15 Things to Do at Home Other Than Streaming Netflix

For when your brain starts to feel mushy from never-ending binge watching.

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We've all fallen down the all-to-familiar Netflix rabbit hole. You kick back at the end of a hectic work day, a glass of wine in hand, assuring yourself that you'll only watch one episode, maybe two. But "just one episode" quickly turns into one season and, before you know it, it's 2 a.m. and you're contemplating starting yet another next season. And after falling into this routine day after day, eventually your brain will beg you to do something — literally anything — else. Luckily, there are tons of things to do at home that don't involve television, including activities that can strengthen your cognitive functions and sharpen your memory. Whether you'd rather teach yourself a new language, put together a 2,000 piece puzzle, or try to recreate your favorite Monet painting, there are plenty of ways to unwind at the end of the day without reaching for the remote.

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1 Practice Your Knit Stitch
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Dust off your knitting needles and get a head start on holiday gifts — no one can resist a handmade scarf.

2 Cook a Meal From Scratch
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When was the last time you made a meal completely from scratch? We're going to venture to say it's been a while. Pull out a delicious recipe you've been dying to try and spend some time preparing the best meal your family has ever had.

3 Paint a Masterpiece
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It's okay if you're no Van Gogh — just let your creativity flow and let the brush strokes fall where they may.

4 Organize Your Home
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Clutter can lead to stress and impact your productivity, so take some time to clean up and put things in order. Plus, it's way more meditative of a task than you realize.

5 Redecorate a Room in Your House
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You've always hated the color of your bathroom — so why not actually do something about it? Other rooms might need some love, too.

6 Start an Herb Garden
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Whether you want to go all out and start digging up the back yard or would rather start small with a windowsill garden, you'll feel an acute sense of accomplishment every time you can add your home-grown herbs to a meal.

7 Send Your Friends and Family Handwritten Letters
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Everyone loves getting mail — so be the one to surprise and delight your friends and family with a personalized note, just because?

8 Get Lost in a Good Book
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You know that thriller all your friends have been raving about? Now's the time to check out what all the buzz is about.

9 Learn a New Language
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There are so many ways to teach yourself that language you've been interested in — for instance, Rosetta Stone offers in-depth learning software in 24 different languages that range in subscription length, from 6 months to two years, while Duolingo's free app offers bite-sized lessons daily in your language of choice.

10 Try an At-Home Workout
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Whether you try out a new workout DVD, queue up an instructional yoga video, or just want to stick to a simple routine of sit-ups and crunches, you'll feel better after getting your blood pumping.

11 Put Together a Puzzle
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There's something almost cathartic about assembling a huge puzzle, trying to find the pieces that fit together seamlessly. Clear off your dining room table or hunker down on the living floor and get to work putting together a masterpiece.

12 Host a Family Game Night
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Turn off the TV and break out the board games, but be warned — pull out the Monopoly board and bickering will ensue.

13 Exercise Your Brain Muscle with a Crossword Puzzle
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Not only are crosswords a great way to pass the time, but they're good for your cognitive health, too: research has found the more regularly adults completed crosswords and number puzzles, the better their brain function.

14 Listen to a Podcast
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Think of the topics you find most interesting — and there's likely a podcast about it. Whether you're into true crime, World War II history, or economics, there's something out there for you.

15 Challenge Yourself to a Game of Solitaire
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When was the last time you played a game of solitaire with actual cards instead of through an app on your phone? Brush up on the rules, grab an old deck of cards, and get playing.

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