As a society we’ve gotten so used to being mentally stimulated and entertained that when the Internet goes out most of us just about go insane. You can’t check your email, your Facebook or Myspace, can’t stream a movie or even check out the latest sales on eBay. After a few hours you start to feel like the Amish must. What is there to do?
Read a book
Ebooks are becoming more popular, but I’m talking regular books here. The ones collecting dust on a shelf somewhere in your home that you intended to read but never got around to. Now’s your chance. Immerse yourself in a murder mystery or sci-fi fantasy novel, or perhaps learn something new through a nonfiction book or read a biography of a historical figure. This may even get you out of the house and making a trip down to the library. How long has it been since you’ve used your library card?
Clean out a closet or drawer
This is probably not the most popular suggestion, but the one that will leave you feeling most satisfied once it’s accomplished. There’s always junk we need to get rid of. Whether stuffed on shelves, crammed in closets, or wedged in drawers, tossing out things you don’t need and getting a bit more organized will leave you with a sense of freedom and lightness. They say that a way to get a look into a person’s mind is to take a look in their closet. What does yours say about you?
Return to a hobby
You don’t want to deplete your bank account by purchasing armloads of hobby equipment, but maybe there’s a creative streak in you that hasn’t been tapped in a very long time. Most of us can find remnants of our “before the Internet” selves hiding out in the garage, under a bed, or in a closet. Tune up your old guitar, drag out your watercolors, or unpack those plastic airplane models. Although being online is pretty mindless most of the time, it’s more of a left-brain activity. Hobbies help us to stimulate our often dormant right brain, offering more balance in the way we think and perceive things.
Play a game
Although you may have an X-box or DS to help keep you entertained until your Internet is back up, why not try a board game with some friends or your family? Back in the 50’s, family game night was highly popular and was a good way to bring everyone closer together. If you’re flying solo right now, grab a deck of cards and play a game of solitaire, or do some crossword puzzles. There’s another benefit to crosswords besides fighting off boredom; they’ve been shown to help combat Alzheimer’s as well!
If you ever find yourself without Internet or cable, try some of these ideas. You may find that you enjoy them so much you’ll want to make an activity part of your weekly or daily routine!