Have you ever been looking at your smartphone for so long you didn’t realise the sun went down? There are actually so many productive activities you can do that will allow you to cleanse your mind and ease your soul, without the need for a screen in front of your face. We often get so wrapped up in our smartphones and technologies, we neglect the fact that we can actually do activities that don’t involve our phones at all.
So, when was the last time you did an activity that didn’t include looking at your phone? When you last went on a run or went to the gym, did you use your phone to listen to music – to time your workout? When did you last cook something without consulting an app for the recipe?
The blue light and looking at screens for too long can actually have negative effects to your mental health, your brain functionality and can even cause low vision. If you’re guilty of constantly looking at your phone in your downtime, or using your phone to do other activities, then it’s definitely time to change your habits.
To help you get started or to show you what kinds of activities you might be attracted to start trying, we’ve compiled this list of productive, active, fun and creative activities that you might be implement into your regular weekly routine or even daily routine. It’s important to practice some digital resistance, and with these activities you can practice it with ease and creativity.
1. Read a Book
I’m not talking about the kind you find on your Kindle, on Amazon or any other type of e-reader. As a student of a writing degree, I’ve always loved reading the tangible book and preferred it over reading on my phone. But regardless, reading a novel or any other kind of book in the tangible form can be extremely good rest for your eyes.
Screens can cause your eyes to become tired quite quickly, but if you hold a book in your hands, you suddenly feel much more relaxed. I also love going to my University library and browsing through the collections to find something of interest. It is actually extremely relaxing and can be an amazing way to take a break from your phone.
Cooking can be extremely relaxing and you can be extremely creative while doing it too. When you cook, you’re able to focus completely on the task at hand, and the desire to look at your phone is a lot slimmer.
If there’s a recipe you’d like to try, I would urge you to find it a dandy little old cookbook. This limits you from having to look at your phone while cooking if you retrieve the recipe online.
3. Do a Jigsaw Puzzle
I’m not sure if anyone shares my interest, but I love getting out a 1000 piece puzzle to take some time away from screens and my phone. Engaging in a puzzle allows you to use both logical and problem solving thinking, because you are forced to separate dozens of pieces by colour to create one larger piece.
Maybe I’m a little bit of an old soul, which is why all these activities are what my Grandma loved to do in her spare time. But gardening is one of those excellent activities that can be extremely relaxing but also active at the same time.
Gardening is also great if you wish to keep up a good physique. Raking the leaves, trimming the lawn, pruning and more can be great ways to stay active and get up from the couch from looking at your phone.
5. Thrift Store Shopping
Of course you could do just do a regular shopping outing, but going to a thrift store, a second hand shop or opportunity shop is a great way to get out of the house and avoid looking at your phone or any type of screen.
When you go to a thrift store, you’ll easily find things from the past that might spark your interest. You might find some old dress patterns, an old furniture piece you could rework or paint, old books that fit your favourite genre, or even some cute clothes that you won’t have to pay full price for.
6. Fruit Picking
If you’ve never gone out to an orchard to pick your favourite fruit, you really are missing out. Now that the Fall season has arrived in the USA, you can go apple picking or pumpkin picking during this harvest time. Take some friends, sing “Oh Shine on Harvest Moon” and pick the most gorgeous red delicious apples you can find.
This is one of those vague activities to indulge in, I do agree, but what I mean by this is to find an exercise activity that you enjoy. Not everyone enjoys going to the gym, not everyone likes going for a run and not everyone likes to go rock climbing. Try out different physical activities, and figure out which of them you really enjoy.
You could try riding a bike, swimming, skipping, yoga or pilates. Just some sort of physical activity that gets you on your feet. When you exercise your body releases happy hormones, which helps you to feel relaxed and replenished after you’ve finished. You’ll also look and feel great, so really it’s a win win situation!
8. Get Musical
If you were ever musical at all, say you played the piano when you were younger, this is a great time to spend some of your time revisiting your past hobby. Even if you’ve never been musical before, play some of your favourite songs from your high school days or earlier, and sing them out to your heart’s content.
Singing makes you extremely happy especially when the songs you sing hold a special place in your heart … Well, my favourite song to sing is Baby One More Time from Britney Spears or Barbie Girl from Aqua, so it’s no wonder I’m always happy when I sing!
9. Write Something
Let your mind go crazy with one of the most versatile activities on this list. Take out a notebook and plan a short story, journal your thoughts, write some poetry, practice calligraphy, lettering or even write a to-do list. But taking the time away from your phone and using pen and paper to write down your thoughts will give your mind the rest it needs.
Make a list of the things you’d love to do this week, what you hope to achieve by the end of the year, the most important things to do before you finish your degree and more. Just use the pen and the paper to write it all out and get away from that screen!
10. Go for a Drive
This is one of those activities that actually require you to stay completely away from your phone – probably the only one in this list to be precise. And if you have ever glanced at your phone or used your phone while driving, please stop that right now. Be careful for goodness sake!
If you’ve ever dreamed of driving up to that lookout or finding that hidden beach, this is the perfect opportunity to drive up there. Listen to your favourite music, pull the windows down, drive up to that new spot, and maybe take a few friends with you for the ride.
If you’ve ever felt like you’re in need of a social media break, a screen break or technology break, these activities are sure to help you out of that rut. Have you ever tried to do a digital cleanse or detox before? Let us know in the comments down below.
Feature image source: pinterest.com
I am an aspiring writer, editor and photographer.I am passionate about old media, especially worn books, black-and-white films and scratchy records. I seek to make sense of my imagination through poetry, words and art.