12 simple things to do on the weekend in your leisure time

simple things to do

Simple (and free) things to do on the weekend

Do you live for the weekends, but get stressed when it arrives because you don’t know what to actually do with so much free time?

If so, we have compiled a list of ideas for you to enjoy the downtime, without feeling restless or bored. Here are 12 simple things you can do on the weekend. 

1. Bake

Whatever your skill level in the kitchen, baking cookies or some other simple dish can be an easy, yet creative way to slow down. In fact, baking can be quite meditative. While following the recipe’s instruction, your mind can let go of the million and one thoughts that usually occupy it.

Also, baking makes you use your hands and muscles for other things than just typing into a phone or keyboard. Simple tactile activities such as cracking your walnuts in a nutcracker or churning the dough of your own bread can be surprisingly satisfying — even more so, when at the end you have a homemade walnut bread to show for your effort.

2. Hike 

One of the easiest ways to spend time while also boosting your health is to find a local trail and get going. Hiking is simple, compared to other outdoor sports that require loads of lead time and specialized equipment. You only need to water, walking shoes, a snack and a map.

What you may notice is that walking or hiking is a great way to process ideas and come up with fresh thoughts. There is a reason why Greek philosopher Aristotle had his disciples think and discuss ideas while walking in a rectangle.

3. Read 

A classic, but no less important weekend pastime is reading. While some are such avid readers, they do not need a special time or place to open a book, others may find it helpful to dedicate space for relaxed reading during the weekend. 

It may help to preserve one of your weekend mornings just for that virtual or physical book stack that has been growing on your nightstand. Fix yourself a nice hot green tea or a hot chocolate and indulge in a good read.

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4. Dance

Do you remember the last time you put those hips in motion to a nice tune? Whether you are a ballroom aficionado or an electronic music fan, moving to music is a liberating form of self-expression and great way to let off steam.

Countless scientific studies show the positive effects music has on our brain and mood. Dancing to a good beat has the added benefit of giving you a good physical workout too. So switch on your favorite Spotify playlist and relax your mind and tone your body with one exhilarating activity.

5. Garden 

If you have or want to develop your green thumb, what better pastime than tending to plants and flowers this weekend? Don’t have any plants? For a few bucks you can pick up a small one from your local gardening center. 

Studies show that greenery has soothingly positive effects on our well-being. Caring for houseplants is an excellent self-care activity that helps you manage overwhelm from the ups and downs of daily life. Additionally, plants add an aesthetically pleasing touch to any space.

6. Entertain

It can be hard to catch up with friends during the week, but you may not necessarily be up to hanging out in the streets all weekend long either. So, why not host a few pals for a simple get together instead? 

It doesn’t always have to be a five-course dinner either. Cooking something simple together can be a nice way to reconnect. What counts is reserving time to catch up as most happiness studies concur: nurturing your relationships is a significant contributor to happiness.

7. Write

Whether journaling, blogging or letter writing, putting pen to paper is a wonderful way to spend your down time. In addition to building relationships, expressing creativity or self-caring, writing has a host of other benefits too.

Writing, in particular handwriting, is an effective means of processing, ordering and managing the multitude of information and stimuli you take in each day. Research shows that writing sharpens your memory, critical thinking and other cognitive skills.

leisure time activities

8. Explore 

Why is it that we only put our frontiersman hat on when vacationing, but at home we follow the same old routines? You do not always have to venture far in order to have interesting experiences. Go out and explore what’s around you.

Whether a local museum, landmark or park, odds are that you haven’t seen everything there is to see in your own neighborhood or a part of town only a short commute away. Create a 10-15 mile radius around your home, then get into explorer mode and uncover a new-to-you experience.

9. Play

It’s a shame that playtime is considered an activity that is only appropriate for children. Play is a quintessential simple pleasure for all ages, so it’s time to schedule your next play date. You are never too old for fun and recreation.

Play balances the seriousness of your work life, helps your mind take refuge from day-to-day complexities, and is an incredible way to build personal connections. So make a list of things you can do for pure enjoyment, then engage in one or more this weekend.  

10. Volunteer 

If you’ve been seeking ways to be more thankful, why not express gratitude by giving back to others less fortunate than you? Whatever your personal interests, there is probably a volunteer activity you would enjoy that would also benefit someone in need.

Look beyond the soup kitchens and consider something that is aligned with what you already like to do. For instance, if you are into sports then volunteer to coach the local youth baseball team. Giving just a bit of your time this weekend might garner more grateful smiles and shared laughter than you’ve had all week.

11. Learn

The weekend can be used for much needed rest and relaxation. However, if you are seeking stimulation, it can be used for that too. Weekends are perfect for learning new skills or engaging in activities you have never tried before

Whether a breathwork, painting, yoga or language course, taking an online or in-person class will introduce you to something different and is an empowering way to enhance your repertoire of skills.

12. Sing

Do you ever belt out tunes in the shower or grab a brush and lip sync to your favorite song while getting ready? If so, singing is in your soul and should be nurtured — and there are countless ways to get musically inspired over the weekend.

If the karaoke bar isn’t your scene, you can still take voice lessons just for fun or join the community choir. Too much of a commitment? Then look into any concerts scheduled in your town, or just find a nice bar that offers live music.

The Bottom Line

You work hard during the week and deserve to use your free time in whatever way that makes you happy. But don’t add any additional stress trying to figure out what to do. The secret to a satisfying weekend is to balance rest and stimulation in a way that leaves you feeling mentally and physically refreshed.

Don’t overthink it, just do what you know you love or nothing at all. Sometimes the simplest of pleasures are the best activities for leisure time. And if you end up being completely idle, that’s fine too.

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