If you’re like me, resting is hard right now. We are slowly crawling our way out of this pandemical life. But we’re definitely still in it in many ways. When the weekend rolls around, I just want a slice of normalcy. And because I can’t have it, I tend to distract myself with productivity. This, as I’m sure you’re aware, entirely defeats the purpose of the weekend.

With so much empty space in our lives, it is natural to use busyness to run away from that feeling. For me, it’s hard to keep track of who is in town, who is quarantining, and who is seeing people. By the time the weekend rolls around, I’d rather shower with a bear than get on one more bless-ed video call. But setting up any irl hangouts can be complicated.

I have a couple of friends with whom I have standing plans each weekend for some sort of hang out, as long as they’re in town. If you’re single, it’s important to set up these kinds of arrangements to take a layer of complication out of the process. But outside of that time, maybe you’re also tired of having to think of things to do.

Here are eight un-productive things to do this weekend when you just can’t anymore.

Listen to a new podcast.

Myths and Legends is one of the few podcasts I listen to religiously. It is ridiculous, and yet also kind of nerdy. I’m a mythology junky, and Jason’s snarky story-telling makes me giggle. Check out this episode on Mulan.

If you’re looking for something a bit more soulful, check out The Next Right Thing. Emily P. Freeman is an incredible thinker and story-teller, and her voice is very soothing. Every episode feels like a deep breath. One of my favorites is 128: Use Your Reimagination.

If you’re single and feeling lonely, check out this episode of my podcast with Terry Stokes. We only geek out about liturgy for a little bit, but we also talk about community, loneliness, and singleness in leadership. Terry will become your new favorite person.

Check out a fun show

If you’re like me, it can feel like you’ve streamed everything under the sun. These three shows are on Netflix and are utterly delightful.

I adore Somebody Feed Phil. Phil (producer for Everybody Loves Raymond) loves food and he loves people. On this show, he travels to cities around the world eating amazing food and making friends. He is just a delightful human, and his reactions to the food he tastes are pure gold. This show is the definition of wholesome.

If you’re looking for something hilarious with spicy language, check out Derry Girls. I devoured this show. It is hilarious in spite of the serious backdrop. It follows a group of high school girls living in Northern Ireland during the turbulence of Northern Ireland conflict. The accents are so Irish; the characters are gloriously awkward and rambunctious. 

For the competition show enthusiasts, I think you’ll love Blown Away. I randomly started watching it and immediately got hooked. The world of glass-blowing is fascinating and, like any artistic field, full of personalities. I texted my friend who is a glassblower while watching, and it was extra entertaining to get her hot takes. 

Read something non-productive

As a non-fiction writer, I am a strong believer in the power of books to provide practical help for our big and small dilemmas and dramas. But when you’re trying to rest, try something outside of the self-help or development genre. 

American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin by Tarrance Hayes is just gorgeous. I don’t read nearly as much poetry as I should, but this little book by Hayes (winner of like a million awards including a MacArthur Fellowship). This book includes seventy poems, all with the same title, and it is stunning.

This Is Just Exactly Like You by Drew Perry is a novel that I devoured. Drew was actually my teacher for the only Creative Writing class I took in college. This book is a little dark and quirky, but is so well written and has moments of grace and humor. The characters are just so human. Basically, it’s about a dude whose wife leaves him and their six-year-old autistic son when he buys a second house across the street from where they live. She moves in with his best friend. Then he starts seeing his best friend’s ex. It’s a whole thing and a half and so well done. 

There are a few things to get you started. But I’m always on the lookout for new things! I’d love for you to drop a comment and let me know what your favorite un-productive things are!