50 Fun Things To Do When Bed Bound/House Bound

Photograph of a warm, woolen blanket/shawl. Text overlaid: 50 Fun Things To Do When Bed Bound-House Bound

One of the most challenging things about being ill long term is how much our lives change. Things we used to be able to do may not longer be accessible to us. Or perhaps they are accessible but just not possible. When you have very low energy, lots of fatigue, high pain levels and similar going out can be difficult to impossible.

Being ill can seem synonymous with spending a lot of time in bed (and not in a good way).

When we began Healing Boxes I was bed bound.

I know some people say bed bound and they mean ‘I lie in bed most of the day’. For me it was actually not leaving that bed at all.

And one of the hardest parts of that (apart from, you know, the bedpans and pressure sore issues) was being bored.

Staring at the same four walls all day, looking forward to little but the next meal and meds (when the pain might wane slightly), it’s not fun.

However, as I was stuck there for the duration, we found ways to make it work. And I’d love to share some with you.

How to Have Fun When Ill in Bed:

– Take an imagination vacation, where can your mind take you?

– Explore the globe with Google Earth.

– Participate in micro-volunteering. Change the world in your pyjamas.

– Make audio books accessible for all those who need them. Read for Librivox.

– Hug – your friends, your carer, yourself.

– Take free classes on line, we love Coursera, Duolingo, Skillshare.

Practice yoga in bed, my bed bound yoga story is here.

– Try animal watching, can you see birds from your window? Can you watch online?

Indoor gardening – therapeutic and fun.

Read comics.

Write letters.

– Write, just get the pen moving.

– Read. What do you love to read?

– Listen to the radio.

– Play with puzzles, word puzzles, jigsaws on a tray, finger puzzles – try them all!

– Create and craft.

– Knitting, it’s so cool.

– Even if your eating is limited (by allergies/chewing/swallowing issues) take the time to discover your favourite food/drink/flavours.

– Hold an ‘Italian’ evening – listen to Italian music, eat italian inspired food and try some simple phrases! What next – Czech? Australian? Greek?

– Make your bed as beautiful as you can. I bought vintage french linen for the bed, satin pyjamas to help prevent bed sores and make turning easier and lots of cushions and bolsters. I also love the cute cushions at The Pillow Fort.

– Redecorate with new pillow covers, updated blankets and even try wall hangings.

– Decorate yourself, how about henna?


– Write a poem, or read one.

Write a novel.

– Write a journal entry.

– Try morning and evening meditations.

– Spend time with animals, playing with them, talking to them. Maybe your animals, maybe someone else’s.


– Make yourself a Self-Care Kit to dive in to, and ward off the blue times with self-care and ethical delights.

– Make Soul Collages.

– Do an Inspiration Card Swap.

– Make artist trading cards.

– Make wiggly bags.

– Make greeting cards.

– Try scrapbooking.

– Close your eyes, imagine you are at the beginning of a road… you fill the rest in.

– Make a ‘zine.

– Tell stories, from traditions, from childhood, from fairy tales, from your imagination, from your own head.

Adopt an animal and learn more about it.

– Got to the ‘cinema’ or ‘theatre’ or ‘symphony’ – hold your own concert at home!

Connect to a positive online community and hang out.

Watch the stars.

– Hold a dance party in your mind, or move as much as you are able with Gabrielle Roth’s 5 Rhythms.

Try exercise in bed.

– Enjoy the mobile library – ask your local library if they have a home delivery service for people who are housebound. There’s been one in every library I’ve lived near. If they don’t have the service currently, suggest they start!

– Practice your origami skills and make objects to decorate the space above your bed.

– Pretend to be a pirate or prince for a day – can you dress up and talk like a pirate?

– Close your eyes, listen to music and let it paint a picture in your mind.

– Make an indoor sandbox using coloured rice: mix 4 cups of rice with 3 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol and a few drops of natural food colouring and let dry overnight. Via Care.

Want more ideas? Check out Healing Boxes Co-Founder Grace Quantock’s new book, Beyond the Boundaries, for 500 fun things to do when bed/house bound and bored…