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. You might want to hunker down and learn a new skill that you haven't already mastered, get organized and go through that junk closet that's been staring you down for a year, or give a long lost friend a call to keep your at-home plans a little more social...without actually, you know, being social.
To inspire you, we've come up with a list of 20 awesome things to do on a Friday night in, from R&R to cardio. Read on for the full list.
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, or follow a recipe you haven't tried to learn how to make a new dish. Take advantage of this concentrated time at home to attempt to glean everything there is to know about a category that you haven't yet mastered.
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 outside of the confines of home. 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 because, after all, 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—like a batch of snickerdoodles to bring to a friend or make 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.
If you have trouble dozing off on the regular, consider trying a sleep app like Sleep Cycle that will not only track your habits, but also has an alarm feature that will gradually wake you up when your body is naturally doing so already.
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 alredy 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, paint your nails, light aromatic candles, and take a long shower or a hot bath. You might even want to do a little meditating or drink soothing tea and pretend you're at a spa. If your budget allows, you might even indulge and 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 out of town, reach out 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 is in front of the television. Binge-watch a show you've been wanting to start or catch up on 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, 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 a 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 kokedam (Japanese moss ball)? 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, but you'll also 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.
Make a List
Even if you're not ready to conquer anything you put down (that's for next weekend...), it will make you feel so much more organized to start a list of everything you need—or want!—to do. And, after all, if you feel more organized, you won't only be more productive, but also more calm.
Join a Foster Program
Even if you're not ready for a pet that's with you all the time, there are plenty of pet foster programs that need extra help on the weekends. It will give you purpose and a little company for a few days at home alone.
Catch up on Magazine Reading
If your subscriptions have been piling up, there's no time like the present to conquer the stack. You don't have to pick up a Victorian novel to make headway and spend the weekend reading. And all you need is a cozy couch!
Even if it's only five minutes a day, carve out a meditation space in your home and take the opportunity to start a new routine. Apps like Headspace will also help you start small.
Watch the Sunset
Pick a great window in your house and set yourself up for the daily activity that you never take full advantage of. Even though you might be temped to pull out your phone and take a few photos, try hard to disconnect and live in the moment—if only for half an hour.