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5 Things to do Instead of Looking at Your Screen

A guide on how to break up the endless scrolling with easy adaptations we can make in our everyday lives. 

Let’s face it- as a generation, we are completely glued to our phones. I’m not naming and shaming, everyone, including myself, relies single-handedly on using our phones for all matters of our lives. Whether it be for entertainment, information or just the ability to leave the house with a purpose or knowledge of where we are going and at what time, what bus station and how long it might take us to get from A to B. 

Long gone are the days of Yellow Pages, Map reading and spontaneously making relationships with strangers. It is now more probable that I know who your cousin went to school with before you even know what my name is.  

But as convenient as technology is now, there also comes downsides that are becoming a massive issue with how we communicate with one another as a species. We have been named the loneliest generation- down to social media and the lessening need to leave the house or socialize with people close to you. People have forgotten how to use basic instincts to get about in our society and contributed to a rapid decline in mental health statistics since 2012.  

We all need to start breaking up our screen time, and I have gathered 5 things you could easily take up in your routines to rebuild reality and give you a break from the grip of endless scrolling.  

  1. Reading 

Before you click off this article- hear me out! Reading does not always have to entail a big, complex book on politics or heavy fiction with tiny font. There is a book for everyone- whether it be fiction or non-fiction, pictures, or no pictures. Try and think outside of the box- a book could be suited to what you are doing at university, a book on fashion, or music. Try a kindle if you are looking for the mimic of a tablet. But even breaking up your evening with a couple of pages before you go to bed can improve your sleep and anxiety massively if you find yourself struggling to settle before bed. 

2. journaling

Journaling is something that is stressed massively in cognitive behavioral therapy and other aspects of mental health self-help. There is no right or wrong answer in journaling. It’s a relationship with yourself and your emotions. And journaling can be as long and as short as you desire. There are days where you might just want to write a sentence or two. Maybe even one word. But watching a notepad fill up with your current thoughts is a comforting way of looking back at times where you might have struggled or been successful and to see how far you’ve come from times where you might have felt alone or lost.  

3. Planning your day 

I know I am not alone in the art of filling time with social media. It’s easy to fall into the habit of doing a few tasks then sitting in bed on my phone for the rest of the day. Only to find myself restless and anxious when it comes down to falling asleep. By writing a checklist the night before, I can keep myself occupied with tasks and objectives throughout the day. And there is nothing more satisfying than ticking off the last task on the page and settling down with a feeling of accomplishment. Start with something easy, like making your bed, washing your dishes. Setting small goals that you know you can achieve will feel like less of a chore.  

  1. Take up a hobby 

Get creative with this one. A hobby does not have to necessarily cost a fortune or a massive amount of time. Cooking one new meal a week or doodling on a bit of paper can be a brilliant way to make life feel less repetitive. Find your interests and put them into practice. Crocheting clothes or accessories, writing film reviews, or doing a ten-minute mediation session all count as hobbies. No one is asking you to become a gym bunny or a professional footballer! Make your hobby comfortable and personal to you. 

  1. Buy a houseplant 

The perfect alternative to having pets. Houseplants need to be tended to and cared for just as much as you do. By having another sentient being in your life, you can learn from them, grow with them, find out their likes and dislikes. And don’t stop at one! Houseplants come in many different shapes and sizes, with unique needs and adjustments. If you find yourself capable of looking after one. You can fill your room. Not only do they mean you have responsibilities. But they brighten up the room and create breathable space. Watching something adapt and grow is a refreshing way of looking at the way we treat ourselves and others.  

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Lauren O'Meara Sims
Lauren O'Meara Sims
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