Do you ever just feel like you are transferring from screen to screen all day? You wake up in the morning and check your phone. Then you go to work and turn on your computer. You check your phone throughout the day during your breaks. You come home from work and turn on your tablet to finish up some more emails. Then you finally turn on the TV screen to wind down for the evening.
Does some semblance of this sound familiar to you?
Now may be a time to give your brain a break. We are becoming so wired as a society to rely on technology and our screens that we are forgetting there is life outside of the screen. I know that there are times I may reach for a screen activity and it could be due to boredom.
Boredom is a precursor to creativity.
So the next time you feel boredom creep in, allow yourself the space to be bored so that your mind can wander and find an activity that fosters more creativity. When we allow ourselves the space to think and become creative then we won’t fall prey to overexposure of screen time. Studies have actually shown that there is damage that is done to children’s brains when exposed to screens for too long.
Below are a few ideas to get you refocused on other areas of life that don’t necessarily rely on a screen.
Read a book
This might seem like one where you think to pick up your Kindle but instead of reading an electronic version of your current book, pick up an old-fashioned paperback by taking a trip to your library or even a local bookstore. I recently discovered BookPeople in Austin, Texas and it’s been so fun to go up and down the aisles discovering and browsing books that I hadn’t heard of before.
Explore a local area
You don’t have to go spend money if you’re a mindful shopper but rather than online shopping or online browsing, why not go to your local shopping centers or local hiking areas, get your steps in, see what’s new in your neighborhood, and who knows maybe you’ll end up supporting a local business in the process. Exploring your neighborhood can be an adventurous way for you to spark curiosity with the world around you.
Write in a journal
Writing isn’t for everyone but if you do tend to journal or write out notes digitally, try doing so with paper and pen. Studies have shown that writing by hand increases your memory, retention and understanding. There are journal prompts you can follow on my YouTube channel.
Color in an adult coloring book
I started doing this during the pandemic and it is such a soothing hobby! When I feel anxious or my mind is racing it’s comforting to focus in on what is in front of me. It also brings me back to childhood a bit.
Declutter and organize your home
An organized physical space organizes the thoughts and overwhelm you may be feeling internally as well – I know it does for me. Try going through your toiletries and closet at first to see what you haven’t been using, what’s expired, and what you can donate.
Sketch or paint
Try your hand at sketching or painting by bringing out a sketchbook, colored pencils or water colors. That may not be your thing but have you tried it? Sometimes we say something isn’t our ‘thing’ but we can surprise ourselves when we expand our minds to the possibilities of trying something new.
Start a home garden
Being connected to nature brings a sense of peace and connectedness to the world around us but it also creates problem solving skills where you get to flex your creativity by seeing the best way to plot your veggies and plants in accordance to sunlight, shade, and other factors that affect the growth of your garden.
Go to an event
There are several local events that are listed on MeetUp.com or Eventbrite where you can connect with your local community in ways that you may not have thought of. I know I’m always seeing live music events that are being promoted in my area, perhaps there are interesting ways you can get involved with your community. There are also plenty of events that are centered around hobbies and learning a craft. Perhaps now is the time to sharpen your photography skills or taking an improv class – the possibilities are endless!
Do any of these spark your interest? What are screen free activities could you consider to give your eyes and brain a break?