Looking to try something new and fun? Eschew boredom? De-stress? And, if you’re taking summer courses, minimize the chance of burning out?
Well, I’m stoked to announce that you can get all of the benefits listed above by trying out these 9 fun activities, right at home.
1. Call up a radio station
Interested in talking to a (famous) stranger...on air? Tune in to your local radio station, and hop on the phone with a radio show host during call-in sessions—many radio shows are looking for listeners to get in touch, and sharing your story can help you feel refreshed.
By speaking to these hosts, you’re probably one degree of separation away from some of your favourite celebs; how cool is that? As a bonus: Talking to individuals you don’t know can actually create a sense of happiness and connection!
You can also consider:
Making a song request and dedicating it to somebody, to show how much they matter to you
Playing trivia live when the opportunity arises to take your mind somewhere new
2. Submit a creative writing piece for possible publication
Even if you don’t consider yourself a writer, writing prompts from open publishing markets may change your mind.
Check out Cathy’s Comps and Calls, a site where you can browse opportunities to submit your work—prose or poetry, micro or long-form—and let off some creative steam.
If you’ve been feeling emotions that aren’t all that sunny, something I find cathartic and rewarding is writing horror stories, reeking with literary darkness, and submitting them to posted markets on one of my favourite sites of all time, Horror Tree.
Apart from galvanizing your creative brain into whirring action, you may get free contributor copies to read to your progeny—and a fine lump sum in your PayPal, just in time for dinner tonight!
3. Make origami, sustainably
Collect papers you no longer have any use for (like newspapers), and try folding them into fascinating forms and shapes to keep yourself entertained. You can be a zookeeper for a menagerie of paper animals, a guardian of monsters immortalized in constellations.
Then, when you grow tired of these origami creations (which may happen eventually), you can always use them to wipe down glass surfaces or put them aside for homemade kindling in the winter. Optimal temperature: Fahrenheit 451. And on that note:
4. Build and retreat into a reading fort
If your idea of feeling refreshed has traditionally featured silent reading (throwback to elementary school), create a comfy space where you can read a book and do some social media detoxing...like a fort! Fill it up with fluffy pillows and stuffed animals for maximum delight, and remember to ensure sufficient lighting.
A quick reading recommendation: If you really want to lose yourself in fiction, I’d suggest something by one of my favourite authors, Agatha Christie, the “Queen of Crime.” Have you tried And Then There Were None? Or, if you’d like to contemplate your existence, look into Muriel Barbery's The Elegance of the Hedgehog, or works by Sartre and Camus, friends-turned-rivals.
5. Get physical, creatively
Compete against yourself while playing indoor sports. If you have ample space and it is safe to do so, try:
Smacking a birdie/tennis ball/ping pong ball against the wall, or just seeing how many times you can bounce it in the air (you could try with erasers and a binder, too)
Playing indoor golf
Juggling random household objects
6. Experiment with fabric crafts
Do you have yarn at home? Even if you don’t have knitting needles, you can try using:
Fingers or arms
Wool—hold up. Maybe you don’t even have yarn. In that case, have you some twine or string? The stuff you’d use to tie up meat will do. Get resourceful! Plus, you can always undo your work, especially a knitted piece of fabric, to help your catharsis go full circle, a complete 2π rotation (for those of you who love math).
If you’ve got a sewing kit and some unwanted fabric, try sewing a sleeping mask to help you get some quality shut-eye.
7. Repurpose your clothes
Turning #6 a little on its head, try out these projects:
Cut your clothes to give them new lengths and lewks. Or, give your clothes a new purpose; attach them to the end of a stick to make a mop, trim them into coffee coasters, use them as dish rags, stuff them under the door to keep the heat in if your room’s too cold.
Repurposing clothes as new garments or accessories will show you just how much something can get reused before it gets consigned to the back of a 1-800-GOT-JUNK truck. If you’re keen on adapting even more items:
8. Give “trash” another chance at life
Instead of tossing out that old piece of garbage you’re holding, check if you can give it a new use. Have you thought about transforming egg cartons into toy cars—or turning toilet paper rolls into windmills, among other “adorable” creations?
9. Garden indoors
Do you have plants at home? No matter their degree of aliveness (fake plants can be cute, too), set up a garden of all your greens in your room, where they can get as much sunlight as they need (or don’t need). Consider getting a plant next time you go grocery shopping, or simply regrowing a plant from kitchen scraps!
Take time to marvel at them. Watch the ones that grow, grow. Feel Zen. Feel peace of mind. Nurturing others, including plants, can help you nurture yourself.