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6 Wonderful Weekend Activities That Cost No Money

6 Wonderful Weekend Activities That Cost No Money

We’re bombarded with advertisements and commercials trying to get us to open our wallets in exchange for entertainment so often that we sometimes forget it’s possible to have a good time without spending any of our hard-earned cash. But it can be done. Not only can it be done, but the weekend activities you can do for free in your home or around town can end up being much more enjoyable, and definitely more memorable, than the ones that costs you an arm and a leg.

1. Take a walk

When was the last time you took a nice leisurely stroll around your neighborhood or through your local park? Luckily, there’s not a price tag on the great outdoors (yet). Getting some fresh air allows you to get some exercise while taking advantage of the surroundings you’ve taken for granted throughout the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Bring your kids out and remind them they don’t need an iPad to be entertained for their weekend activities.

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2. Window shop

Just because you can’t buy anything doesn’t mean you can’t plan to buy something in the future! Take a trip to your local mall or village and take a look around. Pretend you’re rich and famous and can afford that expensive watch or piece of jewelry that always catches your eye, knowing you won’t even be spending a single penny. Better yet, use this time to look for gifts for friends and family, and make a mental note of places to check out when someone’s birthday is coming up. Of course, you can also make a mental note of anything that you want, as well!

3. Go for a drive

Don’t try to get me on the technicality that it costs gas to get anywhere! As long as you have a full tank, you have a few free hours to spend driving aimlessly with the windows down and the stereo blaring. Turn your GPS off and just go without worrying how to get back (then you can turn your GPS back on!). Explore the areas you never got a chance to. And stay off the highway; there’s so much more to see when you take the back roads.

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4. Go to the library

I know, I know: you probably haven’t been to a library since your sophomore year of college. Spend a couple hours browsing through the books you always said you’d read if you had the time. Check out some do-it-yourself texts and pick up a new hobby, read up on some interesting non-fiction, or spend the afternoon lost in a fantasy world. And do it without once having to reach in your pocket!

5. Volunteer

Instead of giving your money away, give away your time. It’s much more valuable, and will help those in need instead of the businesses looking to fatten their own wallets. Visit a local church and see if any soup kitchens or shelters need an extra hand for the day. Not only will you be doing something worthwhile, but you’ll feel better than you would if you went to the mall and spent the day thinking of only yourself.

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6. Play games with your family

The words “family game night” are usually met with groans. That is, until everyone gets involved in a heated game of Trivial Pursuit or Pictionary. All it takes is a few kid-friendly “fighting words,” and pretty soon you’ll all be vying for the title of board game champion. Heck, you could even meet your kids halfway: load up the Wii and get some Mario Party going. You’ll end up having an unforgettable night with the people you cherish the most, and it won’t cost you a single dollar. Sounds absolutely priceless to me!

Featured photo credit: Family Game Night / West Islip Public Library via farm7.staticflickr.com

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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