In this modern, fast-paced world of ours, it can be tricky to slow down and truly enjoy a few things to do for fun. Most of us struggle to disconnect on the weekends or while on vacation, often checking our work emails or communicating 24/7 with friends.
It's a habit we all have, and it's one that can get us stuck in a rut, and feeling like we need to take a break. And that is why you should try a few old fashioned leisure activities — retro ones, from way back in the day — that can truly help you break out of your busy routine, and finally decompress.
"One of the benefits of good old-fashioned fun is that it engages with your senses directly, gets you talking with actual people face-to-face, and helps you break out of the standard routine you've found yourself in," author and life coach Jaya Jaya Myra tells Bustle.
So let's do like our parents and grandparents did, and spend our weekends and vacations actually slowing down. And, of course, having a little fun. If that sounds like just the thing you need, then here are few fun ideas, inspired by the many ways people used to enjoy their time off, that experts suggest we bring back.
1. Head Out On A Camping Trip
Do your parents regal you with stories from their youth, when they used to pack up the station wagon and head out camping? If so, it may be worth it to snag their equipment, and make some similar memories for yourself — especially if you stay somewhere with a classic "camping" vibe.
"A stay at a campground — whether in a tent, cabin, or RV (or even tiny house) — gives campers the opportunity to enjoy additional old-fashioned leisure activities," Jennifer Ludovice, spokesperson for Thousand Trails and Encore, tells Bustle. "Campgrounds commonly offer activities like swimming, canoeing, fishing, and horseshoes. Many also offer modern amenities like hot tubs, fitness centers, and pickleball courts, along with wi-fi service for those who wish to stay (at least a little) connected."
2. Throw A Party, For No Good Reason
We're all super connected today, so it's becoming less necessary to throw parties in order to see our friends. But that doesn't mean we should deprive ourselves of the fun.
"Hosting a party, just because, is a great way to get face-time with people you haven't seen in awhile, show that you're a good friend, and make time to put aside your electronics for awhile," says Myra. "Hanging out with people will improve your mood and lower stress much more effectively than being on the phone or through text."
So toss a few bowls of chips on the table (or go all out, and create a sit-down dinner party) and invite a few friends over. Once you get used to how easy — and fun — these types of parties can be, they might just become a tradition.
3. Fire Up The Grill
When was the last time you fired up the ol' grill? If it's been a minute, it may be time to make like a parent in the 1950s, and stand out in the yard — or on your rooftop — and burn a burger or two.
"Prior to the 1980s, couples and families used to ... have cookouts in their backyards and invite their friends over," spiritual counselor and psychic Davida Rappaport tells Bustle. "This doesn’t happen with any real regularity these days." But it should!
4. Attend An Outdoor Event
If your town has a concert in the park, it'll be worth it to go. "Not all concerts are free, but they offer great music, a chance to meet other people, share food (venue permitting), and an evening or afternoon outside in the fresh air," says Rappaport. And what could be better than that?
5. Spend The Day In The Park
You don't have to grill or attend a concert in order to spend the day outside. Sometimes it's nice to simply grab a picnic blanket, some snacks, and a book, and head out to the park. As Rappaport says, this is something people used to do with great frequency back in the day. And for good reason. You get sunshine, fresh air, and a chance to disconnect in a way that's truly rejuvenating.
6. Knit Yourself A Hat
Any type of needlework — knitting, crocheting, embroidering, sewing, etc. — can make for the perfect, leisurely activity, Rappaport says. (And as someone who recently tried my hand at knitting a scarf, I have to agree. So relaxing.)
While knitting and crocheting have obviously been around for centuries, therapists are starting to suggest us modern day folks give it a try, too. The repetitive motion gives you something to do with your hands, as well as something for your mind to focus on. And (bonus) you get a new hat or scarf for your troubles.
7. Take A Crafting Class
Whether you take a crafting class, or simply do a few projects at home, definitely consider adopting an old-fashioned hobby, that you can do in your spare time. "People ... used to do art as a hobby," says Rappaport. "They took classes on how to draw, paint, sculpt, make jewelry, and do other fun craft things. Macrame was also very popular in the 1970s. While some people are still doing these types of crafts, it should make a comeback because it's fun."
8. Go Out For A Night Of Bowling
What could be more retro than bowling? (Or, better yet, a bowling league?) As Rappaport says, "In the 1960s to the 1980s, many companies had bowling leagues or softball teams. It was fun, competitive, and people got to know their co-workers and in many cases, they felt like a family. But most of all, they had a lot of fun."
If this idea tickles your fancy, go ahead and suggest it to your coworkers. Or, simply scoop up some friends and head out to an alley on a Friday night.
9. Spend The Day At An Amusement Park
While there are obviously popular amusement parks in existence today, it can be fun to head away from the masses and visit a smaller park for an old school day of popcorn, sodas, and carousel riding. If you love it, Rappaport suggests snagging season tickets, so you can go back again and again.
10. Stroll Through A Museum Or Art Gallery
It can be tough to slow down long enough to take in the cultural goings on of your town. And yet, that's exactly what you should do. "Going to museums and looking at exhibits used to be something that people did on the weekends on a regular basis in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s," Rappaport says. "Museums always have their regular collections and traveling exhibitions that are informative and fascinating. For a small amount of money, you can spend a day walking, which is good exercise, learning something new, and enjoying great art, science, culture, and history."
11. Bake Yourself Something Good
Nothing beats spending the weekend slowly baking breads, cupcakes, or pies — especially if you set them adorably on the windowsill to cool. Baking is not only a soothing activity, but one that will fill your whole house with an amazing smell, and give you something to share with others.
It's old school leisure activities like these — baking, knitting, grilling, hanging out in the park —that can help you to slow down, de-stress, and even allow you to reconnect with the people in your life. All the more reason to bring them back!