Bed rest is a term used to describe the recommendation to remain in bed, preferably with the head level or below the feet. It’s generally associated with pregnancy, however, bed rest can be prescribed to anyone who needs time to rest and relax.
One day of bed rest might be a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of life, but weeks of bed rest can cause restlessness. So what are some things to do while on bed rest?
With a little creativity, there are plenty of things you can do during this time. Below are a few bed rest ideas that should help guide you to be productive with your time even when limited to a bed.
Reasons Bed Rest Might Be Recommended
Bed rest won’t be advised for every pregnancy (only around 20 percent of pregnant women). It’s believed that a little rest could help reduce the risks of pregnancy because it should be 1) relaxing, 2) a healthy way for the body to recover, 3) less stressful on the body and mind than being busy.
Medical professionals will only prescribe bed rest to reduce the chance of complications or if a woman appears to need rest. The most common complications can be a result of:
- High blood pressure
- Premature labor
- Poor development
- Prior complications or loss (still birth etc.)
so it’s important to know that bed rest isn’t always the answer for pregnant women and it’s possible your physician recommends against it.
Bed rest has also been prescribed for men and women with psychiatric challenges, those who have returned from war, and others under extreme stress. In the old days, patients were sometimes isolated from friends and family and any cognitive stimulation was removed from the room (no books, painting, or messages).
Don’t worry, we have a few ideas to keep you busy (also read: Fun Things To Do At Home For Kids).
Friends and Colleagues On Bed Rest
Fortunately, I never experience bedrest with my pregnancies, but as a school administrator there were many times when my teachers or other staff members left work for weeks and months at a time.
It was always a serious problem that would force this medical requirement. Although it meant not having to go to work daily, it was stressful for them in a much different way.
They were advised to do things to relax and get one’s mind off the situation.
My colleagues and friends would create schedules to provide meals for the person on bedrest. After all, it is difficult to prepare meals while lying in bed.
Nowadays, there are many healthy meal options that can be delivered to your door. Another modern benefit is the ability to order so many of our household necessities through the internet (read my article: 100+ Table Topic Questions).
Let’s take a look at the following list of activities to stay productive on bed rest.
93 Best Things To Do While On Bed Rest (Pass Time)
1. Learn origami and give as a gift
2. Give yourself a manicure
3. Practice a language (Duolingo or other phone app)
4. Call your family and friends to catch up
5. Play solitaire
6. Use stress balls in your hand to relax
7. Practice breathing exercises
8. Work on your grip strength with squeezing exercises
9. Stretch your muscles (neck, arms, hands, feet)
10. How long can you hold your breath (time yourself)
11. Learn to whistle
12. Snuggle with your spouse or dog
13. Comb your hair
14. Comb the hair of your dog or cat
15. Practice sudoku
16. Do a crossword puzzle
17. Write “thank you” notes to family and friends
18. Email an old friend from high school to see how they are doing
19. Place a small tray on your lap and work on a jigsaw puzzle one section at a time
20. Practice meditation
21. Catch up on work emails
22. Play cards against yourself
23. Learn a card trick to amaze your family members
24. Learn a magic trick to entertain your family members
>> Also read: Best (Free) Typing Games For Kids
25. Practice singing
26. Watch a movie
27. Listen to music
28. Find a new podcast with a topic you enjoy
29. Read through a cookbook and make a list of recipes you want to try
30. Pay your bills
31. Prepare your forms for taxes
32. Study for school
33. Make flashcards for learning (memory and school)
34. Make a to-do list for when bedrest is finished
35. Apply a face mask to hydrate your skin
36. Put your feet up (elevate your legs)
37. Write a letter to your future self
38. Write a letter to your future child
39. Write 10 things you want to try when you’re finished with bed rest
40. Write down your goals (New Year, short term and long term)
41. Give yourself a massage (with massager or your hands)
42. Write down your grocery store list for the current week
43. Repair worn jeans or clothes with a patch
44. Draw (there are many youtube tutorials for learning)
45. Record audio messages for your children (and future child)
46. Write down your relationship objectives for the coming year (ways to improve)
47. Research a future vacation spot
48. Give yourself a makeover (experiment with makeup)
49. Brush/Floss your teeth
51. Use a medicine ball to do some exercises on the bed
52. Play catch with someone in the room (tennis ball or softer)
53. Use a trashcan and “shoot hoops”
54. Look at a map to learn about a new place
55. Read a book
56. Have a “happy hour” video call with a friend (not if you’re pregnant)
57. Go shopping (browse the internet)
58. Get caught up on the news (paper or internet)
59. Watch a sports game (depending on the season)
60. Request breakfast in bed
61. Snack time (keep a stash near your bed)
62. Work on an adult coloring book
63. Learn to knit or crochet
64. Finally complete a rubik cube
65. Read your favorite magazines
66. Look through your old photo albums and reminisce
67. Start writing a journal
68. Make a scrapbook
69. Trim your nails
70. Story time with your children
71. Teach your kids a lesson (math, grammar, science)
72. Write a screenplay
73. Write a book
74. Use superglue to fix something that broke (glasses, coffee mug)
75. Frame a few photos to put on your wall
76. Create an exercise plan to use in the future
77. Write a list of chores for others in the house
78. Make a schedule for people who are helping you (trash pick-up, feeding the dog)
79. Create a scavenger hunt for kids in your home
80. Learn how to make a website
81. Start a youtube channel
82. Keep your boss updated on your health
83. Practice calligraphy
84. Clean your purse or handbag
85. Make labels for household items (organizational)
86. Teach yourself to juggle
>> Also read: How To Keep A Baby Warm At Night
87. Relearn “cat’s cradle” game from when you were a kid
88. Build your vocabulary with a thesaurus
89. Volunteer to proof-read and edit documents (from work, church, school)
90. Visualize your “happy place” and what you would be doing there
91. Delete old photos (that you don’t need) and chats on your phone
92. Invite your children or spouse to play a board game on the bed
93. Plan your next vacation
Stay Busy, Even While On Bed Rest
If you’re on bed rest for a prolonged period of time it can have negative impacts on your cognitive and physical health. If muscles of the body aren’t used, they will atrophy.
Similarly, if the mind isn’t stimulated with communication and everyday decision making, it will slowly begin to lack strength, possibly influencing memory and critical thinking skills.
The mere act of laying in bed all day can cause our skin to exhibit sores (ulcers) so be sure to stay moving even while in bed.
This article shared many things to do while on bed rest. Your first thought regarding bed rest might be to watch tv or read a book, but with a little creativity you can keep yourself busy for weeks!
It’s hard to stay motivated while on bed rest so ask a family member to hold you accountable. Write a list of things you want to accomplish and check them off as you complete them.
Switch your activities up and use a timer so you don’t end up doing the same thing all day and become bored.