By Angela Carson
Need something new to do? Here are some ideas to put a little more zing in your life.
1. Take a Virtual Museum Tour
If you’re a history lover or art enthusiast, spend an afternoon taking a virtual museum tour. Many museums around the world provide free virtual tours and live viewings where online audiences can “walk through” the museum and check out the exhibitions. If you’re home with kids, make this a fun, educational family field trip. This list of virtual museum tours offers a range of sights for you to explore.
2. Take a Free Online Video Course
There are tons of free online courses available now, from free Ivy League courses to short series. Explore history, cooking, gardening, technology, art or something to help you improve your skills or professional development. Look on platforms like Udemy, college sites, and other eLearning platforms. YouTube and Instagram also offer some free courses you can check out. Your local library may also provide you access to paid platforms for free with your library membership.
3. Sample a New Podcast
Podcasts have really taken off, with more coming out all the time. You can find just about anything you’re interested in, whether it’s to learn a new skill or just for entertainment. You can also go beyond listening and start your own podcast, talking about things you’re passionate about.
4. Join an Online Community Group
Has either an online course or a podcast fueled your desire to dive deeper into a particular subject? Find an online community where you can connect with others who share your interests. With the advantage of social media and other meet-up platforms, you can find an online community for just about any interest and hobby. It’s a great way to meet new people, learn about new cultures, and communicate with others who share your ideas and values. It’s also a great way to form new and lasting friendships.
5. Create a YouTube Channel
You can take your interest in a topic to the next level by filming some videos for YouTube. If you’re a pro at a certain skill, like painting or coding, create videos with how-tos and tips for your audience. The topics are endless: DIY how-tos, art videos, educational topics, cooking how-tos and more. You could even turn this into a side gig if you discover that you enjoy teaching and interacting with your viewers.
6. Read Your Way Through a Book List
Make a list of some novels that you’ve always wanted to read, and find the e-books at your local library (or physical copies, as quarantines continue to lift). Try some new genres to your list that you’ve never read before. If you’re usually a fan of murder mysteries, try a sci-fi novel. Revisit the literary classics for an escape from reality. If you have kids at home, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island or Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn are two great family-friendly classics to explore. If you’re reading solo, you can start your own book-of-the-month list.
7. Download a Coloring App
Make some easy art with coloring book apps. Creating art, no matter what kind, releases endorphins and other feel-good chemicals, which can help get you out of the “boredom” state of mind. There are a lot of free coloring apps for both Android and iOS, all you have to do is browse. If you’re not into coloring, grab a piece of blank paper and a pencil, and start sketching your own ideas. The idea is the same: make art!
8. Experiment With New Recipes
Has dinner become Dullsville? Get creative with your cooking by watching cooking and baking channels on YouTube to get ideas for recipes you’d like to try. Focus on seeking out dishes from different cultures and making your meals healthy with some delicious fruits and veggies. Or try a new twist on a classic dish: For example, baked potatoes loaded with fresh herbs like rosemary and sage, red pepper flakes and a dab of sour cream. Cooking helps you get your creative juices flowing and ensures you eat great, home-cooked meals.
9. Get Into Home DIY
Do you have any unfinished projects around the house (like that one leaky faucet you haven’t gotten around to tightening)? Make a list and work your way through it, and then take your DIY to the next level: Easy projects like sanding down an old nightstand and repainting it in bright colors can give you a gorgeous product when you’re done. If you like to sew, add some fringe or other embellishments onto throw pillows. If your home needs more than just one or two little touches, try rearranging your living room furniture or adding some pops of color in your kitchen. Take a look at home decor online magazines online or Pinterest boards.
10. Do Some Inner Work
Looking for self-development on a deeper level? Research suggests that meditation and mindfulness can have a lasting positive influence on the brain. YouTube has all sorts of guided meditation exercises; you can also explore the thousands of meditation music playlists to create your own routine. Another way to uncover deeper needs is to start a daily journal by simply writing down your feelings or through bullet journaling, in which you take note of thoughts, ideas, inspirational quotes and recipes as they arise. Start a dream journal where you write about dreams you have, and make a plan to write in it every morning after you have a particularly interesting dream. You can also journal online through a personal blog. However you choose to do it, journaling can inspire a whole world of new ideas for you to build on.