10 Ways To Occupy Yourself During A Recession

This economy, it’s kind of like a bad boyfriend. It used to be sweet. It bought you dresses and took you out for cocktails, but then it changed. Now it isn’t returning your calls and maybe you are running out of shopping therapy cash. But don’t load up those credit cards! Here are 10 things you can do to find yourself and feel better without getting a haircut or buying new shoes. 1. Rediscover The Library
This is worthwhile for several reasons. Did you know you can check out DVDs from the library? Free is definitely cheaper than Netflix, cable, or Blockbuster. Most branches shelve some new movies among a fantastic variety of older flicks. Nobody can feel bad while watching Jimmy Stewart. It’s against the laws of physics. Pacing through the shelves is also a nice way to discover something new, a book, a stranger’s smile — even if you don’t check anything out you will still have a smarty-pants-sounding answer to “What did you do today?”

2. Bicycling
Feel good speeding for three miles, fit into your skinny jeans, form a girl biker gang. So many possibilities.

3. Flirt With Store Clerks
I believe it is my God-given right to flirt with the gents at the fish counter at Whole Foods. Take a chance on discovering some unknown and delicious desirable — put on something cute and make nice with the cupcake purveyors or coffee slingers. Even a short burst of extra attention can color a whole day happy. Or, maybe you’ll really get something out of it.

4. Have More Sex
Duh. And it’s free (unless you’re paying for it).

5. YouTube Yoga
Not only can this make number four extra special what with all the new bendiness, but it also really will make you feel good to stretch everything out — to breathe away the bad parts of the day and have a time that you truly set aside for yourself.

6. Actually Photograph Things With That Digital Camera
Everyone has one. Capture the fiery fall foliage, your friends being idiots, and the boyfriend in risky poses. Make a yearbook of awkward photos, pretty kitties, whatever. Put it on Flickr with funny captions or print it all out into mini-storybooks. You’ll not only have had fun while you did it, but later you get to look back at all the goofiness.

7. Volunteer At An Animal Shelter
Nothing is better than cuddling furry, soft things. Nothing. Well, except falling in love with one and taking it home and cuddling it on the regular.

8. Host A Home-Cooking Potluck
Can’t cook? No worries. The Food Network is here for you. And once everyone else shows up with their dish, it won’t matter anyway. Find the top chef you never knew you had in your friendship circle!

9. Write A Letter
I hate getting the mail. It’s always bills. And that’s depressing. But, if there’s a letter, even just one, it’s like my own private Christmas. Putting pen to paper and finding a mailbox will be totally worth it for you and the lucky pen pal. Not sure whom to write to? There are always prisoners.

10. Buy Lipstick
OK, so it isn’t free like everything else on the list. But, it’s still cheaper than shoes or a haircut, but gives you that added boost of confidence that comes with a “new look.”