When things get hectic, whether it is the season or simply life, it is sometimes good to give yourself time away from others. Time to do things by yourself. Where you can immerse yourself in a loved hobby, almost forgotten project or good book.
Not sure where to start? Here are 10 things to do by yourself that are enjoyable, fun and maybe even a little self indulgent.
1. The Classic – Read a Book
If that stack of books by your bed seems to grow rather than shrink now is the perfect opportunity to finally read what you have been wanting to read. Get off social media. Turn off the TV (it’s all nasty news anyway). Take a break. Let your thoughts go somewhere else. And open a book.
If you are digitally inclined, a Kindle/eReader is a wonder. All those books in one little thing. But even better, connect it to your online library and the world is your oyster. All without having to go outside. Unless, like me, you like to read in the garden.
(*We have included our Vivre le Livre Book Club recommended reads at the end of this article.)
2. Make a Jigsaw Puzzle
Tucked somewhere in your house, you probably have a jigsaw puzzle collecting dust. Maybe even two. Get them out, clear a table space, put on some light music and get to sorting and fitting.
Don’t have a puzzle at home? Did you know you can now do Jigsaw puzzles online? I only recently discovered. And it is super cool! I didn’t really think it is possible, but if you have a computer and a mouse or pad you are good to start making a puzzle. It takes a bit of getting used to, but after awhile it is just like making a physical puzzle. www.jigsawexplorer.com
When was the last time you baked something? By yourself, just for yourself? Here’s your opportunity to either try a new recipe or make a comforting favourite. How about a two ingredient chocolate cake recipe for one?
Chances are you already have the ingredients you need at home. And half the fun, I think, is sometimes looking at the ingredients you have and finding a recipe to match. Try it. Simply type in say ‘coconut and eggs recipes’ (or whatever 2 or 3 ingredients you would like to use up) and see what goodies show up in your browser.
4. Write a Letter
This is my favourite. Some people like to journal or keep a diary, I prefer to write and send it off. It’s my preferred way to keep in touch with the world. It doesn’t bombard you like online media, or the tv. You can take your time, relax and let your thoughts flow.
The wonderful thing about letter writing is you can do it anywhere. At a desk, the kitchen table, curled up on a sofa. If it is sunny out, I truly recommend writing outside. Especially in early morning or nearing dusk. There’s something even more indulgent and relaxing about these times.
5. Take a walk – particularly in your own garden
When was the last time you really looked at your back yard/garden? (This is of course assuming you have one. And if you do not, head to your nearest park.) Take the time to go out, by yourself, get some fresh air, and walk around.
If it’s your own garden, take the time to look at the trees. Do they need pruning? Or do you need to weed? Anything need fixing? Here’s your opportunity. Make a list of what needs doing in future. Or take an opportunity to tidy or trim.
6. Start a veg garden
Did you know you can grow vegetables without seeds? So as you eat, don’t throw away those veg table scraps. Instead turn them into your veg for the future.
This can be done whether you have a garden outside to plant in, or not. If not, you only need to find containers of some sort to plant them in once they start to show roots. Here’s 25 foods you can regrow from scraps.
7. Have a Pamper Day
When the going gets stressed the stressed should be pampered. Here’s a chance, whether female or male, to indulge in yourself (and no one need know, shhh). Often, when we are feeling down, nothing picks us up more than treating ourselves.
Take twice as long in the shower. Or better yet, enjoy a bubble bath. Shave, colour your hair, hydrate your skin. Your bathroom is your oyster, and you are the pearl. If you truly wish to indulge, make your own body scrubs. It’s super easy. A little left over coffee grounds, some sugar a few drops of oil and you are good to scrub away your cares for the moment. Or if you need more direction… enjoy a watch at Fairyland Cottage.
8. Have a clear out
I have long enjoyed wardrobe change over day and to my mind one of the best things you can do by yourself is have a good clear out. Like most people, things seem to accumulate (even when you are a closet minimalist). Finding time to go through, sort and determine what not to keep is a wonderfully cathartic activity. It lifts the spirit and makes you feel lighter.
If you have never done it, I can recommend Marie Kondo’s book ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying up‘ to aid in the ‘how to’. But essentially you go through a section of a room. It could be a drawer only or a whole closet. Empty it and lay everything out. Put things in to 3 piles: Keep, Give away, Throw away. The Keep gets put back. The Give away gets put in a sack ready for when you can deliver to your local charity. And the Throw away is self evident, unless…
9. Make a Rag Rug
Following on from number 8. If you found yourself with lots of old clothes that were heading to the bin, re-think. You can turn old clothing into a rug. It is super easy, requires no sewing, and is also very quick to make.
You simply cut material into strips. (I’ve even used socks, cutting them like peeling an orange in one strip.) Using 4 strips you braid them. Whilst braiding you weave the strip back through the previous to hold it together. Sounds complicated, but once you try it it turns out to be very very simple to do. There’s a link in the paragraph above to a video and here’s a picture tutorial on how to from Little House in the Suburbs.
10. Learn a Language
So often learning a language is difficult because it takes time and concentration, a need to be by yourself to truly absorb and learn. Well, now is a big opportunity. There are so many options out there, and most are free!
I can highly recommend Learn French with Vincent on YouTube. And also Coffee Break language learning podcasts from RadioLingua. They offer French, Spanish, Italian, German, Swedish, Chinese and even English all in coffee break length lessons. These are super effective as you can only listen – no writing, just absorbing.
Bonus Thing to do by Yourself: Indulge in some quiet time
When was the last time you simply sat and thought? Have you ever not done anything? I am not talking about sitting and watching TV, or even listening to the radio. I am saying sitting and doing nothing. Just letting your thoughts drift. Give it a try. Your thoughts may surprise you.
And take it a step further if you like. Enjoy a nap. We’re great supporters of the 20 minute nap, or even doze. A chance to recharge the batteries. To clear the mind. A true indulgence in this time of stress, chaos and even panic.
For our Vive le Livre Book Club we are affiliated* with Bookshop.Org. As great readers ourselves, we wanted to offer a way to purchase the books we have read and can recommend. We specifically chose to affiliate with Bookshop because they support independent bookshops. They are currently supporting, and you can buy from, bookshops in the UK, USA and Spain.
For this and other books we recommend in our book club, simply click on your book of choice below to read more or purchase…
From the USA:
From the UK:
We also offer a small selection of vintage book finds, mostly English, some French in our own Shop.
If you would like to read more about our Affiliates, visit our Nourishing Pumpjack & Piddlewick page.