I am so excited to share an awesome inspirational guest post with you today! Today’s post was written by Cassie Jahn who blogs over at DIY Jahn! Be sure to head over to her blog and also follow her on Facebook and Instagram!
Now let’s turn it over to Cassie!
20 Free Things to do to Make You Happy
Living on a frugal budget can be a difficult thing to do. When my wife and I got married, we decided to spend some time calculating our finances. Unfortunately, like many others in the twenty-first century, we found ourselves overcome with insurmountable amounts of student loan debt. You can read about how we racked up so much debt by clicking here.
For us, this meant a lifestyle change. We began living as frugally as we could. We cut down our expenses and did our best to raise our income by working hard to make money online. I started blogging and she started using direct sales. I even came up with a blog series about how to Make Money Online that you can find by clicking here.
The harder we worked, the more we realized that we weren’t taking any time to focus on being happy. We were slowly being sucked into the busy-ness of our everyday lives and the further we went, the more disconnected we became. We knew that it was time to start focusing on being happy, but at the same time, we knew we couldn’t change our budget: we were locked in.
That’s why I decided to come up with this list of 20 FREE things to do to make you happy.
1. Learn a Magic Trick
Spend some time surfing the net or talk to a magician friend of yours. Practice the skill until you have it down and then show off for others. Most magic tricks don’t take too many items: a deck of cards, a pair of dice, or an old handkerchief!
2. Get Crafting
Crafting can help you to take your mind off of daily life and leave your stress behind. The best part about it: nothing you do has to be perfect. Find some supplies around your house and begin coloring, cutting, gluing, or whatever you would like to make an item that is meaningful to you.
3. Take a Hike
My wife and I made a vow to visit one new park a week for an entire spring season and you know what? By the time summer came around we were exponentially happier than we had been before. Not to mention the natural surrounds were good for building energy, losing weight, and getting some much-needed exercise. Get out and explore the outdoors!
4. Read a Book
Curl up in your favorite chair or nook and pull out a book. You can grab one you haven’t read or reread an old favorite. There’s nothing quite like spending some quiet time reading.
5. Watch a Movie
Have a marathon with your friends! Pick out some movies, throw some snacks together from the food in your cupboard, and get your pajamas out. Then prepare your inner-child for a relaxing night of movies and fun.
6. Have a Meaningful Conversation
Take some time to truly engage in conversation with a friend or family member. It’s easy to stay at the surface you’re busy. You may ask how your friends are, but you probably aren’t interested in hearing their answers. Spend time talking and seeing how they are doing or finding a subject that you can converse about – you never know how much it will mean to them.
7. Do Some Gardening
Grab a shovel and get your hands in some fresh soil. If you have some extra seeds, you can start planing your garden. If you don’t, consider taking vegetables from your fridge and planting them. In a few weeks, you’ll have a new batch growing!
8. Clean Your House
Studies have shown that a clean house means a happier you. My wife and I recently worked to de-clutter our home and the result was absolutely life changing. Read about how de-cluttering is helping us to reach our goals by clicking here.
9. Learn a New Recipe
Look in your cupboards, fridge, and freezer to determine what ingredients you have and then head over to MyFridgeFood and input your supplies. This website will tell you all of the recipes you can make with the ingredients you currently have so that you can try a new recipe out!
10. Sit by a Fire
Do you have access to a fire pit or an old metal tire rim? Consider lighting a fire, turning on the radio, and inviting some friends over for a relaxing evening in your backyard.
11. Crochet or Knit
Sit in your favorite chair, pull out an old roll of yarn, and start working on creating something for a loved one. Don’t know how to crochet or knit? This is a perfect chance to learn!
12. Find a Community Event
Most communities host free events from time-to-time. Check out billboards in your area, bulletin boards, flyers, or your city website. Many times places such as non-profits and libraries will have a whole slew of fun activities for you to do.
13. Play a Game
Do you remember those dusty stacks of board games you have hidden in the back corner of one of your cabinets? Pull them out and invite your family to play a game with you! You’ll be surprised how much fun you can have while sitting around an old board game.
14. Host a Potluck Dinner
Invite your friends over for a Potluck dinner and use ingredients you already have in your fridge, cupboard, or freezer to cook your contribution. You could even use the new recipe you learned from before.
Consider spending some time with your thoughts as you write down how you feel, the happenings of your day, or perhaps a poem or story. Cozy up on the couch with a journal and pen and enjoy the relaxing time ahead.
16. Spend Time Meditating
Learn how to meditate to become truly relaxed and focused on your inner thoughts. Invite a friend over to teach you or turn on a meditation channel on the television.
17. Try Yoga or Pilates
Yoga and pilates are both great ways to get some exercise and calm your inner-self. For an even better time, consider doing the exercise in the grass near a lake. Beautiful scenery can only enhance your experience.
18. Take Pictures
Get out your camera and go outside for some pictures. Bring your pets, family, or friends and take silly pictures or focus on beautiful scenery photos on your own.
19. Volunteer Somewhere
Volunteering is a great way to give back, enjoy your day, and truly make a difference in someone’s life. You can volunteer at food shelves, local non-profits, or nursing homes. There are so many opportunities for volunteering and you can invite your friends along for even more fun.
20. Pretend to be a tourist
Take a walk around your city pretending to be a tourist. Often times we live our lives missing the beautiful sights that surround us. Instead of bypassing your city’s beauty, pretend to be a visitor: your first time here. Take a camera and explore the city – you may see something you’ve never noticed before!
No matter what you choose, be sure that you are doing something that will make you happy. It can be difficult to live on a low income for a long period of time. My wife and I often feel drained and exhausted from the experience, but when you take time to relax, explore, and enjoy your entire life can (and will) be enhanced.
Guest Post Author Bio:
Cassie Jahn is the author of a DIY blog devoted to living life to the fullest on a frugal budget. DIY Jahn began to help Cassie to stick to her plan to aggressively pay off her student loans, in hopes to inspire others to do the same. Find tips on saving money, paying off debt, earning money online, yummy recipes, and DIY projects at: www.diyjahn.com
What free things make you happy?