The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

VIEWPOINT: 8 ways to stay indoors, beat the heat and avoid boredom

VIEWPOINT: 8 ways to stay indoors, beat the heat and avoid boredom - The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Illustration by Amber Esparza

With record-breaking heat this summer, you might feel inclined to stay inside more days than usual.

Although staying out of the sun and heat might be what’s best right now, it’s easy to get bored at home quickly and it doesn’t take long until you begin to feel stir crazy. 

If you have the opportunity to be at home a lot this summer and are able to stay inside comfortably, here are a few things to do instead of just planting yourself in front of the TV for the day.

1. Try an Art or Craft Project

Try painting, drawing or sketching, taking photos or making some crafts. Refresh a boring, old item with a fresh paint job or fun design. Don’t know what to draw? Sketch a picture of what’s around you. Use a pet, a room or still object for inspiration and draw what you see. The same goes for making photos. You could also make a photo series of what you eat for the day. Taking the time to make your meal look nice for a photo is a great way to pass time and appreciate the day. Or be your own muse and throw a mini photo-shoot for yourself. Play with different “locations,” angles and light sources and use props.

If you still find yourself stuck on what to create, Pinterest and Instagram are great ways to find ideas and inspiration for crafts and projects. Making art is not about ‘being good’ but about expressing yourself, so there is no need to put so much pressure on perfecting the final outcome. Just enjoy the process!

2. Self-Care Treatment

Everyone deserves to be pampered every once in a while and feel their best. This sometimes means putting a little more effort into your appearance or self-care routine. Cleaning and trimming your nails or even trying a cool, new nail polish are small details that tend to be overlooked when we’re usually on-the-go. You can also pluck and/or shape your eyebrows. Try a face mask or doing the longer version of your skin-care routine if you have one. If you like wearing make-up, try out a new look or trend with the tools and products you already have. You can also experiment with different hairstyles for a different look. Experimenting with your hair doesn’t necessarily mean cutting or dying it, but you could try curling, straightening or styling your hair a different way or play with partings and updos. 

3. DIY Toys for the Kids and Pets

If you have little ones with you this summer, enlist their help in making some fun DIY toys. Using common stuff lying around your house like paper, cardboard, straws and string, you can make things like puppets, noise-makers, kaleidoscopes, puzzles and mini-games. If you have pets, you may be familiar with how it sometimes seems that they prefer playing with garbage more than their actual store-bought toys. Lean into this and make toys out of the stuff they like to play with. Items like paper bags, boxes and more straws and string never seem to go out of style with my cat.

4. Closet Cleanout

Take the time to go through your closet and declutter your space. Pull out everything from your closet and clothes drawers and try things on. This includes shoes, belts, bags and other accessories. Give up anything that no longer fits and items that no longer mesh with your personal style. Can’t decide what to keep and what to let go? Try planning an outfit with the item. If you can easily find a way to style it, it’s probably a keeper. If you’re having trouble completing an outfit with the item in question, you can likely let it go.

Since you will have everything out of your closet, take the opportunity to organize your wardrobe. For example, you can make a section for your coats and jackets, another section for dressier clothes, another section for summer pieces and so on. You could also try separating your clothes by color or store out-of-season wardrobes if you’d prefer. Find a method that works best for you. Once you’ve gathered all of the items you have decided to part with, find a shop or organization to donate the pieces that still have a second life in them.

5. Deep Clean Something

We don’t always have the time to clean an appliance or area as thoroughly as we should. Take the opportunity to deep clean heavily used machines or high traffic areas in your home. This could be the refrigerator, washer and dryer machines, air conditioners, bathrooms, storage closets, the garage, etc. Similar to your closet cleanout, be sure to declutter and get rid of anything that’s not needed. For example, if you’re deep cleaning the refrigerator, pull out all of the drawers, baskets and dividers. After washing those, be sure to get into the nooks and crannies of the refrigerator, even if those spots may not look dirty. When cleaning appliances, use a mild soap and water solution and take extra care with any electrical parts or mechanisms. If you are cleaning with harsher chemicals, ensure you don’t mix them as some chemical mixtures can create toxic vapors in the air.

6. Try a New Recipe or Plan a Menu

Have you seen anything tasty while scrolling through TikTok or Instagram? Try out the recipe. We sometimes tend to enter a routine when we have a busy schedule, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can get a bit boring at times, especially with what we eat. With your extra at-home time, put the effort into cooking up a new dish. Or if you want to go bigger, plan out a “new recipe menu” and try a few new dishes. Remember, you can almost always omit or substitute ingredients to tweak the recipe to your liking or to cater to your kitchen’s available ingredients, so it’s not necessary to plan an expensive shopping trip. That’s the fun with trying new recipes, you get to make it your own.

7. Room Reset

Have you ever sat in a room and thought to yourself “I wonder how the couch would look on that side of the room,” or “What if the bed was facing the window?” If you’ve ever given thought to rearranging a certain room in your home, now’s the time to do it. Play around with different layouts of the room and figure out a room plan that would be most comfortable and accessible for you. Go through and declutter stuff off the walls and shelves. Get rid of items that aren’t used very much or just seem to be taking up space. Again, if there are items that can still be used in another home, consider donating them.

8. Dive Into a Book or Video Game

If you’d prefer to do something a little less physical, you can never go wrong with picking up a book or video game. Books and video games can offer hours of relaxation and entertainment while still keeping your mind active. If you’ve had a book you’ve been meaning to get to for a while or a new game you’ve been wanting to play, go ahead and enjoy yourself. Whether the book is a physical or digital copy, or the game is on a console, computer or phone, it won’t take long to get lost in a new world.

About the Author

Amber Esparza
Managing Editor
Amber Esparza is a senior communications major and Managing Editor for The Mesquite at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. Amber joined The Mesquite in spring 2021 as a Photo and Multimedia Editor after transferring from the Alamo Colleges with an associate’s degree in communication. Amber has extensive experience in photography, journalism and radio, television and film. In her spare time, Amber enjoys thrift shopping, doing deep dives on the music she’s listening to and watching movies, TV and YouTube. Amber hopes to build a career that can incorporate all of her passions for media and entertainment.

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