We're living in an age where technology has never been more intelligent, responsive and helpful in our daily lives. I mean, how did people even get around before Google Maps? While we're advocates of the incredible advancements humans have made in the world of tech, there is such a thing as too much. In a constantly-connected society, our devices can leave us vulnerable to feelings of anxiety and the dreaded FOMO (fear of missing out) if we aren't careful. To truly reflect on what's happening in our lives and maintain a sense of reality, powering down every now and then is necessary for all of us. If you're in need of some ideas of how to spend your screen-free time, here are twenty-one free activities to try.
1. Start a journal
A great way to reflect on your life—whether it's work or relationships—is to begin writing in a personal journal. You can spend as little or as much time you'd like, but the act of putting pen to paper helps to get out any thoughts you've been holding on to and can help to clear your mind.
2. Read a book
I'm the first to say I'm guilty of buying a new book with the best of intentions only to let it sit on the shelf for weeks before I even touch it again. When you've got distractions from your phone, laptop and TV constantly grabbing your attention, you're bound to give in and get caught up in the endless content cycle. Without them though, you'll feel free to get lost in a novel without any worries. Add in your favourite tea and you've got a tech-free afternoon sorted.
3. Cook a meal
When you're feeling busy, one of the last things you feel like doing is taking time to prepare a meal for yourself. While we know that eating fresh homemade food is ideal, it can seem like a hard task sometimes. A technology break is a perfect time to grab the cookbook and unleash your culinary skills at home. Even a simple breakfast will leave you with a feeling of accomplishment.
4. Take a walk
Spending time outdoors is really beneficial for our overall wellbeing, with as little as fifteen minutes of sunlight shown to increase our mood. Use the time you might have otherwise spent scrolling Instagram or browsing the new arrivals page on ASOS to get out into the world, even if it's just to the corner store and back.
5. Get creative
The humdrum of everyday life can leave even the best of us feeling flat and downright exhausted. It means that creative passions like painting or photography, for example, can get swept aside in favour of emails or social media. If there's something you've always wanted to try, a break in tech is the time to explore.
6. Grow something
The satisfaction of growing something and nurturing it with your own hands is an amazing feeling. Whether it's a simple veggie patch or an indoor jungle, getting your hands dirty will leave you feeling grounded and more connected to the natural world around you.
If you haven't already Marie Kondo'd your life, try taking a couple of hours you would normally spend watching TV or consuming media and apply it to organising your wardrobe. You can break it up into blocks over as much time as you need, but it's a therapeutic way to spend your tech-free downtime.
8. Wash your sheets
Some people reading this might not describe washing sheets as an activity, but we believe one of life's greatest pleasures is sleeping in fresh bed linen. Take advantage of your free time by sprucing up your bedroom—you'll feel like a domestic goddess.
9. Set goals
If you become stuck in a daily routine, life can become a bit mundane. It's vital to take stock of where you're at and where you want to go every now and then to keep yourself accountable and to make sure the decisions you make are all assisting you to achieve your goals. You'll need to set those goals first, and a clear mind free of notifications is needed.
10. Take a bath
A warm bath filled with your favourite aromatic oils is the perfect place to relax and unwind. Add in the scent of your favourite candle and some soul-soothing music and you'll forget all about your unread emails.
It's been proven time and time again that by setting aside space and time for daily meditation can drastically improve our wellbeing and reduce stress. Instead of checking your phone as soon as you wake up, use your first few minutes to be still and set intentions for your day.
12. Take a nap
If you've only got twenty minutes spare to disconnect from your phone or device, consider a quick power nap. You'll feel refreshed, alert and motivated by keeping it short and sweet. Make sure you've turned your phone off to avoid being disturbed.