Help me find a routine to do during the day
November 11, 2016 10:14 AM   Subscribe

I'm currently unemployed and waiting for a school program to start. I've been having trouble finding things to do during the day so I'm not stuck home and depressed. Any ideas of what I can do to kill a whole working day's worth of time?
posted by starlybri to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (17 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Volunteering for progressive organisations gearing up for the 2018 elections!
posted by parmanparman at 10:19 AM on November 11, 2016 [12 favorites]

Nothing can eat up hours—so fast you can't count 'em as they fly by—like Sid Meier's Civilization.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 10:20 AM on November 11, 2016 [3 favorites]

It's not a whole day, but the Doris Depression Zine plan of taking a long walk with hot coffee (purchase more coffee on walk as necessary) first thing in the morning is really helpful with getting going when you don't have external structure. After that, she suggests going to the library and reading/learning, then working on a project. But really, coffeewalk is my go-to strategy to get unstuck and have a productive rest of the day.
posted by momus_window at 10:42 AM on November 11, 2016 [12 favorites]

Any ideas of what I can do to kill a whole working day's worth of time?

I'd suggest choosing things even if they're less than an entire day, because having a purpose for that day, even a single accomplishment, can spark other things.

My favorite less-than-an-entire-day activity when i have free time is:

meet a friend for coffee or lunch. This is so much easier when your days are unstructured, so there are no schedule conflicts. Ping that friend you haven't seen in months, ask if they're up for coffee next week, schedule different friends on different days, et voila, you're reconnecting with people and getting out of the house.
posted by zippy at 10:54 AM on November 11, 2016 [5 favorites]

Learn an instrument.
posted by TinWhistle at 10:55 AM on November 11, 2016

exercise is a good one - not just good for you, but helps with the depression you seem to have.

not sure this is helpful, so ignore if you want, but by choice i have every other week free and consider it a blessing - i have time to follow whatever stupid idea interests me. if that wonderful liberty is, for you, a chore, then i think you may be more depressed than you realise?
posted by andrewcooke at 10:59 AM on November 11, 2016 [4 favorites]

- go for walks
- write letters
- every day or so, visit a place or a park you haven't gone to before
- if you've ever wanted to adopt a pet, now is the perfect time to acclimate and train one
posted by mochapickle at 11:10 AM on November 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

Codecademy can fill time and give you a marketable skill, if you keep at it.
posted by Mchelly at 11:11 AM on November 11, 2016 [3 favorites]

Volunteer. Walk or bike there if at all feasible, gotta keep that blood moving. Volunteer as many hours as you typically work.
posted by aniola at 12:23 PM on November 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

-a craft you've never done but wanted to do (for me it was cross stitching and macrame)
-a new video game
-reading a book at a coffee shop or bookstore
-drive to the nearest town and explore
posted by buttonedup at 12:55 PM on November 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

Not just reading books, but writing analyses and reviews (post on Goodreads or your own blogs) that connect them up and look for the next question. Can fill up a lifetime, can be either prep for your school program or a balance to it.

Also, v v cheap.
posted by clew at 1:26 PM on November 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

Yes to the volunteering and walking. If you have a zoo, a botanical gardens, or other public amenity where you live, see if they have volunteer positions that will get you outside AND around people. Being locked up and bored by yourself is the exact opposite of what I would recommend in this situation.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 1:26 PM on November 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

It can be fun to pick a minor interest you have and become an expert in it. Read every book you can, look for hobby groups or events related to it, browse eBay for related memorabilia, etc. I've done this with Abraham Lincoln, Scientology and Wild Bill Hickock. I think the more random the topic the better.
posted by areaperson at 2:54 PM on November 11, 2016 [3 favorites]

Go to local library, pick whatever looks interesting, sit and read it uninterrupted by screens and other home stuff.
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:59 PM on November 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

Lots of free college level classes on Coursera. Wide range of topics.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 9:30 PM on November 11, 2016

Exercise daily, go for walks during the day, start reading a book or series, work on your cooking skills by trying new recipes, learn a new hobby you've been interested in but never got around to or find one that piques your interest, declutter and possibly donate, catch up or rewatch a TV series that you love, listen to music and do nothing else - something you maybe haven't done since you were a teenager!, clean your whole house while you have the energy and the time, organize paper documents that may have accumulated over time, update and perfect your resume.

Enjoy your free time while you got it! :)
posted by atinna at 9:34 PM on November 12, 2016 [3 favorites]

How goal oriented are you?

Couch to 5K is a 3-day/week walking/jogging program that starts with walking. Just 30 minutes at a time. There are free apps, and a variety of podcast downloads to suit your preferences.

Duolingo helps you learn a language in small bites. Another 30 minutes a day?

Yousician is a great way to learn ukulele, guitar or piano. It's gamified and fun. A short, free lesson is available every 12 hours.
posted by AnOrigamiLife at 5:14 PM on November 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

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