Internet Snow Day: Activities that don't Require Screens
The other day, while glued to my phone and scrolling through Twitter, I saw this tweet that really struck a chord with me.
Damn, I felt that one in my heart. Honestly, I felt attacked. I feel like I’ve nearly said that exact tweet, word-for-word before. And by “before” I mean…almost every day.
It’s the sad reality of the world we live in today. I wake up, and I go on Instagram, Twitter or Reddit before I even get out of bed. I use my phone as I get ready, and then stay glued to it until I’m at work. Then I work on my laptop and desktop computer for 8-9 hours. I come home, drained from work, and hop on my laptop to watch YouTube or turn on the TV to watch a show. And then as I fall asleep, I usually scroll through Reddit or Buzzfeed.
The more I think about it, the more I’m truly terrified. Fuck man, I’m looking at screens all the time. This can’t be good for me. I imagine it’s similar to when everyone thought smoking was fine for your health a few decades ago.
I wanted to make a change after reading that tweet, and found myself still thinking about it even after a few weeks went by.
The only issue was - I didn’t know what the hell else to fill my time with. The main reason I like being on screens is because I get so much joy from them! I love going on Reddit. I like watching ASMR and YouTube videos. It’s a quick fix to recharge my battery after a long day of work. What else can I do that will bring me the same level of joy, but without the glow of a screen?
So I did some research, chatted with friends, and came up with the below list.
Here are 22 things you can do - at home, by yourself - that don’t involve using any screens:
Go for a walk (for real, just get out of the house for 10 minutes)
Do a puzzle
One of my favorites: Listen to a podcast while
Putting on lotion
Plucking your eyebrows
Clipping your toenails and cleaning your nasty ass feet
Getting rid of stuff that you don’t need in your closet
Do one of those coloring books - or if you’re hyperactive like me, get an activity book instead, where you can do crosswords, mazes and things of that kind along with coloring. (Yes, I’m basically a grown toddler)
Buy a magazine and read it. I could say book - but I feel like the only time millennials settle in to read a book is while on a beach, during vacation, once a year. But going to your local bodega, buying a magazine filled with gossip or sports or something you wouldn’t normally buy, and reading that is framed as more of a treat in your mind than a book is. Give it a shot!
Call someone you love. I like to call my grandparents, or a friend who lives across the country. Parents and grandparents will almost always pick up and be free to chat, but sometimes if you’re calling a fellow millennial it helps to set a time in advance.
Re-arrange or decorate your apartment. This could be as simple as switching the pillows on two different chairs, or lighting an old candle that you’ve had in a drawer. Just mix things up a little bit!
Try and teach yourself to be ambidextrous
Read a Choose Your Own Adventure Book (remember how fun those were?)
Practice a make-up skill you’ve always been too scared to try. Give lip liner a whirl! Try a cool cat eye. Attempt a smokey eye…but good luck, I don’t think I’ve ever done a good smokey eye in my life.
Learn a dance routine on YouTube
Make muffins! Deadass. Not this “cook a meal” advice. Make muffins. Because you can essentially turn that into making cupcakes - if you feel like that - or making them something healthy if that’s what you prefer.
“5 things” - Go out somewhere, or even just sit in a certain spot in your apartment, and write down 5 things that you’ve never noticed before.
Make your own list of things to do without screens! You might find some new activities that surprise you, I know I did!
The last method I want to leave you with is the Zooey Deschanel/Jessica Day method. Jessica Day is a character (played by Zooey Deschanel) from the show New Girl. Jessica is similar to all of Zooey’s characters - she’s a bit of a manic-pixie dream girl, someone scrapbooks, knits, and likes to make tea. Watch a couple episodes of New Girl (I’ll allow you to watch screens this time haha) and you’ll get her vibe pretty soon.
Whenever I’m looking for something to do, I channel Jessica Day. Jessica Day wouldn’t scroll on Twitter for hours. She wouldn’t play iPhone games for 3 hours straight. She definitely wouldn’t lurk on Facebook.
She would cook a meal, and make up a dance routine and talk to her roommates and maybe sew some clothes or something like that.
So there you have it! 22 suggestions for things to do sans screen, and also a TV show recommendation because you might need to slowly ween yourself off the screen ;)
Catch you for the next one,