With us spending a lot more time at home, I have been finding new and creative ways to combat boredom while being at home. Contrary to popular belief, spending more time at home doesn’t have to be a complete drab. There are many ways that you can spend your free time in the comfort of your home while gaining something from it in the long run.
With a global pandemic spreading like wildfire, I prefer to stay home these days (although I have always been a homebody). I have learned so many things about myself (good and bad) with the increase of “me time” I’ve had since our days have slowed down. I decided that instead of being bummed out about having to stay inside this summer, I’ve been using my time at home to learn new skills and do things to better myself.
Scrolling social media and playing The Sims will always be my favorite mindless activities to indulge in. However, I would be doing myself a disservice if that’s all I did in my free time. In fact, I have been trying to spend less time on social media and replace my “scrolling time” with more productive options.
Since this summer has started, I have:
- Read a few books
- Designed a poster and mood board
- Decluttered my storage closet
- Learned a few new photography skills
- Tried a new recipe for dinner
- Baked cupcakes
- Taken three online classes
- Started learning two new languages
If you are finding yourself at home more often and have a few free hours every day, I suggest replacing your mindless activities with productive ones. If you need a few ideas on how to spend your idle time, keep reading.
8 Productive Ways to Spend Your Free Time
1. Record and set goals. During your free time, your mind may wander. Before the pandemic, you may have had a great idea of something you wanted to do, but didn’t have the time to put any action behind your grand idea. With the whole world shut down, you can now spend your idle time coming up with new ideas and plans.
Put your imagination to use and use your free time to dream big. Take a few moments to think about where you want to be one, five, or ten years from now. Use your free time to research ideas you may have for the future.
2. Listen to audiobooks. I am an avid reader and love curling up with a good book. Audiobooks are a great way to read more in your free time. Instead of binge-watching Netflix or your favorite TV series, why not use that time to catch up on your reading? If there has been a book you have been wanting to read, spend your free time listening to a book while enjoying your favorite snack. Click here to try Audible free for 30 days.
3. Learn something new. When is the last time you took the time to learn something new? If you need a new way to spend your free time, now is the perfect opportunity.
When you are in school, learning was your responsibility. However, after you graduate, learning something new seems to fall to the bottom of the priority list. Learning something new every day helps to break us out of our normal patterns and gives our brains something new to focus on.
Here are a few ways to learn something new:
- Read a book
- Listen to an Audiobook
- Watch Ted ED
- Listen to a Podcast
- Find learning apps
- Watch a YouTube tutorial
- Take an online class on Skillshare (get two free months)!
- Trial and error
What are your talents and interests? Perfect a natural talent you may have. Learn a new skill to add to your resume. Pick up a new hobby that incorporates things you enjoy doing. Instead of using your free time for a mindless activity like scrolling social media, use your free time to gain knowledge and you thank yourself later.
4. Check up on your loved ones. The world can be a scary place right now, and it’s important that we are checking in on and engaging with the people we love most. During this time, many people are feeling lonely, abandoned, or uncertain. One call from you may be what someone needs to put a smile on their face for the day.
Spend your free time calling an elderly family member that you haven’t spoken to in a while. Video chat a sibling to let them know you are thinking about them. Call your friend whom you haven’t seen since the pandemic started. You never know how one small act of kindness can go a long way in someone else’s life.
5. Exercise. My favorite type of exercise is any exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise. For that reason, I love playing the video game, JUST DANCE. Not only is dancing for hours on end fun and great for my health, but it’s also a great way to pass the time.
If you don’t like the idea of dancing around in the living room, getting out and getting fresh air is always a great option if you are looking for a way to spend your free time. Go for a family walk around the neighbor or jumpstart your morning with a jog. Be sure to incorporate some time of exercise into your daily routine if you find yourself home more often than normal this summer.
6. Tidy your house. What better way to spend your free time than to tidy up your space? Clean out your kitchen junk drawer or organize your closet. Science proves that having a tidy home can lower stress levels. If you have to spend so much time at home, you may as well clean it up! After you finish, your home will thank you.
7. Spend some time in personal care. If you are normally a busy person, finding different ways to rest may be the best option to spend your free time. Journaling, meditating or finding new ways to relax are a great way to spend your free time. Not only does your physical body need rest, but your mind and spirit do too. Cultivating a peaceful home environment is key to enjoying rest at home.
8. Create something. Tapping into your creative side is a great way to spend your free time. With time and responsibility, many of us fall out of touch with our creative side as we get older. I’ve always been a naturally creative person, and I believe that we are all born with some type of creativity deep down inside of us. Spark your creativity gene by using your free time to create something. The more you create, the more confidence you will become in doing it. Here are a few ideas you may be interested in:
- Build something
- Design something
- Draw something
- Write something
- Paint something
- Sew something
- Cook something
- DIY something