This year, a lot of us are pinching pennies. It’s nothing to be ashamed of — when the economy is uncertain, it’s smart not to splurge on too much. That being said, staying cooped up in the house can get rather boring. Rather than turning into a full-on antisocial hermit, you can get your social and cultural needs met through lots of other activities. Don’t worry — we also included some hermit-friendly picks for when it’s cold outside and you need to be cozy. Here are our top picks.
1. Take a virtual class online
Whether it’s a fitness or a cooking class, virtual lessons are the way of the future, post-COVID. You can turn this into a fun hang with friends or a romantic date. There are even virtual art and photography classes available.
2. Have a good old fashioned slumber party
Hanging out with friends and sipping on tea (or something a little stronger) while spilling the tea is one of the most stress-relieving things you can do. Have them over in the morning for coffee and brunch, or in the evening for a Netflix and Wine night.
3. Go on a hike
Reconnecting with nature never fails to disappoint us, and it’s always free. Explore the nooks and crannies of your area, or drive someone more remote for fresher air and a hike that gets the blood pumping. Plus, soaking in a gorgeous, tree or mountain lined view does wonders for your mental health and soul.
4. Purge your closet
Do a Marie Kondo and clean up your closet, donating or throwing out what doesn’t “bring you joy.” There’s nothing like a good closet clean to make us feel brand new. It’s the ultimate way to perfect your “capsule wardrobe” which is a concept that lets you build lots of outfits over strategic basic pieces mixed in with quality statement garments. Also, if you coordinate a closet purge with friends, you can end up with some new clothes without spending any money.
5. Do a themed Netflix night
This is always a timeless activity with bae, friends, or the best company of all: yourself. You can choose a decade theme (80s, 90s, early 2000s) or go gangster, rom-com, childhood favorites…the possibilities here are infinite. You can dress up as well — who said costumes were only for Halloween.
6. Learn to cook something new instead of takeout
Many of us have gotten addicted to the takeout train during the pandemic, but there’s something so fulfilling (and entertaining) about making dinner at home. Find a classic comfort food your mom used to make, or something you’ve always wanted to try.
7. Watch free tutorials online
Who needs to go to school to learn something? There are lots of online lessons and tutorials to teach you everything from earning multiple income streams to woodworking. Plus, these are all ways to develop skills that can help you invest in your future.
8. Have a dance partyatyour house
There’s nothing super special about just listening to music, though it can be entertaining. What’s more fun is the freedom of dancing around your house in whatever you want, a la Tom Cruise in Risky Business. You can multitask cleaning the house if you want, but we prefer to be as unproductive as possible when doing this.