Trying to stay away from the internet and be more active? Me too. Here are free/cheap items/activities to have/do to pass the time in a productive manner:
1) Do word searches.
You can print pre-made ones, make your own, or buy a book (these are like $3 at Target, Walmart, etc.). Not only do these exercise your brain, but they are simple and fun while also taking up a lot of time. Personally, I recommend buying a spiral of word searches so that you can take them along with you on airplanes or anywhere you think you may have to wait. They also last longer. I bought my spiral word search book probably 10 years ago. It contains 94 word searches–some straight, some curved, some are even number-searches–and answer keys for each. I still have about 30 to go before I have to go buy a new book. I wish I had found the value in word searches earlier! (Remember, you need highlighters or pens or pencils to mark the words you find.)
2) Complete a puzzle.
These take time and brain power, but if you are bored and pick a fun picture, your motivation will push you through. REMEMBER: The more the pieces, the harder the puzzle and the longer it will take. Definitely start with something attainable so you do not get discouraged. This probably means you should start with a 100-piece puzzle (generally; you decide for you). Puzzles are usually something most houses have (in my experience); if not, they usually sell for around $15 at places such as Walmart. If you are looking for something fun and cheap/free to do with family or friends, puzzles are perfect! Look at this 1,000-piece puzzle I did with my four-person family in two days:
CHALLENGE: There are actually 999 pieces in the puzzle (one is lost). Can you find where the missing piece should be?
Journal-ing is both healthy for the brain and helps you practice your writing skills. Plus, it is super easy (you write whatever you want). You probably have paper (lined or printer) or a notebook lying around that you can journal in; you can buy a journal if you plan on doing it often or just want to keep your thoughts all in one place. Some people hate journal-ing because they have no idea what to write, so here are some guiding questions I use:
- What happened today that I find significant and why is it significant to me?
- Has anything upset me today (or in the past that still upsets you now)? What is it, why does it upset me, and how can I fix it?
- What are some of my goals? How can I achieve them (write step by step)?
- What made me laugh today?
- Are there any topics you want to express your opinion on? Or any frustration you want to let out?
There are tons more, but those should help get you thinking. Note that if you only journal for five minutes, your brain is not really thinking. It takes time to get “in the zone.” Just keep writing whatever comes to mind and you will be surprised and how much time has passed. I usually journal for an hour before I have to stop because my hand hurts. I also use different writing utensils and colors to brighten up my journal’s pages.
I love my journal because it is made from recycled materials, is covered with good-quality leather-like material, and is held together with a spiral (which I ADORE because I the opposing side’s pages never get in my way and my journal is always flat). It is from Target.
There are also various sites that have specific journal prompts. This was my favorite website I found: https://daringtolivefully.com/journal-prompts. Besides its journal prompts, it explained a great way to store the prompts, too (it takes time to do but is easy and resourceful). Instead of a jar, I used a ziploc bag. This idea is helpful for me on the days I feel like writing but am stumped on what to write about. The ziploc bag also makes the prompts more portable, so I can take them to college with me.
I think it would be fun to write a blog post responding to a journal prompt. If you have any requests (they do not have to be self-reflection; I am willing to write on controversial topics, too), let me know by commenting or using the contact form.
Organizing may not be your idea of fun, but it might just pass the time. And if you can decorate what you make to organize, all the better, right? Try making boxes out of paper! They can be used as dividers in a drawer or as a tray on your nightstand to hold everyday items such as cords, keys, and credit cards. Plus, they are made out of things you already own and are simple to make! Read how to make them here: http://wp.me/p84uv9-w2 .
So far this is all I have come up with, but I hope to add any ideas I come up with in the future to this post. Do you have any suggestions?