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28 Free or Cheap Ways to Entertain Yourself At Home

28 Free or Cheap Ways to Entertain Yourself At Home

Sometimes we find ourselves trapped in our homes, completely at a loss for how to use our time. Maybe we feel that we have too many options to even begin to pin one down, or maybe we feel that we have too few due to a lack of time or resources. The fact of the matter is there are a great many number of ways we can entertain ourselves at home for free or on a budget. Having fun does not necessarily mean forking over tons of money. Here are is a creative list of ideas for you  have a good time without leaving your house.

  1. Watch a program on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc.
  2. Read a new book. Half of the fun of reading a new book is finding it. eReaders are a great resource for browsing scores of contemporary titles, as well as free classics, such as Tales of the Brothers Grimm.
  3. Reread an old book.
  4. Watch YouTube animal videos.
  5. Exercise (It’s free and it’s good for you).
  6. Turn to Pinterest for D.I.Y. and inspired upcycling ideas.
  7. Play your favorite music and get up and dance. Tom Cruise did it in Risky Business.
  8. Write reviews for your Amazon purchases. It’s oddly addictive to do and helps your fellow buyers.
  9. Write a poem. Turn to the internet for how to write haikus, limericks, ballads and more.
  10. Draw, if you are artistically inclined.
  11. Take some photographs around the house or of the world outside your window using either a stand-alone camera, or the one built into your phone.
  12. Skype or Face Time with someone you don’t normally see.
  13. Start an Instagram or Twitter for your pet.
  14. Try out a new cocktail recipe with ingredients around the house.
  15. Bake some cookies.
  16. Create your own nut butter, be it almond, peanut, or walnut. Get creative!
  17. Create your own pesto with a fresh green (basil, spinach, arugula, etc.), olive oil, your nut of choice, fresh parmesan,  and salt and pepper.
  18. Make a collage with magazines and newspapers sitting around the house. Frame and hang it for cheap, D.I.Y. wall art.
  19. If you know an instrument, play it.
  20. Go window shopping online. It’s like window shopping at the mall, but the multiple checkout steps are a deterrent for actually buying anything.
  21. Make a sock puppet with an old sock and odds and ends around the house.
  22. Brew and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. Take time to savor the beverage, and pick out flavor notes.
  23. Run diagnostic, clean up, and maintenance tasks on your computer, such as running an antivirus software and making sure your computer is completely up to date.
  24. Collect clothing and nonperishable food items you no longer want for donation. This idea is double duty: You are giving to those in need and de-cluttering your home.
  25. Take online quizzes on websites like Buzzfeed.com.
  26. Explore your phone or tablet’s app store and make use of free apps.
  27. Create a blog on a website such as blogger.com or wordpress.com.
  28. Organize a cluttered area of your house, such as your closet or your junk drawers. It’s cathartic and sometimes fun going through your belongings and paring down to only those that you need and use.

This is a solid list to get you started. Entertaining yourself sometimes takes loads of creativity. Next time you are bored, take a look around your space and find something you haven’t used for a while, or something that needs to be organized and get to work. And with a plethora of free and cheap entertainment options on the internet, there is no end to the ways to entertain yourself at home.

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Last Updated on November 5, 2020

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. A rut can manifest as a productivity vacuum and be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. Is it possible to learn how to get out of a rut?

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, or a student, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on Small Tasks

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks that have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate positive momentum, which I bring forward to my work.

If you have a large long-term goal you can’t wait to get started on, break it down into smaller objectives first. This will help each piece feel manageable and help you feel like you’re moving closer to your goal.

You can learn more about goals vs objectives here.

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2. Take a Break From Your Work Desk

When you want to learn how to get out of a rut, get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the bathroom, walk around the office, or go out and get a snack. According to research, your productivity is best when you work for 50 minutes to an hour and then take a 15-20 minute break[1].

Your mind may be too bogged down and will need some airing. By walking away from your computer, you may create extra space for new ideas that were hiding behind high stress levels.

3. Upgrade Yourself

Take the down time to upgrade your knowledge and skills. Go to a seminar, read up on a subject of interest, or start learning a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college[2]. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a Friend

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while. Relying on a support system is a great way to work on self-care when you’re learning how to get out of a rut.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget About Trying to Be Perfect

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies. Perfectionism can lead you to fear failure, which can ultimate hinder you even more if you’re trying to find motivation to work on something new.

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If you allow your perfectionism to fade, soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come, and then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

Learn more about How Not to Let Perfectionism Secretly Screw You Up.

6. Paint a Vision to Work Towards

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the ultimate goal or vision you have for your life?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action. You can use the power of visualization or even create a vision board if you like to have something to physically remind you of your goals.

7. Read a Book (or Blog)

The things we read are like food for our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great material.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. You can also stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs and follow writers who inspire and motivate you. Find something that interests you and start reading.

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8. Have a Quick Nap

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep[3].

Try a nap if you want to get out of a rut

    One Harvard study found that “whether they took long naps or short naps, participants showed significant improvement on three of the four tests in the study’s cognitive-assessment battery”[4].

    9. Remember Why You Are Doing This

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall your inspiration, and perhaps even journal about it to make it feel more tangible.

    10. Find Some Competition

    When we are learning how to get out of a rut, there’s nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, and networking conventions can all inspire you to get a move on. However, don’t let this throw you back into your perfectionist tendencies or low self-esteem.

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    11. Go Exercise

    Since you are not making headway at work, you might as well spend the time getting into shape and increasing dopamine levels. Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, or whatever type of exercise helps you start to feel better.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

    If you need ideas for a quick workout, check out the video below:

    12. Take a Few Vacation Days

    If you are stuck in a rut, it’s usually a sign that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange one or two days to take off from work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax, do your favorite activities, and spend time with family members. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest.

    More Tips to Help You Get out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Ashkan Forouzani via unsplash.com

    Reference

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