Eight Practical Ways to Entertain and Treat Yourself Right Now


If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s the importance of finding ways to cope with stress and take care of yourself. Learning a new trade, stimulating your mind with puzzles, or cooking can be a meditative distraction from the outside world. Here are some suggestions.

Learn origami

The art of paper folding is rooted in several cultures, but it is most often associated with Japan. The word origami is broken down in Japanese into ori (folding) and kami (paper). The beauty of origami is that you can use any type of paper you have on hand, although traditionally used Japanese papers look especially good. Once you master the technique, you can create some cool decorations or jewelry. And this is something you can do to calm yourself down or to pass the time while you are waiting for a doctor’s appointment.

It’s easy to get started right away, thanks to the Internet. Find instructions and templates at origami.me. Or search for “origami tutorial” on YouTube and find a number of tutorials, like this one for making the crane:

Try your hand at the art of yarn

There are a lot of cool things to do with yarn: Fun jewelry, like rings, earrings, and hoop earrings. Ornaments are a great project. The possibilities are endless with sculptures, from people to animals, and there are billions of ideas on the internet.

Before you begin, find a list of tips, including the best place to buy wire and the best type of access. acraftymix.com/blog/wire-art-tips.

And again, check out YouTube for tutorials, like this one:

Play puzzle games

Crosswords, CryptoQuips, and Sudoku are challenging, keeping your brain sharp and providing hours of distraction. Find them daily in the BayLink section of the Tampa Bay Times electronic journal at tampabay.com.

Cook some healthy comfort

Trying out a new recipe or cooking technique is also a great exercise in concentration. And the reward is you eat it! But instead of opting for high calorie foods that make us unhealthy, try lighter, yet comforting options.

Roll your own sushi: It’s not as difficult as you might think, and imagine how virtuous you will feel to learn such a skill. Find a step-by-step tutorial with photos at quinzespatulas.com/homemade-sushi. The recipe uses salmon, cream cheese, and avocado and has less than 200 calories and 11 carbs.

Related: Related: From the Culinary Editor: Want to Make Sushi at Home? Tips and recipes for beginners.

Copy Bang Bang Shrimp: Bonefish Grill’s popular appetizer weighs 790 calories per serving. But it can be lightened by coating the shrimp in cornstarch and lightly frying them rather than frying them. This recipe from skinnytaste.com calls for a light mayonnaise for the sauce and has 215 calories and 1 carbohydrate per serving. Make it even lighter by broiling or frying the shrimp in the open and replacing the mayonnaise with Greek yogurt, as suggested in this recipe for carnets-recettes.com.

Any avocado toast bagel: Fancy a bagel coated in cream cheese? With the invention of the whole bagel seasoning, you can turn avocado toast into a healthier option. Plus, avocados contain healthy fats which are satisfying, so you may want to skip cream cheese. This recipe from mangerwell.com does and comes in at 174 calories per slice. Find more avocado toast ideas at thekitchn.com.

Related: Related: From The Food Editor: How To Make Your Own Avocado Toast

Fruit cream and whipped cream: Sweet berries and this whipped cream recipe from marthastewart.com is a healthier yet decadent way to satisfy that sweet tooth.

Make a calming playlist

The right kind of music can add another layer of relaxation to any of these exercises. We suggest Bob Marley’s Three little birds, Hawaiian music, relaxing jazz, and a Spotify playlist called Cute beats.


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