Our return to normalcy is still on the horizon—we aren't fully out of the woods yet.
So if you're looking to try something new and fun as you kickstart your summer, here are 9 activities you can explore, right at home:
1. 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'd suggest is writing horror stories or crime fiction. Consider 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 you can read to your future progeny—and a fine lump sum in your PayPal, just in time for dinner tonight!
2. Make origami, sustainably
Collect papers you no longer have any use for (you'll know which ones), and try folding them into fascinating forms and shapes. Then, when you grow tired of these origami creations (which may happen eventually), you can always use them to wipe down surfaces, from your floor to your window, or put them aside for homemade kindling in December.
3. 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 (that's not your textbook?) and do some social media detoxing. Fetch some fluffy pillows and set up a small fort. Bring in some stuffed animals, and remember to ensure sufficient lighting.
4. Get physical, creatively
Compete against yourself while playing indoor sports. If you have ample space and it is safe and acceptable 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
No matter how you exercise, try to do it in the morning. According to this 2020 study, exercising delays the production of melatonin, the chemical that regulates your circadian rhythm and helps you sleep. So, exercising later in the day can skew your sleep schedule (oh no!).
5. 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
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. Or, produce something for someone's upcoming birthday!
6. Repurpose your clothes
Turning #5 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, fashion new wearables for your pet or stuffed animal, 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:
7. 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?
8. 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.
9. 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