Whether you're trying to be less busy or didn't end up making plans with friends, spending a Friday night at home alone instead of out on the town can be a restful and relaxing experience. It's the end of the week, so you've got the entire weekend ahead of you. Plus, if you were incredibly productive during the past five days, Friday night is the perfect time to reward yourself with something special. The best thing is you'll wake up on Saturday morning with renewed energy and ready to take on the world.
Haven't had a night to yourself lately? We highly recommend you do it soon—perhaps even this evening. To inspire you, we've come up with a list of 15 awesome things to do on a Friday night in, from R&R to cardio.
Learn a New Skill
Download a language learning app and do some of the exercises. Look up makeup or hair tutorials on YouTube and find a new way to put on eye shadow or braid your hair. Follow a recipe you haven't tried to learn how to make a new dish.
Have a Party for One
There's no wrong time to throw a party for one (or two if you want to include your significant other) where you basically do all the things you normally would do at a party. Light candles, turn on some mood music, have a multicourse meal delivered from your favorite takeout joint. Open a bottle of champagne, and celebrate life!
Get Intimate With a Book
Turn off the television, pour yourself a glass of pinot noir, and grab a blanket. Then pick up the book you've been wanting to read and start reading it. Not into books? Read a magazine or browse one of your favorite cookbooks or coffee table books. Avoid reading anything that is work-related or will make you think of your job. It's Friday, and you're supposed to be relaxing.
Channel Julia Child
Before you head home from work, stop by your local grocery store and stock up on ingredients to make a delicious dinner. Make something you've never made before or treat yourself to making your absolute favorite dish, be it pepperoni, sausage, and mushroom pizza or pasta carbonara. If you prefer sweet over savory, bake something. Whip up a batch of snickerdoodles to bring to a friend or make a banana bread to enjoy tomorrow morning for breakfast.
Catch Up on Your Z's
If you've had a long week, go to bed early. There's nothing wrong with being cozy in your comforter at 9:30 p.m. If you have trouble drifting off, try a lavender spray or download an app that will help you sleep.
Turn your phone on silent so no one can bother you.
Do Something Creative
Pull out your stamps and embosser and make a bunch of thank you and birthday cards. The next time you need a card, just pull one from the batch you've made. You could also paint a picture for a loved one, color in an adult coloring book, write a story, sew something, or make a collage—the possibilities are endless.
Have a beautification night. Put on a hydrating face mask and paint your nails. Light aromatic candles. Take a long shower or hot bath. Do a little meditating. Drink soothing tea. Pretend you're at a spa. If your budget allows, have a masseuse come to your house.
Who says you can't have a productive Friday night? If you're motivated to clean out your closet or go through the crowded drawers in your kitchen or finally declutter your room, do it. More power to you. Start in a small area and see how much you can accomplish before calling it a night.
Phone a Friend
If you have a friend or relative who lives in another city, state, or country, reach out to them and set up a phone call, Skype chat, or FaceTime. Mix up a martini and have a virtual toast while you catch up and reconnect.
Have a Movie Marathon
One way to spend a Friday night at home that rarely gets old: in front of the television. Binge-watch a show you've been wanting to start or catch up the shows you missed during the week. If you're more into movies, pick a director, style of film, or actor, and have a marathon. Spend your evening with Sandra Bullock and watch The Proposal, While You Were Sleeping, and Practical Magic.
Turn on your favorite Janet Jackson or Whitney Houston playlist and have a dance party, or do a workout. Search YouTube for Tracy Anderson or Autumn Calabrese of Beachbody, and you'll definitely get your sweat on.
Play a Game
Challenge yourself to a good old-fashioned game of Solitaire, or if word games are more your speed, break out some crossword puzzles or word searches. If you've always wanted to learn how to read tarot cards, now would be the perfect time. Surprise your friends with your newfound clairvoyance at your next get-together.
Bring the Outside In
You probably have a few potted houseplants dotting your space, so why not taking your growing skills one step further by making your own terrarium or a kokedama? Stock up on the required materials, spread out some newspaper to corral the mess, and get your hands dirty. Not only will the actions of digging and planting bring on the zen vibes, you'll be left with a living, breathing piece of decor that'll (hopefully) last for a long time to come.
Go Online Shopping
Spend an evening in with your computer and peruse some of your favorite brands for their latest offerings. You can catch up on the latest trends—whether that means home décor styles or fashion looks—and buy away. It's much easier than spending your Saturday running around town looking for the perfect throw pillow, and in a few days, you'll have a package (or five) to open up at home.
Rearrange the Furniture
Few things are more satisfying than rearranging your furniture into a new layout. The simple activity can completely transform a space and it doesn't cost a penny to do. Choose a room and play around with the placement of your décor until it feels just right. Take the practice one step further and commit to rearranging the furniture based on feng shui principles to harness the energy you're craving.
This story was originally published on October 30, 2015, and has since been updated.