Better ways to spend your time than seeing that film
Unless you have been living under a rock, you will have heard about the ubiquitous Fifty Shades of Grey. The book and film have received widespread criticism for romanticising an abusive relationship. Fortunately, there are plenty of other options to entertain and pamper yourself instead of going to the cinema to see the film.
Contribute to the #50dollarsnot50shades campain Rather than spend money lining the pockets of the makers of Fifty Shades, make a contribution that actually helps women experiencing domestic violence. The #50dollarsnot50shades campaign encourages you to boycott the film, and instead donate the money you would have spent on a night out to a domestic violence shelter.
Get a massage Indulge yourself by getting a massage. Small massage parlours are common in shopping centres, so walk past the cinema and onto the masseuse's table.
Treat yourself to a massage rather than a problematic film. Image: Wikipedia.
Fancy a night out at the movies? There are plenty of new releases that might be more wholesome than Fifty Shades. Some currently showing movies you might like to see include spy film Kingsman, modern fairy tale Into the Woods, and comedy Dumb and Dumber To. Crime flick Blackhat starring Chris Hemsworth comes out soon, as does sci-fi film Project Almanac. Even the Backstreet Boys movie Show 'Em What You're Made Of, which has been released a good fifteen years after they have been relevant, is preferable to Fifty Shades.
Go on a walk You may wish Fifty Shades would take a hike, but no such luck. Perhaps you should try going on an adventurous walk instead. Go somewhere tranquil and drink in the views while getting active.
Read romantic fiction Claim some time for yourself and get lost in a good book. Some trashy romantic fiction without the power plays would go down quite nicely.
Go to a cocktail bar Your night out with the girls would be far more fun over drinks than in front of a screen. Skip the movies, and socialise over some delicious drinks in a cosy venue.
Meditate Set aside a block of time- it could be as little as ten minutes- in which to be mindful. Pay attention to your senses and push away troubling thoughts, then go about your day feeling calm and collected.
Get a manicure The nail technicians always seem to do a better job than your attempts at an at-home French manicure. Go to the salon and treat your claws to a new colour or design.
Bake a cake
In the time it takes you to watch a movie, you could have baked an entire cake from scratch. You could even start eating it in that time.
You were probably going to have a sneaky look at the shops on your way to the cinema anyway. Set yourself a budget and indulge in some retail therapy.
A session of yoga will help strengthen your body. Head to a yoga class where they will guide you through the poses. A casual class at most gyms or yoga centres will cost less than a film ticket, and you will feel serene afterwards.
When is the last time you let yourself be creative? Arm yourself with a canvas, a paintbrush and some watercolours, and see what you can create.
If your painting turns out ugly, you can always throw it out. Image: Wikipedia.
Call an old friend
We all have those neglected friendships. You may be too busy, and before you know it, years have flown by. Make the effort to pick up the phone and reconnect with an old friend.
For all but the fanciest cafes, brunch will set you back around the same amount of money as a movie ticket. Order whatever you want- even if it's the most gluttonous dish on the menu- and savour every bite.
Have a bath
Fill up the tub and finally use those essential oils. Soak yourself in the bath, preferably with a good novel, and don't emerge until you feel sufficiently relaxed.
This one requires some privacy, or the embarrassment may well kill you. Let your voice emerge from your body in any song of your choosing. It will feel cathartic, and you never know, you may be impressed with what your voice can do.
Online shop in bed
This is easiest with a tablet computer, but a smartphone or laptop will also do the job. Park yourself in bed, in your most comfortable pyjamas and surrounded by pillows, while you browse your favourite shops.
Listen to relaxing music
There is a playlist for every mood. Create your own playlist of relaxing songs, or listen to one that someone else has put together on a site like 8tracks.
Have a romantic movie marathon
Watch some old favourites that are bound to make you ugly cry. Think Titanic, The Notebook, and The Fault in Our Stars. Make sure to pick up some tissues on your way back from the video store.
Eat ice cream from the tub
Eating ice cream straight from the carton is perhaps more shameful than admitting you read Fifty Shades before it was all the rage. I won't tell if you won't.
Buy yourself some new underwear
Missing out on Fifty Shades does not mean you miss out on feeling desire. Treat yourself to some new underwear in which you will feel amazing.
Go to the tennis court
Dust off your racquet and pester a companion into playing tennis with you. This will satisfy your competitive side and is far more active than other things you could be doing, such as seeing a certain movie for instance.
Go to the dentist
Going to the dentist is few people's idea of a good time. Despite this, getting fillings may be more enjoyable than seeing Fifty Shades. You know you've been putting off your dentist appointment, and there is no time like now to do something about it.
Write a journal entry
Update your journal on what is going on in your life. Writing down how you feel, what you're thankful for, and what you would like to change will help you take stock of what is important.
Pump some iron
Head to the gym for a session on the weights. You'll feel accomplished afterwards.
Go bird watching
You do not need to be a bird watching enthusiast to appreciate the beauty of wildlife. Find a local park known for its bird populations, and take some time out to sit and observe.
Lie down in the sun
Whether at the beach or just in your backyard, stretch out and soak up the sun's warmth. Make sure to keep your session in the sun short, or wear sunscreen. Otherwise you may regret sunbaking when your skin is painfully peeling in a few days time.
Go on a date
Whether with your partner of many years or with someone you just happened to swipe right on, schedule a proper date. Just make sure it is not a movie date to see a certain film.
Make the perfect hot chocolate
There is an art to making a deliciously rich mug of cocoa. Try this recipe for a flawless hot chocolate.
Treat your skin
Spend some time taking care of yourself by making a DIY face mask. Try this honey and avocado face mask, which you can put together with ingredients from your kitchen.
Dust the cobwebs off your bicycle, and go on a low-intensity bike ride on a local track.
Go to an art gallery
Pick a gallery you haven't been to, and lose a few hours among the paintings and sculptures.
Walk by the beach
Go on a solitary walk along the sand for a relaxing and picturesque way to spend your afternoon.
A walk by the beach is always relaxing. Image: Wikimedia Commons.
Teach yourself to crochet
Try this YouTube tutorial to get you started on your new craft.
Poetry can evoke any emotion. If you don't have a favourite poet (yet), try this list of 500 top poems.
Live stream some wildlife
Observe animals without even leaving the house on a live streaming site such as Ustream.
Go berry picking
Take a few hours out of your day to go to a berry picking farm. This activity is best done with a companion, especially because you'll need someone to help you eat the berries afterwards.
Go to a sauna
There's nothing like sitting in a hot sauna or steam room to help you relax. Often this activity is reserved for after gym sessions, but there is no shame in skipping the workout.
Read a graphic novel
Comic books are not just for kids. Your local library is likely to carry a few graphic novels, pick one up and you might even find you enjoy reading it.
Make a pizza
Make a pizza exactly how you want it, with all your favourite toppings. Or, order a pizza if you're feeling extra lazy.
Chill out with a magazine
Magazines are a guilty pleasure. Pick up a copy of your favourite gossip rag and read all the salacious features.
Watch the sunset
Rug up and head to a lookout point to watch the sun go down. Or, if you like to be awake at hideous times, you could watch the sunrise.
Go to dinner by yourself
Going out for dinner alone is strangely liberating, and you don't have to worry about sustaining conversation with a mouth full of pasta. Also, nobody will be there to judge you for ordering dessert.
Go to a farmers' market
Your local farmers' market has plenty of delicious produce, not to mention samples. Once you have loaded up on fresh food at the market, go home and cook up a storm.
Read your favourite childhood book
Dig out your old favourite book, and give it a re-read. You may find that as an adult, you take a completely different message from it.
Have a nap
Napping is not the most interesting of activities, but it would still be preferable to seeing a certain film. A quick nap will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to tackle what's left of your day. Just don't make the mistake of napping for too long.
Buy yourself flowers
Go to the florist and pick up a bunch of your favourites, just because you can.
Try a new kind of coffee
Everyone has their favourite coffee order. Mix things up by ordering something you haven't had in awhile. Go to a coffee house where you know they make a good brew, and see if you can broaden your tastes.
Give yourself a foot massage
Learn to give yourself an amazing foot massage. Try this video tutorial for some tips as you learn what feels good for you.