When you've only got so many hours in the day, finding time for passion projects, new hobbies, or even loved ones can be difficult. With many of us working from home these days, one of the most precious commodities in our lives is more plentiful than ever. With time on our side, we can turn dreams into plans, do a deep dive into self-care, and focus on what truly nourishes our souls. Here are seven free ways to boost your spirit and rejuvenate your daily routine without leaving the house.
Reorganize your wardrobe
From lowering stress and anxiety to making you feel better equipped to tackle the day-to-day, the health benefits of decluttering are numerous. Why not start with your wardrobe? If reorganizing your closet feels too overwhelming to do all at once, start slowly, one shelf at a time. Organize your clothes and accessories into piles: those that are definite keepers, clothing that needs a refresh or alteration, and items that you don't want anymore and no longer fit in your life. While making way for the new, you just might stumble across a lost treasure or two that could bring a smile to your face—or someone else's, should you choose to donate or consign it.
Host a Netflix watch party or share dinner over Skype
Thanks to modern technology, social distancing doesn't mean you need to forego all forms of social interaction—or your beloved movie nights and dinner parties. To share your binge watching with friends in real time, all you'll need is an internet connection, a desktop or laptop computer, and a Netflix account. Download Netflix Party for free on Google Chrome to access your favorite titles along with a chat room where you can post your reactions as you watch.
Want to cook a meal together, or just bond over how it tastes? You can bring up to 50 people together over a Skype video chat and up to 32 of your closest friends on FaceTime. Consider hosting other activities that might lighten your mood, like karaoke, a wine tasting , or book club.
Take a free online exercise, yoga or meditation class
Now is the time to carve out those abs of steel you always wanted. Download a free exercise class in the privacy of your own home; whether the goal is breaking into a stress-relieving sweat or finding your inner Zen, there's something for everyone at no-membership-required sites like the YMCA, YogaWorks, or the Nike Training Club.
Expand your mind with a free class at an Ivy League university
If you want to learn for the sake of learning, without worrying about having to take a test afterwards, here's your chance to expand your mind. More than 450 free courses are offered online through the country's eight Ivy League universities: subjects range from digital photography and Hinduism through its scriptures to how you can lead the life you've always wanted, with case studies including Bruce Springsteen and Sheryl Sandberg.
Take a virtual tour of your favorite museum—or explore a new one
If visiting the Acropolis, the Louvre or MoMA seems like a long shot right now, you're actually in luck. More than 500 museums and galleries from across the globe have partnered up with Google Arts and Culture to offer virtual tours, online exhibits, behind-the-scenes commentary, and the ability to inspect your favorite painting in greater detail than you probably ever could in real life. If you're really in the mood for opulence, and have the time to spare, check out the five-hour documentary on Russia's Hermitage museum, all shot in one continuous take on an iPhone 11 Pro.
Attend a virtual opera, symphony, or Broadway show
When you can't go to the orchestra, let the orchestra come to the comfort of your living room sofa instead. You can stream performances by some of the best musicians and conductors of our time at the digital concert hall of the Berlin Philharmonic; elevate your senses through the featured playlists and videos of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; and catch that Broadway blockbuster you've been dying to see on Broadway HD.
Start a gratitude journal
Especially in times of difficulty, choosing gratitude over self-pity can boost your resilience, improve both physical and mental health, and help you sleep better. Keeping our eyes open and giving thanks for life's small blessings not only has a transformative and healing effect in the present but also gives us hope for the future. Take some time each day to not just jot down the things that are going well, but also express your thanks to other people, whether it's your partner, your kids, or your best friend.