.Cheap Thrills Away From Your Screens

Computers, devices, and smartphones suck up hours upon hours of our daily lives. But your leisure or recreation time doesn’t have to be like that. Being connected with friends and family is a good thing, but it may not be such a horror to hit the reset button on your internet fix.

Here’s a few frugal options to smell the roses or just good old coffee:

Dream a little, won’t you?

Data from FitBit analysed that Indians are at least an hour and a half short of getting a full night’s sleep. All those pings and notifications, especially in the wee hours result in sleep deprivation at the very least.

Use your weekend to catch up on those 40 (or 40,000) winks. Even if you’re a light sleeper, a post-prandial siesta nap spells relaxation, and refreshment to prepare you for the week ahead.

Take a deep breath, and few

Don’t like nature pictures on Instagram, go touch a tree! Ride a bike. Go for a run. Just packing a few sandwiches and OJ in a basket and spending a few hours under a tree in the park with a frisbee and friends are great ways to unwind. Surely your city has a park or a zoo? Surely there’s a neighbourhood in the vicinity that’s particularly green and not too crowded to saunter through? And what does it cost?

Peanuts, compared to monthly internet packs and subscriptions. There’s more drama outside than on your Netflix show.

Devour that reading list

This is the good old-fashioned weekend plan. Read a book. It doesn’t matter if you’re the elitist hard-cover classic type, a sucker for the fast-paced paperback whodunnit, or self-help advice seeking e-book freak. Explore new worlds between words and lines.

Join a circulating library, or even better, be part of a human library! It’s the most intellectually stimulating, low-cost activity you can indulge without having to spend so much as a minute out of your PJs.

Nothing like a mind challenge

Make the weekend about things outside work – unravel a jigsaw, do the Crossword or just Sudoku. These require your complete attention – a lot like meditating.

The reward: your brain cells are rejuvenated and you’re left with a sense of achievement without the pinching participation fee!

Time for a personal project

Shutting off the Internet means you’re less distracted. Use this time to finish a home-improvement project – whether DIY or dialling in the plumber, carpenter, electrician, or just the handy-man.

Or perhaps use the time to catch up on an old talent and practice some? Instead of soaking in information from a screen, use the hours to dump your thoughts onto paper. Adult colouring books – mandalas, calligraphy, and even a delectable Jon Snow/ Game of Thrones edition -lose yourself in colours and some me-time.

Perhaps raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens give you an allergic reaction, and bright copper kettles aren’t part of your kitchen landscape, but you can always do a few of your favourite things and spend your Internet downtime without spending a bomb or conforming to any norms!

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