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The Best Things in Life Are Free: 8 Amazing Plans For This Weekend

The Best Things in Life Are Free: 8 Amazing Plans For This Weekend

Sometimes it can feel like you need to spend money to have fun on the weekends. Most popular plans, like going to a restaurant or a bar, cost money, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have lots of fun with your friends without spending money. There are plenty of different ways that you can have a great time with your friends this weekend without spending a dime. If you want to do something fun this weekend but you can’t afford to spend, try one of these awesome free activities.

1. Throw a Game Tournament

Dig out your old board games and play a few rounds of Scrabble or Trivial Pursuit with your friends. You can make snacks and drinks and play all of your favorite board games together. Split into groups and compete against each other as teams for a night of competitive fun! If you don’t really like board games, throw a video game tournament. Either way the night will probably get heated and competitive.

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2. Host an Iron Chef Night

Invite your friends or family over for an Iron Chef cook-off. Ask your friend to only bring ingredients from their fridge, and you can both try to make a meal out of items that you already had! Note: While this is a hilariously fun way to spend a weekend night with your friends, there is no guarantee that either of the meals will be edible.

3. Throw a Swap Party

Throw a swap party and invite as many of your friends as you can. Ask them to bring boxes of old DVDS, CDs, clothes and board games to swap. This is a great way to spend time with your friends – and you will even get a few free second-hand items! It is also a useful way to de-clutter your home and wardrobe. Be sure to donate all of the leftover items to charity and help those in need. This is a win-win situation.

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4. Arrange a City Scavenger Hunt

Who says scavenger hunts are just for children? You can arrange your own city-wide scavenger hunt with your friends, where you search for different things in your city. You could theme your scavenger hunt around visiting historical places in your city or places that you and your friends have shared memories. Split into two teams and start searching for the perfect scavenger hunt spots!

5. Have a Spa Day

You can easily throw your own relaxing spa day at home without spending any money. Invite your friends around and light some candles, put on a relaxing CD, and start to pamper yourself! You can lounge in the hot tub, paint each other’s nails and give each other facials.
Instead of spending money on pre-packaged face masks, make your own at home with items you already have in your cupboards. Check out face masks that you can make at home here.

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6. Have an Indoor Picnic

If the weather is cold but you want to see your friends, throw an indoor picnic. Simply clear a space on your living room floor and put down a few blankets and bring through a picnic basket. You can ask your guests to bring around food and drinks too – and you can sit and eat for as long as you want without worrying about the weather changing!

7. Start a Club

Explore one of your passions by starting a club at home, and advertising the club on social media and through word of mouth. You can start any kind of club, from a book club to a film club! Meeting on the weekend tends to be convenient for a lot of people since most people don’ t have work or school obligations.

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8. Throw a Costume Party

Everyone loves a party – and they can be free. Instead of serving alcohol, serve drinks that you already have in the house and ask guest to bring nibbles. The party doesn’t have to be themed; just ask guests to turn up in their favorite costumes! You can play board games, chat and watch movies.

Featured photo credit: Santiago Nicolau via flickr.com

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Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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Last Updated on June 24, 2019

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

A study [1] published in Depression and Anxiety found that social media users are more likely to be depressed. This was just one of the huge number of studies linking social media and depression[2] . But why exactly do platforms like Facebook and Instagram make people so unhappy? Well, we don’t know yet for sure, but there are some explanations.

Social Media Could Lead to Depression

Depression is a serious medical condition that affects how you think, feel, and behave. Social media may lead to depression in predisposed individuals or make existing symptoms of depression[3] worse explains[4] the study above’s senior author Dr. Brian Primack. So, the problem may not be in social media per se, but how we use it.

Signs You’re Suffering From “Social Media Depression”

If you feel like social media is having a negative impact on your mood, then you may be suffering from “social media depression.” Look for symptoms like:

• low self-esteem,

• negative self-talk,

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• a low mood,

• irritability,

• a lack of interest in activities once enjoyed,

• and social withdrawal.

If you’ve had these symptoms for more than two weeks and if this is how you feel most of the time, then you are likely depressed. Although “social media depression “is not a term recognized in the medical setting, social media depression seems to be a real phenomenon affecting around 50% of social media users. As explained in a review study[5] published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, if a person has a certain predisposition to depression and other mental disorders, social media use may only worsen their mental health.

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Social Media Could Crush Self-Esteem

We know that social media and depression are in some way linked, but why is this so? Well, according to Igor Pantic, MD, Ph.D.[6], social media use skews your perception about other people’s lives and traits. To explain this further, most people like to portray an idealized image of their lives, personal traits, and appearance on sites like Facebook and Instagram. If you confuse this idealized image with reality, you may be under the false impression that everyone is better than you which can crush your self-esteem and lead to depression. This is especially true for teens and young adults who are more likely to compare themselves to others. If you already suffer from low self-esteem, the illusion that everyone has it better off than you will just make you feel worse.

Causing Social Isolation and Other Negative Emotions

Another commonly cited reason for the negative impact of social media on mental health is its link with social isolation. Depressed people are more likely to isolate themselves socially and chose only to interact indirectly through social media platforms. But communication online tends to be superficial and is lacking when compared to real-life interaction explains Panic. What this means is not that social media leads to isolation but the other way around, possibly explaining why we find so many depressed persons on these sites.

Lastly, social media use may generate negative emotions in you like envy, jealousy, dislike, loneliness, and many others and this may worsen your depressive symptoms.

Why We Need to Take This Seriously

Both depression and social media use are on the rise according to epidemiological studies. Since each one has an impact on the other, we have to start thinking of healthier ways to use social media. Teens and young adults are especially vulnerable to the negative impact of social media on mental health.

Advice on Social Media Use

Although these findings did not provide any cause-effect explanation regarding Facebook and depression[7], they still do prove that social media use may not be a good way to handle depression. For this reason, the leading authors of these studies gave some suggestions as to how clinicians and people can make use of such findings.

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One suggestion is that clinicians should ask patients about their social media habits. Then they can advise them on how to change their outlook on social media use or even suggest limiting their time spent on social media.

Some social media users may also exhibit addictive behavior; they may spend too much time due to compulsive urges. Any compulsive behavior is bound to lead to feelings of guilt which can worsen depressive symptoms.

Having Unhealthy Relationship with Social Media

If you feel like your relationship with social media is unhealthy, then consider the advice on healthy social media use provided by psychology experts from Links Psychology[8]:

Avoid negative social comparison – always keep in mind that how people portray themselves and their lives on social media is not a realistic picture, but rather an idealized one. Also, avoid comparing yourself to others because this behavior can lead to negative self-talk.

Remember that social media is not a replacement for real life – Social media is great for staying in touch and having fun, but it should never replace real-world interactions.

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Avoid releasing personal information – For your safety and privacy, make sure to be careful with what you post online.

Report users who bully and harass you – It’s easy to be a bully in the anonymous and distant world of social media. Don’t take such offense personally and report those who abuse social media to harass others.

The bits of advice listed above can help you establish a healthy relationship with social media. Always keep these things in mind to avoid losing an objective perspective of what social media is and how it is different from real life. If you are currently suffering from depression, talk to your doctor about what is bothering you so that you can get the treatment you need to get better. Tell your doctor about your social media use and see if they could give you some advice on this topic.

Reference

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