Inside: Don’t let FOMO get the best of you this winter. Check out these 30 Fun Indoor Activities for Adults with Chronic Illness and bring the fun to you.
Disclaimer: All of these thoughts are my own. However, as an Amazon Associate, I may earn a small commission if you purchase from one of the links below.
For most of us with chronic illness or disability, quarantine isn’t something that only happens in a pandemic. We often find ourselves stuck at home due to the inaccessibility of most public spaces, or the pain and fatigue caused by our chronic illness makes walking out the front door nearly impossible.
Now that this is everyone’s reality in 2020, the able-bodied world is getting a taste of what it’s like living with chronic illness and disability. To help keep your boredom at bay, I’ve gathered 30 Fun Indoor Activities for Adults with Chronic Illness.
Some of the suggestions below may not work for everyone depending on your illness or disability. Try to keep an open mind and hopefully you’ll find an activity that works for you!
30 Fun Indoor Activities for Adults with Chronic Illness
- Board Games
- Trivia Night
- Costume Night
- Indoor Picnic
- Themed Dinner Night
- Spa Night
- Bake Something New
- Indoor Gardening
- Record a Cooking Session
- Have a Karaoke Night
- Learn a New Skill
- Start a Side Gig
- Read a Book
- Listen to a Podcast
- Design a Family Scrapbook
- Do a Crossword Puzzle
- Learn Nail Art
- Take an Online Class
- Join a Virtual Book Club
- Design a Holiday Card
- Play Charades
- Movie Marathon
- Zoom Happy Hour
- Create a Vision Board
- Host a Tea Party
- Indoor Scavenger Hunt
- Listen to Old-School Jams
- Do a Jigsaw Puzzle
1. Board Games
As an incredibly competitive person, there’s nothing I love more than beating my opponent to a pulp in a board game. A bit much? Probably, but that’s a part of my personality I’ve chosen not to deal with, yet. Try competitive games like Sequence, Catan, Risk, and Ticket to Ride (available on Amazon). Want to take it up a notch? Keep tallies of your wins on the fridge.
2. Trivia Night
Host a zoom trivia night and have a fun way relaxing with friends in the comfort of your own home. Show off your knowledge and make it a movie night with sports, geography or history. Bonus points if you include a prize at the end!
3. Costume Night
Grab an old Halloween costume and make it a costume night. Tell each person they have to act like their character for the night. No energy for dress up? No worries, pick Fairy Tail characters and play Sleeping Beauty.
4. Indoor Picnic
Who said picnics are only an outdoor thing? Time to have fun breaking some rules, shall we? Create some space in the living room or balcony and set out a picnic lunch. Spread the picnic cloth and basket of food and treat your family to a unique fun-filled lunch.
5. Themed Dinner Night
I got this idea from an old friend. Her family enjoys coming up with different international themes and dressing up for them. A few days ago, my husband and I decided to try the same. I chose a French dinner with steak and frites, red wine and Parisian-themed music. Spiced up our love life, no doubt.
6. Spa Night
Who doesn’t love bubble baths and cozy robes? Create a spa night at a quarter of the price right in the comfort of your own home. Gather a bathrobe, calming music, a glass of delicious wine (or fruit-infused water) and a good book. Pro tip: For extra relaxation, try a CBD Bath Bomb.
7. Bake Something New
Always wanted to try your hand in your kitchen? There’s no better time than now. Try this recipe for delicious banana bread. I’ve made it several times for friends, and I always get rave reviews.
8. Indoor Gardening
Cultivate your green thumb with indoor kitchen gardening. Right now, I currently have a basil plant and a pothos on my kitchen windowsill. We bought the basil on sale at the local grocery store, and I harvested the pothos from a larger pothos plant that I have in my living room. They’ve both been thriving!
9. Record a Cooking Session
True story: I live vicariously through cooking shows on the Food Network. Since my illness makes me incredibly slow at doing things around the kitchen, I recorded my husband as though he was hosting a cooking show. He loves being the center of attention and having a chance to try out his favorite dad jokes. He picked the recipe, and I filmed it. The episode turned out to be fun and hilarious!
10. Have a Karaoke Night
I hate being the center of attention, so karaoke is my worst nightmare. However, one of my bucket list items was to face my fear and sing Lauryn Hill “That Thing” at least once before I die. The opportunity presented itself in Chicago while on a business trip a couple of years ago. Drunk, I got on stage by myself at 2 AM in front of coworkers I had just met and completely bombed. Hopefully, this doesn’t happen to you. But if it does, at least no one’s there to witness.
11. Learn a New Skill
Consider learning a new skill such as painting, crocheting, or similar art. Learning a new skill can be both rewarding and educational because as the cliche goes, knowledge is never wasted. Tutorials are available online.
12. Start a Side Gig
Looking to cure the boredom while making a few bucks on the side? Check out Entrepreneur’s 50 Ideas for a Lucrative Side Hustle and spend the extra time at home creating an extra revenue stream.
13. Read a Book
There’s truly nothing that I enjoy more than settling down with a cup of Earl Grey tea and a good book. I use the free app, Libby, to satiate my thirst for books. Download it now and search for popular titles in your favorite genre.
Keep your creative juices flowing by keeping and writing a personal journal. Record your thoughts, emotions and daily life. I found an old journal from a few years ago where I had written down my goals. It’s fun to look back and see what you thought about life in the past.
15. Listen to a Podcast
It’s easy to get lost in a Podcast. From history to pop culture to crime, there’s a subject for everyone. Don’t know where to start? Try one of the long-form series from Wondery or a lighthearted comedy like Heavyweight.
16. Design a Family Scrapbook
Get the digital photos off your phone and create a family scrapbook. Add a variety of photos taken at meaningful events like anniversaries or family trips. For help getting started, check out 5 Family Scrapbook Ideas To Inspire You!
17. Do a Crossword Puzzle
Engage your brain with crossword puzzles. True Story: I once told someone I was having dinner with for the first time that I had never finished a NY Times crossword puzzle by myself without the help of my husband. You would have thought I told him that I killed my own mother. Don’t ever let someone make you feel some type of way for not finishing a crossword puzzle. Those things are hard!
18. Learn Nail Art
For those of us staying who you still want to pamper ourselves, try learning nail art. You can get one of Amazon’s most-wished-for gifts here. With time, you won’t have to go to the nail salon anymore.
19. Take an Online Class
Ever wanted to learn a new skill but felt like you never had the time? Check out websites like Skill Share and Master Class to learn everything from graphic design to cinematography, even learn how to create your dream career.
Sometimes I get nostalgic when I remember coloring $1 store coloring books with my Crayolas. Try this Schitt’s Creek coloring book, where everyone fits in! Featuring 16 fully illustrated pages of fun, this Schitt’s Creek inspired coloring book will remind you of some of your favorite moments from the show including The Crows Have Eyes 3 and Bing Liveheinger, Burt Herkern Fruit Wine.
21. Join a Virtual Book Club
Miss the camaraderie of shared hobbies? Join a virtual book club and pass the time talking about the books you love (or don’t love) with others.
22. Design a Holiday Card
Homemade Holiday cards are unique and beautiful. You can purchase craft materials at your local department store and get creative designing Holiday cards to send out to your friends and loved ones. Need help with ideas? Check out these YouTube tutorials.
23. Play Charades
24. Have a Movie Marathon
For those with chronic illness, movies are a great way to pass the time while still bonding with your family. Binge the classics like James Bond, Star Wars or Harry Potter. Grab some snacks from the goPuff app and settle in for the rest of the night.
25. Zoom Happy Hour
Bring the bar home and have a zoom happy hour with Friends. No need to spend $50 on a tab. Now you can make your own drinks and socialize all from the comfort of your own couch.
26. Create a Vision Board
Vision boards have grown hugely in popularity over the last few years helped by celebrities who swear by them: Oprah, Katy Perry and Beyoncé. Let Louise Bartlett inspire you in her article A beginner’s guide to creating your perfect vision board.
27. Host a Tea Party
If alcohol isn’t your thing, host a zoom tea party sip and chat away with friends. Quick online research provided amazing recipes and tips. If you’re not up for dressing up, just brew a cup of tea and relax with a friendly zoom date.
28. Indoor Scavenger Hunt
We all love hunting for hidden treasure. Plan an adult treasure hunt with help from Freya Wilcox. In this hunt, there are 18 clues / riddles and instead of hiding a present with each clue, hide all of the presents like a treasure trove at the end of the hunt. Let the hunting begin!
29. Listen to Old-School Jams
Reminisce on that good old days and listen to your old high school jams. Turn the music up high and relax while knowing every word to your favorite song when you were a teenager. NOW 11, anyone?
30. Do a Jigsaw Puzzle
There is perhaps no better joy in life than finishing a jigsaw puzzle. They can take weeks to months to finish, and they get you off your phone. I love jigsaw puzzles for passing the time and relaxing after dinner.
Final Thoughts on 30 Fun Indoor Activities for Adults with Chronic Illness
I hope you’ve found something on this list of 30 Fun Indoor Activities for Adults with Chronic Illness that will work for you! Staying inside of the house can get old after a while, so try to shake things up with the activities above.
If, at the end of the day, your chronic illness proves too much and you can’t do any of the activities, remember to be easy on yourself. These are mere suggestions for when you do have enough energy to entertain. Keep your head up and let me know what activities worked the best for you!
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What have you found that’s fun when you’re stuck inside? Tell me in the comments below!
Allie Schmidt is a rare disease advocate and disabled mom living with motor neuron disease. She founded Disability Dame in 2020 to provide tips to other moms living with disabilities and chronic illnesses.
In her spare time, you can find her traveling with her husband (she's been to 38 states and 16 countries!), watching reruns of Survivor, or tending to her near-constant sunburn from spending too much time outside. You can follow her adventures here.