Rough week at the office? No plans for the weekend? Here are eight projects that'll ease your mind and give yourself a break.
8. Turn Off Your Work Brain
You'll never be relaxed if you can't get your mind off the work that stressed you out in the first place. If you still have work to do, see if you can get some of it done early on, so you're ahead of the game and can put it out of your mind. Then, when it's time to relax, disconnect yourself — turn off your phone, log out of your email, and do whatever you need to do so it isn't sitting in the back of your mind. Establish some boundaries so people aren't bugging you all day, and then go home.
7. Discover Some New Music
No matter what project you undertake, it can always use some new tunes — so why not make that your first project of the day? We've discussed some ways to discover new music in the post-MP3 age, but it seems like new services are coming out every day. Check out the best streaming music services you aren't using (but should) and make sure you've got a great pair of headphones to make it sound amazing.
6. Cook Something Delicious
You've worked hard all week, so you deserve a reward. Sure, you could go out and splurge on an amazing meal, but why not save a little money and cook for yourself? After all, nothing tastes better than the taste of victory that comes with cooking a great meal. Check out our 10 dishes everyone should know how to make and these awesome foodie techniques for stepping up your game. And if you hate cooking, remember: a little planning can make the whole process a lot easier. Image: benicce (Shutterstock).
5. Kick Back With Your Favourite Video Games
For some of us, the most cathartic thing you can possibly do after a long week at the office is fighting dragons, waging war against an alien race, or saving a princess from a giant spiked turtle. If you're more of a retro gamer, check out our guides to turning your computer and phone into retro game arcades, or playing those old PC games on a modern system. Of course, if you already have yourself a killer gaming setup, a little hacking can make it even better.
4. Watch TV...Like a Boss
Not a video game fan? Well, vegging out in front of the TV is a classic staple of relaxation... but why flip through channels when you could build a kickass, do-anything media centre instead? Then, you'll be able to stream your favourite shows, rip those Blu-Ray discs and watch them on demand, hook it up to your antenna, or even turn the whole thing into an internet-based PVR. It may not be the most original way to relax, but at least you'll have the pleasure of knowing you built the coolest media centre on the block.
3. Get Some Fresh Air
When being a couch potato starts to get boring, it's time to switch gears and explore the great outdoors. We've shared a ton of tools that'll help you create the ultimate garden, getting some outdoor exercise, or even building an outdoor movie theatre for your neighbourhood. And if you just can't part with your gadgets while you're outside, make sure they're prepared for the elements before you head out. Image: Gunnar Hildonen.
2. Clear Your Mind
If you really want to free yourself from your overworked mind, it might be time for a little meditation. No matter how silly you think it sounds, it's actually quite beneficial — and you can do it without any impossible sitting styles or using the work "chakra". Check out our guide to meditation, and if you'd like to work in a little exercise too, you might try yoga instead. Of course, if neither of those sound right to you, you could always just take a really amazing nap, too. Image: 'tess.
1. Learn a New Skill
Everyone has something they've always wanted to be able to do, but thought they sucked at. Thing negative thoughts no more: learning a new skill is a lot easier than you think it is. All it takes is a little practice, a game plan, and a positive attitude — especially when it comes to getting over the "I Suck" barrier. If you're not sure where to start, check out our list of 10 highly-desired skills you can teach yourself. Before you know it, you'll be a jack of all trades — which, by the way, doesn't mean you're a master of none.