You find yourself with some well-deserved free time. You’ve waited for it but now you’re not sure what to do with it. Spend it wisely. Don’t even think of turning on the boob tube. Try one of these worthwhile ways to cure boredom instead.
- Train your brain: So the most extensive reading you’ve done lately is the latest tabloid rag. How about a bit of intellectual stimulation? Spend some time exercising your brain with a serious of fun online games that are scientifically designed to flex your most valuable muscle – your brain. In a recent study, participants who engaged in Lumosity training for 20 minutes a day performed better on various visual and memory assessments than those who didn’t use Lumosity. http://www.lumosity.com/
- Make a scrapbook: How about finally organizing that pile of photos, post cards and concert ticket stubs into a beautiful scrapbook? Pick a theme – like Spring Break, Fall Semester or My First Love and use your sentimental keepsakes to create that story. Keep it as a personal treasure or give it as a one-of-a-kind gift to someone special. A NYU psychology actually did some research on the benefits of creating crafts. Robert Reiner, PhD found that, “Crafts make you concentrate on the here and now and distract you from everyday pressures and problems,” he says. “They’re stress-busters in the same way that meditation, deep breathing, visual imagery, and watching fish are.” http://www.paperwishes.com/scrapbooking101/articles/advice-from-a-beginner.html
- DIY: Take on a do-it-yourself project for the ultimate in personal satisfaction. Scientific researchers have actually coined what they call the “IKEA effect” – the feeling of appreciation that comes from putting building something yourself – even if it’s an inexpensive IKEA nightstand. A study published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology found that people who assembled a piece of furniture themselves appraised it as being more valuable than the same piece that had already been assembled. So go for it. Transform that piece of furniture that has seen better days. Design something unique and personal that can’t be found in a big-box store. If you’ve never tackled a DIY project, start out simple with paint or fabric. You will be a pro in no time. http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20308889,00.html
- Write a letter: Letter writing seems to have gone the way of the horse and buggy. But there is a case for saving this beautiful art from disappearing. In 2010, the United States Postal Service reported a decrease of 10 billion letters processed over the previous 20 years. For this reason, they have been considering eliminating Saturday postal delivery. But who doesn’t have a handful – or a box full of cherished letters saved in a closet somewhere. There is something so romantic about the effort one takes in pouring their deepest thoughts into a letter and delivering it the old-fashioned way. Choose a dear friend or family member and put pen to paper. (Here)
- Harmonize your space: Do you feel stuck? Sad? Broke? Try the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui to reboot the energy in your home and bring positive things into your life. Feng Shui literally translates to wind and water but means symbolizes balance and harmony. It is the 6000 year old art of channeling energy or “chi” through the strategic placement of natural elements like water, color, and crystals in your home or workplace. It also involves the arrangement of furniture and other objects within your space to achieve the positive flow of chi. Successful feng shui will bring harmony, happiness, health and prosperity into your life. http://fengshui.about.com/od/thebasics/qt/fengshuibasics.htm
- Get busy in the kitchen: Trying a new recipe is a great way to spend your free time and build your cooking repertoire. You are also more likely to eat healthier when you make it yourself vs. eating out. In recent research, Juliana Cohen a research fellow from the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health found that home cooks “consume fewer calories, less saturated fat and sodium, and more fiber and micronutrients per eating occasion” than those consuming meals prepared outside the home. Make it a game by choosing five ingredients from your pantry and inventing a new recipe. Attempt that gourmet dish you’ve been dreaming about since you saw it on that cooking show. Try a technique you’ve never tried before or break out that weird kitchen gadget you got for Christmas that’s been collecting dust. What do you have to lose? If it doesn’t turn out so yummy, you can always give it to the dog. https://www.cookscountry.com/how_tos#.
- Update your look: Every girl gets in a make-up rut, sticking with the same old shades every day. What about all those bold shadows and lip colors you bought on a whim? When you have a night ahead of you with nothing to do, pull up some fun and funky make-up tutorials on the web and try out whole-new-you. XoVain Beauty blogger Alle offers some simple tips for busting out of a make-up rut. She tells readers to determine their “non-negotiables.” What techniques or products are you unwilling to get rid of because they are still serving you well? Next she recommends hitting the web for inspiration, especially the Instagram feeds of your favorite make-up gurus. She also offers doing the exact opposite of your regular make-up regimen to seeing if anything works for you. For her that means lining her eyes with bright blue liner – a result she loves. Lastly she reminds you to get creative and have fun. You might love it or hate it, but at least you know you tried that teal glitter mascara you just had to have last week. Check Here
- Do a social media deep clean: Are you fed up with that over-sharing Facebook friend and that Twitter follower who always replies to your tweets with the most inappropriate comments? Take a few moments and do a social media makeover. Update your profile pic. Re-think your friends list. Unfollow that lame Instagram feed. Stay in touch with the people who really matter. Social media can be time-consuming as it is. Make the time you do spend on it worth the while. Another reason to clean-up your social media presence – it represents who you are to the outside world. In a 2012 study, Recruitment technology firm Jobsite found that 92% of US companies utilize social media to find potential employees, with LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter being the most widely used platforms. That means that your social media profile is even more important than you imagine and should truly express how you want to be perceived. So don’t just think about that cute guy checking out your profile – think about your next potential employer as well. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2425985,00.asp