bey-dom awaits!

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Image: The Diary Of A Teenage Girl

It’s been a long ol’ 11 months of blood, sweat, tears and furiously trying to learn your French oral presentation about all the fake pets you had, have, and will have in future. But, friends, the time has come: SUMMER IS HERE.

No, you don’t have to tell us in French what your plans are for the next six weeks. Mostly because, let’s face it, you haven’t got a bloody clue what you’re going to do in English, let alone French. Your friends are all helpfully going on their family holiday at the SAME TIME, you’ve run out of stuff on Netflix to watch without going deep into the weird documentaries, and if your parents tell you to “tidy that state of a room if you’re that bored” once more then you’ll pack that state into a bag and go and live at the end of the garden.

So, we’ve collated a bunch of cheap ideas to help you bin the boredom this summer. Repay us in Soleros.

1. Sign up for a 16-25 Railcard

Yes, it costs £30 for a year (£70 for three) BUT your third off (off-peak) rail fares will soon make it a worthy purchase. Get yourself to the beach, or go and explore a new town. You’re only 16-25 once! … Or 10 times?

2. Enjoy the outdoors!

If you have a park nearby, USE IT. Have a picnic, read, gossip with friends, go for a chilled walk, play a bunch of games. The opportunities are endless, even if it’s not sunny. Don’t rely on the sun for a good time. C’mon, it’s the UK.

3. Lay on your own festival

If you don’t have a park but you (or one of your pals) have a garden then USE THAT INSTEAD. You can organise your own festival (because damn those real ones are expensive) with loads of different playlists, facepaint, glitter, tents, and disposable BBQs. Much cheaper. Maybe just warn your neighbours first.

4. Look for restaurant offers… or say it’s your birthday

Restaurants don’t have to be expensive. So many decent chain restaurants have their own rolling offers on their website, or they’re involved in offers with Tastecard or Gourmet Society, etc.

Or just say it’s someone’s birthday, tbh. You might get free dessert.

5. Have a cinema marathon at home

Ok, so sometimes the weather is just too bad for the outdoors. Instead, each of your friends can bring over a film that none of the others have seen and you can have an all-night marathon, just like they do in the fancy cinemas. But with more pizza.

6. Take up a new hobby or skill

You know on The Sims where they can learn a new skill and the little blue bar goes up as they learn, and it’s really satisfying? Well, do that on yourself! Use the free time to learn something new. Try a new sport, learn to cook new meals, learn how to code or use html, or just finally learn how to do French plaits on yourself, damn it.

7. Sign up to audience websites

SRO Audiences, Applause Store, Lost In TV, and BBC Shows all offer free tickets to be in the audience of your fave shows. Bargain night out! If you’re a film buff then sign up to ShowFilmFirst, too. They offer free film tickets to films that haven’t even come out yet. What a privileged little sausage you can be, eh?

8. Create your own self-care project 

We’ve already given you our beginner’s guide to self care, and practicing it can be even more important in the summer when you can get bored, think too much, struggle with body image, and feel quite lonely. We totally get it. So, write down just one thing you’re going to do each day to look after yourself. Do your nails, make your own bath bombs, read for an hour with no social media distraction. Anything.

9. Take on one of #100days tags

Scrolling through social media doesn’t have to be aimless. Find one of the many #100days tags on Instagram or Twitter, do it, and stick to it! It’ll do you good to achieve a little goal every day, and it’ll keep you happy and motivated too.

10. Be a tourist where you live 

You don’t have to travel to experience new things. Go for long walks around your town and go down streets you’ve never even noticed before. You could make it into a photography project or take everyone on Instagram stories with you. You’ll be surprised how much of your hometown you don’t actually know.

11. Volunteer!

Happy Wednesday! ☀️🌟✨

A post shared by Do-it.org (@doitvolunteering) on

Volunteering is underrated. Charities and your local community are always looking for people to help them out, and they all have different roles. Sometimes you don’t even have to leave your bedroom! Have a look on do-it.org to find the best role for you. Help others and feel good at the same time. Win/win.

12. Have a charity shop fashion day

Speaking of charity, charity shops have some serious steals for way cheaper than your high street stores. Go out with your friends and play the ‘who can find the best outfit for the cheapest price’ game. We feel a changing room Insta-montage coming on.

13. Get active and go to parkrun

The brilliant parkrun organises free 5k runs every Saturday morning all around the UK. Once you’ve been to one, you’ll be obsessed. Trust us. The community and encouraging spirit is SO GREAT. You’ll get fit, make friends, and tick off number six on this list too.

14. Give your room an overhaul 

Spring cleaning doesn’t just have to happen at the start of the year. A tidy room is a tidy mind, as they say, and you could turn a clearout into redecorating your room, adorning it with Pinterest projects… or just moving your bed to the other side. You’ll feel so prepped for the next school year with your room fresh and fancy, we promise. Maybe your parents had a point…

15. Plan NEXT summer 

Right, so you’re skint, underprepared, and all the summer jobs were gone by the time you looked. That’s fine. So how about you plan for NEXT year? Set some goals. Plan what you want to do, whether it’s travel, write a book, get a job, and put a plan in action for it. The best plans don’t just happen, they take a lot of work (and maybe a few beautiful journals). Chop chop, you’ve got a bangin’ future to create.

@louisejonesetc

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Image: Pexels

 

I once bought a cross stitch kit that included silk threads in 27 different shades of beige. No, really.

In the end my desire to create a scene of Winnie the Pooh and Piglet on a bridge wasn’t as great as my inability to distinguish between tan, sand, fawn and all the rest, so I dumped the kit on a friend (she gave up on it too) – but hey, not all attempts at starting a new hobby go so badly.

Plus it’s a good thing to try new activities in our free time. Studies have shown that having interests (even beige ones) helps to make us happier. They are also a way to make new friends and escape from the pressures of school, homework and exams for a bit. What’s not to like about that?

So in the spirit of January, here are eight new extra-curricular activities to try in 2017, based on things you already love. Oh, and none of them require you to leave the sofa. Much.

If you already love colouring books…

Dot-to-dot is the new kid on the mindfulness block! But just as the recent trend for colouring is nothing like what you did when you were four, the new dot-to-dot books are hardcore, with literally hundreds of tiny points to join together. This requires some serious concentration but also distracts from stress and anxiety. You can draw (ok, dot) everything from famous people’s heads to adorable puppies – check out Thomas Pavitte’s books for the coolest selection.

As well as putting pen to paper, folding it is suddenly big news too. The ancient Japanese art of origami is so hot right now, and if you’re looking for a challenge as well as bedroom decs that don’t cost a million pounds on Etsy, this could be for you. Creating animals and birds from paper requires a lot of patience, even if you have a kit explaining what to do, but the results are seriously delightful. For inspiration (and to give your folding fingers a rest), read Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.

origami

Another hobby with Insta-appeal is calligraphy. The art of beautiful lettering is centuries old, but that doesn’t stop YouTube and Pinterest being great places to learn the basics – with some practice you’ll be able to use calligraphy to create beautiful art based on your favourite poems and quotes. Get started now and you could have Christmas 2017 sorted by summer. How smug?

If you already love binge watching…

One of my goals for the year is to become a minor expert in EastEnders. What? I figured it would be fun to develop my obsession with the soap into an actual hobby, so I’ve started connecting with other fans through Twitter and reading books about the show’s history. If you also love geeking out over new subjects, you could try taking your TV fandom to the next level. Join forums, learn about how it’s made, write fan fiction about your favourite characters. Clear a shelf for some hand-painted Game of Thrones figurines. However you want to let your geek flag fly.

Or, switch media – instead of binge watching, try binge reading. If there’s an author you really like, work your way through all of their back catalogue. Not sure where to begin? There are loads of recommendations out there: check out the Zoella Book Club or Goodreads. Don’t forget this is a cheap hobby! Your school or local library will house enough books for even the most dedicated binge reader, so get a sturdy bag and let your inner Belle run wild.

belle

If you already love crafts…

Whether you’re used to using pins and needles or scissors and glue, if you like crafting then how about turning your hand to upcycling? Nothing to do with bikes or hills, promise. Upcycling is kind of like recycling, only the goal is to make the new item as good or if not even better than it was before. It’s an awesome way to personalise your clothes or your space, and fill grey Sunday afternoons in a way that won’t induce a parental nag-fest. Unless you get paint on the carpet.

Check out charity shops for small chests of drawers or an old mirror to paint. Rummage in your wardrobe for items that you’ve grown out of. Search for inspiration online (Pinterest is great for this, obviously). Mega upcycler Lili from Chicago told me that she is proud of herself for being able to reuse items – like the purses she’s recently made out of old shirts. She says, “It’s really nice to know that you are able to make something beautiful out of something that you don’t use anymore. You can easily make something really cool.”

It was you, it was always you… (find the DIY on ohhappyday.com 🌮🌮🌮🌮🌮🌮

A post shared by Oh Happy Day (@ohhappyday) on

If you already enjoy blogging…

There are so many hobbies to have a bash at if you like writing. Try going small scale and keep a one sentence diary – not as easy as it sounds. These can go on for YEARS, so you’re able to look back at memories that you might otherwise forget about (although in the case of your year seven crushes that might not be a good thing).

At the other end of the scale, experiment with making a fanzine. This is basically a small magazine that reflects your loves and passions. It could be about music, films, fashion, poetry, cheese toasties… anything. Join forces with friends to make it a sociable thing: work on one together, or all make your own and trade them. There’s a whole ‘zine scene out there of people swapping homemade mags, and you never know where it might lead. Sharmadean Reid started out with a fanzine that eventually led to her creating WAH Nails.

stranger-things-fanzine

@mermaidblobs

See, told you hobbies were cool.

@rae_ritchie_

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome.