Long weekends are certainly the best kind of weekends. But while we all wait for them earnestly, most of us end up wasting time finishing chores or sleeping away to glory! Sure, completing pending tasks and catching up on sleep is important; however, you don’t want to look back and think that you could’ve done a lot more with your time.
If you’re not sure of how you want to spend your time over a long weekend, you’ve come to the right place! This post has something for techies as well as non-techies, so read on and make a note of what interests you.
For Technology Freaks
1. Take a Virtual Tour
If you want to travel to a far-off place without putting in too much time or money, all you need is a smartphone, a tablet, or a PC at your fingertips! Virtual reality has transformed travel and hospitality immensely, and you can use the power of the Internet to travel to any place on the Earth to not just view satellite imagery, maps, and terrain, but also experience places in 3D.
Try these virtual escapades:
- Explore places withGoogle Earth- take virtual walks around cultural and natural landmarks, take a trip back in time with brilliant historical imagery, discover shipwrecks on the ocean floor, travel to distant galaxies, or follow Apollo missions.
- Use Google Arts & Culture to check out museums, art collections, architectural wonders, art movements, and more.
- Check out GoPro’s panoramic 360° videos and enjoy a personal tour of New York City, a BMW bike ride, an IndyCar ride over the Golden Gate bridge, orsurfing in Tahiti.
- Walk on Mars with NASA’s images and 360° videos- take a look at the latest panorama from Curiosity.
- Virtual reality app Ascape has a bunch of photo tours and 360° videos that you can download and view. Try out amazing experiences like reindeer racing in Norway and walking with elephants in Botswana!
2. Read a Book to Unwind
Books have the ability to transform your state of mind by carrying you into a different world.As such, reading can make you forget all your worries and help reduce stress.
With technology by your side, you needn’t head out to a bookstore or a library to get a book to read. Download an e-book or an audio book and curl up in your favorite corner with your smart phone or e-reader! Follow this link for a list of good reads.
3. Play a Game
No, we don’t mean Candy Crush Saga or Temple Run! Instead of lazing around all day, play games that can help you get fit. Pokémon GO tops the list, but here are some other active games to help you spend your time productively:
- Wii Fit U: A fun game which can give you a good workout. On the plus side, it comes with a fitness accessory so you can track your fitness even when you’re not playing the game!
- Shape Up: If you’ve found other fitness games very serious, Shape Up will be a refreshing change. Shape Up has a variety of standard exercises, but also offers goofy games as challenges.
- Just Dance2016: The basic game playrequires you to replicate dance moves as displayed on the screen. While this isn’t a standard fitness game, Just Dance 2016 can elevate your heart rate considerably. With a sizeable collection of modern songs and fun choreography, you won’t even realize you’re exercising!
- EA Sports Active NFL Training Camp: This game has over 70 drills and challenges including actual football drills and workouts conducted in NFL training camps. It also has interactive games that make workout fun.
4. Listen to Podcasts
One of the best ways to kill time and learn something in an entertaining manner in the process involves listening to podcasts. The cool thing about podcasts is that you can listen to them at any place and at any time, even when travelling. Listening to podcasts is all about:
- Picking a podcasts based on your interest
- Downloading the one you want to listen to before embarking on your trip, preferably over a WiFi connection so that you save your data and phone battery
Here are some of the most popular podcasts available online today.
5. Use Technology to Your Advantage
Whether you want to try a new cuisine, play the latest online game, watch a new movie or an old classic, catch up on your favourite television series, shop for anything you need, or even to manage your social media channels you’ve got technology to keep you occupied.
- Find your favourite recipes on the Internet and cook at home. Use Pinterest and YouTube to learn how to cook some delicious gourmet dishes. Use e-commerce websites and mobile apps to procure the best-quality ingredients delivered to your doorstep. Alternatively, order ready-made food online using your computer or smart phone.
- Pick a new craft hobby and learn to create brilliant DIY projects with the help of social media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, and online blogs.
- Need new shoes? Get them online. Log into Flipkart, Jabong, Myntra, Ebay, Amazon, and so on and order away!
- Indulge in the latest gaming sensation, PokemonGo, and enjoy your leisure time as you get active.
- Teach yourself a new language. Duolingo is a fun app which can be used to learn the basics. You can also use it to practise grammar and vocabulary. Other apps to consider here are Babbel, MindSnacks and Brainscape.
- Learning to play music was never so much fun. Using apps such as GarageBand, Music Tutor Sight Read, and Violin Lesson Tutor can make music lessons exciting and convenient.
- Try your hand at drawing, writing, and making a creative album for your digital photographs with programs like GoAnimate, SketchBook Pro, Penultimate Loop, Inspire Pro, ASKetch, Bonfire Photo Editor Pro, AirBrush, Fotor Photo Editor.
For People Who Wish to Unplug
6. Cook a Simple Meal
There’s no need to freak out just yet; cooking can be very relaxing if you do it right! If you’ve always made a mess of whatever you’ve tried to make in the kitchen, you just need to take things slow.
Here are some tips to put your kitchen fears at ease:
- Practice proper knife skills wearing a hand or finger guard.
- Keep your oven mitts on the kitchen counter so you remember to put them on before touching hot vessels.
- Wear full-sleeved clothes and an apron before you begin cooking so that splatter don’t burn you. Don’t wear flowy tops or clothes with flowy sleeves while cooking.
- Appreciate fresh produce so as to feel motivated to cook.
Start cooking with a friend or relative who you know is a good cook.
- Don’t get started on a very complex recipe on your weekend. Pick a recipe that doesn’t require too many ingredients or steps, thus reducing prep and cooking time.
- Follow this link for some simple and easy-to-cook recipes!
7. Spend Time with Animals
You don’t have to have a dog or a cat to be able to spend time with animals; rabbits and guinea pigs can be just as fun to play with. Also, interacting with birds and gazing at aquarium fish can be therapeutic!
If you don’t own pets (that’s sad):
- Volunteer at a non-profit shelter
- Go bird-watching
- Visit a zoo or a petting farm
8. Indulge in Gardening
Gardening can seem laborious, but while it does require you to get dirty and sweaty, it has numerous benefits to offer. Apart from improving hand strength, dexterity, and heart health, gardening can reduce the risk of stroke and Alzheimer’s, boost brain health, help immune regulation, reduce depression, uplift mood, provide stress relief, and increase self-esteem.
You don’t need to have a huge garden to get started; plant a few pots in your balcony or on the window sills. Here are some plants that you can easily grow indoors:
- Ornamental plants like money plant, spider plant, English Ivy, and jade plant
Succulents and cacti
- Flowering plants like peace lily, peperomia, and vincarosea
- Herbs like chives, basil, oregano, mint, and parsley
- Fruits and vegetables like avocados, mandarin oranges, blueberries, tomatoes, potatoes, and carrots
9. Get Active
Whether you’re already pursuing a physical activity or haven’t yet decided on what you want to do to keep fit, one thing is for sure: you need to be physically active to stay in good shape. Early mornings are a good time to indulge in physical activity, but you can also exercise in the evenings. The trick lies in understanding your body clock and working out accordingly.
If you find conventional exercises boring then try dancing, lifting weights or taking a yoga class. The idea is to get moving, burn the fat, and get some fresh air. Regular exercises are important because they boost health and immunity, thereby making you feel energized and less anxious.
Make sure you don’t over-exercise and burn yourself out. There’s absolutely no necessity to train like a marathon runner. A simple 20 – 30 minute brisk walk or bike ride around your neighbourhood should do you well.
10. Get Some Quiet Time
Don’t you ever feel like just setting your mind free and letting it wander about? If yes, then you should do just that every once in a while. Our daily professional and personal routines can leave us mentally and physically drained.
We get so caught up in them that it can be hard to break away from your day-to-day tasks and objectives. By not disconnecting, however, we miss out on witnessing the fascinating new connections we unconsciously make.
Here’s what you can do to disengage from them and allow you mind to meander:
- Make some time (best suited to you) to detach from daily activities. Remember, you need to be alone at this time, away even from your family. This will help you focus and reflect.
- Daydream about the things you want to do or want to be. Let your imagination loose and simply muse over what you’d like to achieve.
- In relation to that, evaluate how you’ve been spending your time over the last few months and figure out the aspects you’d like to modify in the coming months/year.
11. Plan Some Fun Things for the Future
Wouldn’t it be fun to inundate your schedule with plenty of activities that soothe your mind relax your body? How about having dinner at the newest restaurant in town or taking a (much-needed) trip to Hawaii (or any other place of your choice)? We all need such mental breaks every now and then as they help us unwind and think clearly.
Wondering how you’re going to make such events happen? Here’s how:
- Get on the Internet and do some research about the places you can possibly visit. Do you have something on your mind – like maybe a beach vacation, a wildlife trip, an adventurous break, or a spiritual sojourn? If yes, then this should help you narrow down your search.
- Make reservations and hotel booking as much in advance as possible. Not only will you get the best rates this way, you will also feel less stressed and more prepared down the lane. As they say, the early bird gets the worm. Planning earlier helps guarantee that you don’t lose out on some cool money and time-saving opportunities. Ensure that your travel itinerary includes activities that will help rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit.
- This applies to restaurant plans as well. If you know that the place you want to visit fills up quickly, make reservations/bookings well in advance to spare yourself the last-minute hassles.
Planning your long weekend need be something that gives you a headache. In fact, the ideas are aplenty and all that’s needed is the will to put them in action. Now that you’ve read this list, you can pick quite a few things to do over the long weekend. So be sure to set some time apart for yourself to do the things you love!