When spending a lot of time at work or running errands, we often find ourselves longing for some leisure time. And yet, when leisure time finally arrives, we have no idea what to do with it.
Lounging around the house and doing nothing more than flipping through the TV channels and scrolling through your phone is alright for a short while. But in order to make the most of these hours, you might want to spend them doing something more fulfilling.
That’s why we’ve rounded up ten suggestions for things you can do with your leisure time, so read on.
1. Take a Walk
We’re all guilty of not getting enough daily steps in. Our modern lifestyles have us sitting at our desks more often than not, so taking your leisure time for a walk can be an excellent way to make yourself feel better and shake off some of the cobwebs. Just 30 minutes a day is all you need, or you can go for much longer walks during the weekend.
2. Do a Puzzle
Puzzles are affordable, a lot of fun, and a great way to engage your brain. They will help you stay sharp and fire up your mind in whole new ways.
You can do jigsaws, Sudoku, the New York Times crossword puzzle – whether you prefer numbers, words, or images, there is a puzzle out there you will enjoy.
3. Play an Online Game
While online gaming is often considered a “silly” pastime, addictive, or even harmful, it’s actually a brilliant way to pass the time. Whether you want to play an old-school arcade game, a game of cards against a virtual opponent, or online pokies, you will be able to unwind and refocus your attention on something outside your daily stresses and thoughts.
4. Watch a Documentary or Listen to a Podcast
Instead of just watching fictional movies or TV shows, you can dedicate an hour or two to watching a documentary or listening to an educational podcast. There must be countless subjects that interest you – anything from baking to conspiracy theories or world history – that you could learn more about.
Most of the best documentary films are now available online. This makes it easier for you to access these learning materials. Platforms you’re likely already subscribed to (like Netflix, HBO, or Spotify) offer amazing educational material. You also have the option of signing up for a course on Skillshare or even Masterclass.
5. Give Your Time to Others
Volunteering in your leisure time is an incredibly rewarding and compassionate way to spend your time. A lot of charities often benefit more from donations of time and hands-on help than a mere check in the mail.
If you love animals, volunteering at a local shelter can be an amazing way to spend an afternoon. You can also go to your local soup kitchen, a homeless shelter, a community center. They will be excited to have you.
6. Declutter Your Space
Even if we tidy and clean our home often, we still tend to accumulate things we don’t actually need or use all that often. Taking an hour or two out of your week to go through a closet, a drawer, or a shelf in your pantry can be an excellent way to get rid of items you no longer need and to take stock of what you have.
This is also practically a mindfulness and meditation practice, and it can often leave you feeling much calmer and more centered.
7. Grow Something
Gardening is another incredibly beneficial, fun, and interesting activity with which you can fill some of your leisure time. If you don’t have your own garden space, or if your building doesn’t have a community space where you can grow some plants or herbs, you can join one in your neighborhood.
Alternatively, you can also grow herbs in your windows or on your terrace, or even try your hand at flowers if there is enough sunshine hitting them.
8. Use Your Hands
Getting involved with a craft is a hobby you will find calming, restorative, and one that also has plenty of benefits for the mind (and body). You will be teaching your brain to think in new ways, and your hands and fingers will be learning new movements too.
You might want to try knitting, crochet, sewing, or embroidery, for example. There are plenty of subscription boxes that can help, and you can find a lot of online resources too. Pottery, woodworking, and leatherworking are also great pastimes, or you can try doodling or scrapbooking.
9. Paint or Draw
Regardless of whether you consider yourself talented, drawing, painting, or even just coloring are also great ways to pass the time and unleash some of your creative spirit. If you’re not sure where to start, you can take an online class (YouTube has tons of them), or you can just start drawing something you see.
Don’t worry if it’s not “perfect” – after all, you’re trying to capture your own vision, not emulate a great master.
10. Cook or Bake
Finally, you might want to try your hand at making something you can also eat. Cooking and baking are both highly creative endeavors, with the added benefit of a delicious meal ready for you to enjoy at the end.
Experiment with flavors and try something you have never tasted before. After all, how will you know whether you like it or not unless you try it? You can start with the simpler meals, or you can just dive right in and attempt something more advanced, like beef bourguignon.
To Sum It up
Any of these leisure activities will be great for your mind (and some for your body too). Try choosing one that you find interesting, even if you don’t think you’re good at it at the moment (like cooking, for example). Your goal is not just to be great at something – it’s to have fun while doing it. Make it feel more like a game and a truly relaxing activity, as opposed to another task you have to get done during your busy day.