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  1. Hey,

    I have to say that your site impressed me a lot. I have a cousin who is disabled and I am going to share this with him, hopefully it’ll lift his mood up and make him happy. I am going to take the tips in your post and I am going to buy him some books and an instrument to play, not sure which one though. Maybe a keyboard or guitar, those seem like pretty good options. Keep up the good work!

    1. Stephan Zev says:

      Hi Jose, thanks for commenting! I’m glad my suggestions help. Best wishes to your cousin and let me know if you have any other questions.

  2. My friend had a stroke a while ago, he doesn’t work anymore, is always complaining that he’s bored and places limitations on himself!

    I think after reading about the 19 things he can do, there are certainly many things he can work on during his spare time and also build up his confidence levels at the same time!

    Craft making would definitely be a great one for my friend. Thanks, and I’ll pass this onto him.


    1. Stephan Zev says:

      Hi Neil, thanks for commenting! Tell your friend to take a look at Craftsy .com, as they have a lot of cool courses!

  3. Very informative blog post. I also love that any of these activities could apply to someone who is retired, out of a job or someone just stuck in a same old, same old routine. i find myself wanting to do a few of these things and am already working on the language item

    1. Stephan Zev says:

      Good for you Brian, thanks for commenting!

  4. John Woods says:

    Hello Stephan, I love your “can do” spirit and the only thing that comes to my mind after reading this post is:
    Almost nobody has an excuse for not doing something constructive with their lives.
    I hear people whine about not having enough opportunity…and those are folks with NO disabilities!
    This truly and inspiring site and it’s obvious you have poured yourself into it.
    Best wishes and I hope a ton of people come here to see what’s possible!! Cheers,


  5. Anonymous says:

    Assuming you earn SSDI or something of that nature, how do you earn extra money without losing those benefits? I would love to earn extra money, but it doesn’t seem worth risking my disability income. Also, it seems that the Ticket Back to Work sets one up for ultimately losing their benefits, too.

    1. Great question! According to Social Security, you’re permitted to earn up to $1,130 per month in 2016 without losing disability benefits. You can learn more by reading this article. Please let me know if you have more questions…

      1. I think you have to enter a Trial Work Period regardless of income amount, which red flags SSDI. It isn’t just the income amount, however,. SSDI also looks at your ability to work. So, there is no way to earn any amount of income without gaining their attention, then they begin to look at whether or not you are still disabled. In addition, one must report to them if one is earning any sort of income (even if it’s under the SGA amount you mentioned above. It’s a real Catch 22. Frustrating.

        1. You can, in fact, earn up to $810 (gross) per month without it counting toward a Trial Work month. For a more detailed explanation, see here. If you visit disability lawyer websites, you’ll see the same information stated there too.

      2. I am always afraid that if you try and make more money that they will try and use it against you and who can afford to lose everything you have?

        1. I understand your reservations Kevin but the guidelines are pretty clear, see here. Ultimately, it depends on your comfort level.

  6. BRIAN HOOD says:

    Very very good, 30 years of firefighting took a toll on my neck, I was recently medically discharged after two major neck surgeries, & looking at another neck surgery in the future. A huge transition going from 100 mph to 5 mph, still waiting on my social security disability, I’m so, so so bored, I’ve got to figure out something to do. I’m going nuts. Cheers, Brian

    1. Hi Brian, I’m glad you found my suggestions helpful! All the best to you in your next phase of life…

  7. Hello! My recommendation – when you’re bored start a diary. If you are stressed all the time at work, or you are nervous recently, then you have to do something in order to change that. So, let’s say that you need to buy a diary. Every day you will stay alone at home, or get bored, go in your room and start writing in the diary. It will help you relieve the stress, and at the end you will feel less nervous and tense. A simple writing can do miracles in your life, and will change it 180 degrees. You will feel calmer, won’t yell at others, and you will feel happier. This is a productive thing to be done to you and your mental health.

    1. Hi Adelle, yes, that’s a good suggestion and I’ve written about journaling/keeping a diary which you can read about here.

  8. Lisa-Marie Mc Callion says:

    I have arthritis and find it extremely boring at home. Cleaning and looking after oneself becomes a chore.
    Your suggestions are great.
    You’ve a great attitude.

  9. Hi my dad has had a few accidents (car accidents, falls, neck surgeries, etc.) that has left him disabled. He has kept himself busy at home for a few years but now he is loosing his mind as he is very bored. he also doesn’t have a sense of control/purpose at home anymore as he is unable to do much. He starts a fight out of nowhere and says sorry later. He does not do anything morning to night anymore. it’s been very hard watching him going down hill but it’s to the point where he is alive but he feels dead. I don’t know what I can do for him in terms of keeping him busy . His can barely walk, his arms come up to no more than his waist, and he can’t move his neck. Any help is appreciated.

    1. Hi Sarah, I’m sorry to hear about your father. Is he open to seeing a therapist because that’s probably the best place to start. I’d also seek out YouTube channels of disabled people who’ve found purpose in their lives again and show those to you Dad. Funny videos too. Is he physically able to do any of his former hobbies? If so, I’d try to do them together with your Dad as a way to help rekindle his interest. Hope that helps a bit…

  10. Just about every suggestion involves zero social interaction of any kind. That is what most disabled folks want and need. But it just isn’t available. I have been looking for something to occupy my time as my disabilities get worse and I age. But there is just nothing out there other than solitary activities.

    1. Jessie Herrera says:

      Can you attend ballet or theatre with a friend?

    2. I joined a peer support group – it’s new and early days but i do feel good after talking to others, no matter how short the chats may be. Maybe see if there are things like that in your area, or a group class or workshop you could sign up for. Once you get to know people there you can go for coffee or cinema, or do all sorts of other things together. You can even learn a language competitively using Duolingo 😀

      If you are struggling with mental health, then Mind (in the UK) and other charities all over the world also run peer support groups or sessions, which are another great way to meet people who understand that life’s is sometimes a big bag of cr*p!

      Hope this helps. I was house bound and lonely for a year until recently so i do understand the sadness and desperation that loneliness brings. Family and friends simply don’t get it, but it’s not their fault – how can they? We somehow just have to find the energy to find ways to help ourselves. (Another starting point for me was also doing mindfulness for 10 mins a day, and trying to spot the behaviours that were keeping me stuck in a rut.).

  11. Time to update this buddy. Parkinson’s is my devil. It like many other illnesses gets ya down. Need that thing that gives meaning like work used to do.

  12. Thank you for your post. I am bedridden with no friends or family. I put in surveillance cameras because of being assaulted by my carer but something additionally positive happened. It was the first time ever I got to see my symptoms objectively. I could see if I woke up during the night and didn’t remember and could under stand why I was having a worse day. I could see when I slept through 36hrs! I could see how much I ate and drank and I could tell my mood by habits didn’t know I had like rubbing my entire face when distressed. One day I could see my agitation building over the day until I snapped. It has become a wonderful objective feedback tool to help me manage my conditions. It has been phenomenenal in improving care too :). It’s not a hobby but if you have memory loss like me, it can come in very handy when writing up the daily diary! Hahaha. I was writing a book before traumatic brain injury. I have lost a lot of capacity but would like to try but only have a phone in bed. My eyesight deteriorates rapidly using my phone all day everyday for my needs as it is. I try to read eBooks from it but the eyestrain is great. So I would suggest a surface (tablet+keyboard) if in people’s budget.
    I liked to be reminded of Google travel. I haven’t been on a Google holiday for a while. It is fun when you combine it with genealogy and check out what the places of your ancestors look like now.
    I like Quora. There are professor, experts in different fields, authors and lots of famous people who give away their information for free. You can follow mere morals who always tend to surprise you with aspects about topics that interest you. It is also a forum for you to express yourself. Just a couple if ideas… disability doesn’t discriminate as to ‘type’ of person and interests.

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