From time to time you may feel like everything you do to relax is just not ‘hitting the spot’ for you at the time. You might be bored with those things you normally do like watching tv shows/movies, play video games, stalking your friends on facebook, or looking at those same news sites. It’s times like these that you just need a break from your daily routine. Here’s the good news: The possibilities of what you can do with your free time are endless. With that in mind, here’s a list of 15 ideas that you might enjoy trying and hopefully light a spark to get your creative process started.
“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”
― Albert Einstein
Spend time with family/friends
Whether you’re a mother, father, brother, sister, grandparent, or friend there is a good possibility that you have people in your life that you care about and care about you. This can be someone you live with, lives close by, or is even worth taking a few good hours drive to make that worth-while connection. If you haven’t spent any quality time with them lately, go give them a hug (unless they’re in the shower, then use caution). They are totally worth time and effort. Plus, you’ll both be glad you spent that time together.
“I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
Call a friend
If you can’t spend time with family in person, here is your next best bet. This could be family, friends, or someone you haven’t talked to in a long time. Taking the time to stay in touch and having a good conversation can make you feel better about your connection to those people who mean something in your life. It will also show them that you care enough about them to take the time to call, or even video call, them rather than just sending a text. Reach out and show you care.
“I talked to a calzone for fifteen minutes last night before I realized it was just an introverted pizza. I wish all my acquaintances were so tasty.
― Jarod Kintz, This Book Has No Title
If you have spare parts spread about, a project you’ve been meaning to tackle, or something you just want to try making, then go for it! There are loads of sites where people have pieced together anything from paper to intricate wire circuitry and wrote it all down for others to follow in a tutorial. For some inspiration try instructables.com. If you have kids, try building something with, or for, them. I still remember the cool fort my dad made for me when I was a little guy. Also, if you have pets, I’m sure they would love a new lounge pad. Oh, and you know you would love lights mounted around your mirror so you can see yourself to apply makeup or shave your handlebar mustache. After all, who doesn’t want to see how beautiful they look?
“Creating something is only half the battle. The other half is finding people who care about it.”
― Ramsey Isler
Search for new music
There are so many sites out there that help you search for new music like Tastekid.com, Gnoosic.com, and Liveplasma.com. Just type in a song, artist, or band that you like and let the site find you music that is similar to all your favorites. You can always use Youtube.com too. Often enough, after you click the link to the song you’ve searched for, there is a playlist with that song at the top of the recommended list just to the right of the video. Happy hunting… and grooving!
“Those who dance are considered insane by those who cannot hear the music.”
― George Carlin
Clean out the clutter
Instead of building something new try clearing some of the old stuff out of your life. Cleaning out the clutter in your life is a way to invite new things physically and even emotionally into your life. Put on a feel-good playlist on Youtube, turn on the radio, put a record on, or visit a site designed to help you find new music. Then get your gloves on, and dig in. You might find something you haven’t seen in years, forgot you had, or maybe forgot you borrowed. Oops! No matter what, you’ll have peace of mind that you finally got that cleaned up and less stress makes for better living. Once your done, you might even have a scrap pile to build a car or who knows what some other day.
“Don’t make someone else clean up your mess. C’mon, that’s what clones are for.
― Jarod Kintz, Whenever You’re Gone, I’m Here For You
Wash your car
If you don’t want to clean out a room, maybe you can just clean something you own. It’s rewarding to spend time washing your car, waxing it, and doing a good job to clean it out. Even if your car isn’t the sportiest vehicle on the road, you still have the benefit of riding in an environment that looks and smells appealing, driving a car that shines, and the pride of knowing you take care of what you own. Or you can just take your car to the car wash and pay someone to do it which still gives you something to do for a while.
“Have you ever noticed how nice people are at the car wash?! Maybe it’s just me, but it makes me happy. Weird, I know!”
― Brittany Snow
Simply walking can be a wonderful time to reflect and, if you’re restless, this could be a wonderful way to stretch your legs, see some sunshine, and get some air. If you have a dog, you can even take your buddy with you. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, you can even turn that walk into a run, a hike, a climb, skydiving, or whatever floats your boat. Though it might be hard to get the proper gear for your dog, they might love skydiving. Still, there are loads of videos on Youtube.com that want to show you how to work out at home, do aerobics, or how to lift weights at your local gym. This is also a great time to download some music to your phone or listen to an audiobook about penguins trying to figure out if they have knees. There’s nothing quite like engaging your muscles and your brain at the same time!
“My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She’s ninety-seven now, and we don’t know where the heck she is.”
― Ellen DeGeneres
Sometimes the best way to do something is to sit still and seemingly do nothing. There are many different forms of meditation. There’s meditation for reflection, mindfulness, creative manifesting meditation, and more. Just sitting quietly while reflecting on life and being calm, or at peace, is something anyone can do without much forethought. It might take a bit of time to get used to, but meditation can be very relaxing, extremely beneficial to your mental and physical wellness, and even life changing.
“Meditation is all about the pursuit of nothingness. It’s like the ultimate rest. It’s better than the best sleep you’ve ever had. It’s a quieting of the mind. It sharpens everything, especially your appreciation of your surroundings. It keeps life fresh.”
― Hugh Jackman
Play with your dog, cat, or ferret
You may have time allotted each day as take the dog out time. Some pets can be more active than others and need more time to run off all that energy they have stored up from just lounging around the house. If you’re bored, think of what they must be going through with a house full of stuff that’s off limits to them. You can use this time to take your dog, cat, or ferret for a walk. You might get some strange looks with the last two, but it’s your life after all. You can even play hide and seek in the house if it’s raining out and you can get your pet to stay long enough before giving them a whistle to come find you. If you can get them to stay long enough, try making them stay put while hiding a favorite treat or toy somewhere for them to find and watch them go nuts trying to discover where you put it.
“Cats have a scam going – you buy the food, they eat the food, they go away; that’s the deal.”
― Eddie Izzard
Learn something new
Unless you’re the legendary MacGyver you probably don’t know how to do everything there is to do on Earth to survive armageddon with a smile. Then perhaps you’d like to learn to meditate, how to build a cat pad, how to speak another language, or even how to value yourself. There are videos, websites, audiobooks, and any other number of sources to learn how to do just about anything. It will take you a bit of time to watch something and gather some materials, but then you’re on your way to enlightenment. The world is full of interesting possibilities just waiting for you to discover them.
“Question everything. Learn something. Answer nothing.”
Read a book
Do you have some hard or paperback editions of H.G. Wells sitting around your house or a whole stack of comics you haven’t touched since you were a kid? Now’s a great time to wipe the dust off and pry back the pages. If you’re a bit techy like me, then you have a Kindle, Nook, or even a smartphone that you can find just about anything you can think of to read. You can find many of the classics online for free with a little bit of searching. Amazon has a lending program and advertises over 600,000 titles for a monthly rate on the Kindle. Depending on your mood, you can read anything from Lord of the Rings to Whitling for Dummies.
“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.”
― Oscar Wilde
Color a coloring book
If you don’t want to read a book, how about coloring one? It doesn’t matter how old you get, whether you stay within the lines or not, or if you know what complementary colors are. Someone took the time to outline Goofy and Winnie and by gosh, someone has to step up to make sure they get colored! There’s just something relaxing about coloring, and what’s even better is coloring with someone. I’m sure your little sister, your nephew, or cousin would love a coloring buddy (Important – make sure you ask their parents permission first because not everyone colors at 1am). Afterwards you can do what Terry Brooks did with his drawings (see quote).
“In bad weather, I spent hours drawing action figures on paper, coloring them, backing them on cardboard, then cutting them out and creating whole stories around their lives.”
― Terry Brooks
Bake a cake
You haven’t lived until you’ve baked a cake. Okay, well maybe you’ve lived but have you baked a cake?! You can find video after video online about baking cakes and cake happens to be delicious. You can make a tasty dessert that looks like a hamburger, a chocolate bar, and even a pink zebra! If you’re worried about what you’ll look like after eating an entire cake, you can share with your friends, family, and/or coworkers (you don’t have to tell them where it came from). Also, there are plenty of tutorials on healthy recipes. Go get your Martha Stewart on!
“’Having’ Your Cake….a little perverted…. ‘Eating’ it too…..a lot perverted!”
― Josh Stern
Stumble upon… something
Stumbleupon.com is a site that lets you, after signing up and typing in at lest one interest, be whisked from site to site with the click of a button. You are just stumbling from one site to another with no purpose other than to find sites that are interesting based on what boxes you checked before you started. I like to check out the technology on Stumbleupon in particular and there have been some pretty amazing sites added to the list to surf through. You can even recommend your favorite sites if they aren’t listed in Stumbleupon’s directory already for others to stumbleupon.
“Even now one rarely hears of people achieving great things unless they first stumble in some respect.”
― Meister Eckhart, Sermons and Treatises, Vol 2
There is so much these days that you can write: a traditional journal, a blog, an email to a friend, a list of places you want to see before you die, a poem, a haiku, a short story, or even start a novel. J.K. Rowling didn’t even have a pen when the idea of Harry Potter came to her. She just sat for four hours waiting for a train while brainstorming ideas. You can sit and think of a story in your head if you want or you can take the time to jot down (or type) whatever comes to mind. I’d forget more than I could brainstorm if I didn’t have a pen and paper handy, but sometimes it’s just fun to get caught up in our own imaginations.
“Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.”
― Robert A. Heinlein
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