42 things to do instead of watching telly or scrolling through nonsense on your phone

Cartoon of a boy sitting on a sofa looking at his phone
Wait! Where did the evening go? |
  1. Read a book — take a book from the bookshelf, find a bookmark, settle down somewhere cosy and warm with a good light, and get lost in a story you’ve never read before.
  2. Start a jigsaw — prepare the area first with a board or unused table that’s larger than finished piece. Separate out the corners, straight edges and middle pieces and off you go.
  3. Play a boardgame — gather the family for a quick game of Ludo or a lengthy game of Monopoly. It doesn’t matter who wins, just enjoy the time together.
  4. Listen to a podcast — a good history series is both entertaining and educational too.
  5. Knit a jumper — or anything else you fancy. Bonus points awarded to those using reclaimed wool to knit something for homeless refugees
  6. Draw a picture — don’t worry about what it looks like. Just explore different techniques and materials.
  7. Indulge in an album — listen to a complete LP by a single artist, the way it way meant to be heard. No shuffle, no playlists. Put the headphones on and turn it up loud.
  8. Plan a holiday or weekend away — don’t leave planning until the last minute — book yourself a bargain before everyone else does. It’s something to look forward to.
  9. Write an article on Medium — write from the heart, don’t try to be someone you’re not.
  10. Sort through your filing — shred anything over twelve months old and recycle all the bumph you’ll never read anyway.
  11. Complete a crossword or wordsearch — sharpen the old grey matter with a wordy puzzle.
  12. Learn something off by heart — sharpen the old grey matter by learning a list of items, for example all 50 states of the USA, or all the stations on the Metropolitan line.
  13. Plan your meals for the week ahead — make use of the things in your cupboard and avoid wasting the perishable items in your fridge.
  14. Cook something to eat tomorrow — save yourself some time.
  15. Do some housework — you’ll feel better for it — but not if you’re one of those people who’s always doing housework anyway — take a break my friend!
  16. Manage your finances — finally switch energy provider like you’ve been meaning to and save some money.
  17. Set out for an evening walk — explore your local area.
  18. Try out a new pub — alone or with friends, it doesn’t matter.
  19. Have an early night. Nudge nudge. Wink wink. Say no more.
  20. Spend some time meditating — enjoy some quiet time with your thoughts and your breathing.
  21. Massage or be massaged — physical or sensuous, it’s your choice!
  22. Engage in personal grooming — trim your nostril hairs, clip your toenails, tidy up your eyebrows. Just spend a little time making yourself look good.
  23. Learn an instrument — practice for a short time each and every day.
  24. Record your health metrics — measure your waist, the circumference of your legs and arms, weight, body fat percentage, blood pressure, blood oxygen levels — whatever you have the means to do this with.
  25. Relax in a hot bath — go to town with scented candles, low lights and bath salts.
  26. Look through photo albums — remember the good times by sifing through a photo album.
  27. Construct a model — aeroplane, car, building; Airfix, Lego or matches. It’s up to you.
  28. Search for a new house — is your dream home on the market waiting for you to snap it up?
  29. Put together a shopping list — or do an online shop. Don’t suffer with Old Mother Hubbard syndrome.
  30. Have some friends over —combat lonelinesss and invite some friends over — they’ll be grateful for the invite.
  31. Write a letter — everyone loves to receive a good letter, so write someting special for that special someone.
  32. Fix something — give a second lease of life to an old forgotten object.
  33. Partake in a guided walking tour — an evening ghost tour can heighten the senses.
  34. Just dance — play a computer game that demands a bit of physicality, like Wii Tennis, or Just Dance.
  35. Sell something on Gumtree — clear out the clutter and make some money too.
  36. Learn a new card game — it could be a new version of rummy or a type of solitaire.
  37. Stretch those limbs — increase flexibility to combat those creaky muscles.
  38. Make a video — tell the world about something you have a passion for and share it on Vimeo or YouTube.
  39. Make a collage — cut out photos and images from old magazines and then arrange them to create something entirely new.
  40. Sort out a drawer or cupboard — say goodbye to clutter and hello to tidyness and space.
  41. Create a home for nature — put up a bird box, insect hotel or hedgehog hideaway.
  42. Watch a sport — get tickets to the big match or wander over to the nearest cricket pavilion to watch local teams play each other.
Photograph of a local cricket match. A batsman swings his bat to hit a ball. A wicket-keeper crouches behind him.
Cricket match |

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