Some of my favorite times as a child was when the electricity would go out during a storm. Our whole family would be in the basement together keeping each other entertained. My parents probably thought it was a big hassle, but all of us kids loved it. My brother would get out his guitar and sing, we’d all tell jokes or just talk about silly stuff. There was literally nothing else to do. And those were the best times!
Making our own fun is something of a lost art, but it’s time to bring it back in style. And you know what? It’s easier than it feels like at first!
One of the most important parts of this is to not be in a rush to come up with an idea, or fill every single minute with an activity. It’s better to have gaps – whole minutes that can go by without pressure to think or produce or accomplish. This is a mini-vacation. Most of us probably don’t need a tropical island (although, don’t get me wrong, that would be nice!). But even a tropical island would be ruined if all you did was force yourself to get things done, right?
Take a mini-vacay the next time you’re stuck at home. Here are some easy, simple things you can do to help you slow down and enjoy. They’re good for being alone or with others.
Get in the kitchen to explore some new recipes or try your hand at new-to-you cooking and prep techniques. Been meaning to learn the best way to cut an onion? Want to finally master a bechamel? How about making your own DIY spa/therapy dough?
Read a Book – for the purposes of your “stuck at home” vacation, maybe it shouldn’t be about self-improvement or increasing your productivity. But it’s up to you. I would rather read an adventure story – maybe about those white sand beaches.
Plant a garden or pot up some new houseplants. This idea depends on the season, but there are plants for every season. Another option is to get the weeds out of your existing flowerbeds or gardens (but you already knew that). Although weeding is a regular chore, if you haven’t had much time outside it’s a chore with restorative benefits!
Rearrange the furniture. This old-school technique for getting out of a rut is a great one that was a staple for my family when I was growing up. If you can’t do the whole room, try just swapping a couple of pieces – a side table or mirror or a bookcase. Be sure to put on some fun music and open the windows if you can!
Listen to records. Okay, so if you don’t have a record player and records, this one isn’t literally possible. But you can approximate this activity. See, back in the day if you wanted to listen to a particular album, you had to physically be at the place where a record player was – either your house or a friend’s. So this was an actual activity; we would go to each other’s houses and listen to music. You can still do this, and it’s fun. Sit still and listen to a whole album!
These are just a few ideas for enjoying down time, whether it’s forced downtime (like a power outage or a pandemic) or you just really know you need to be still for a little while and get rejuvenated. Try one! I think you’ll enjoy it more than you expect.