Whether it's five minutes or several hours, spending time away from your phone can be tremendously helpful for your mental and physical health. It's no secret that smartphone usage is way up in 2023, and many of us have an extraordinarily hard time tearing ourselves away from our mobile devices.
But hear us out: With the right activity ideas in your back pocket, you want even have the urge to open Instagram or scroll through Facebook. Don't believe us? Once you read through these 12 options, you'll be convinced.
What To Do Instead Of Being On Your Phone
1. Buy yourself flowers
Is there anything better than a fresh, beautiful bouquet of flowers sitting on your kitchen counter? We certainly don't think so, so if you're trying to find something that will take you away from the urge to spend time on your phone, go out and buy yourself a bouquet at your local florist. If you want flowers that will last longer, check out these stunning dried flowers at Love Adorned. Just don't give in to the urge to post a picture of them on Instagram!
2. Play a board game
Sure, there's no shortage of games on your phone. But when was the last time you tried playing a physical game, with other people? Set up a game night—or wrangle your family—and try playing Monopoly, Settlers of Catan, Scrabble, Charades, the list goes on.
3. Try a new hobby
Do you keep saying you want to learn to play piano? Take a pottery class? Try yoga? If you want to spend less time on your phone, taking up a new hobby is an excellent place to start. As long as it doesn't involve your phone, of course.
Try taking up piano.
4. Go for a bike ride
If you live somewhere where it's not completely freezing right now, take yourself out on a bike ride. The cool, crisp breeze and feeling of your heart pumping and your legs working will make you forget all about your phone.
5. Start a book club
If you're already part of a book club, great! Start reading your assigned book for the month, or go to meeting. If you're not part of a book club, there's no time like the present to start one. You may be surprised how many people will be up for it, and you can't be on your phone while you're reading—so that's a great bonus.
6. Engage in any kind of physical activity
Not only will physical activity keep you off the phone—for the most part—but it will make you feel happier (there's research to back this up!) and help you get fitter. So if riding a bike isn't your thing, go for a run, walk, dance around your living room, or try an online HIIT workout.
It's pretty much impossible to spend time on your phone while you're running.
Gardening can be an incredibly therapeutic, calming activity—so if you're looking for something to do that will take you away from your phone, try gardening. While classic, outdoor gardening is rewarding and relaxing, you can also buy plotted pants or plant an indoor herb garden. The sky's the limit!
8. Have a meaningful conversation with someone you care about
These days, meany of us resort to text or email as our primary form of communication. But once you put your phone away and spend time with someone face-to-face, you'll realize just how rewarding your interaction is, and how easy it is to have a meaningful conversation. If you're having a hard time arranging an in-person meeting, call someone you love. When you're actually on the phone you're not using your screen, so it doesn't count!
9. Plan a fun activity
Planning something fun can evoke feelings of excitement and joy, so get to work. Plan a dinner party, plan to host brunch, plan a vacation. Your planning options are endless, and planning can be a form of dreaming, so enjoy every moment.
Why not plan a vacation?
10. Engage in self-care
You knew this one was coming: Spend some time taking care of yourself, no phones allowed. Take a bath, write in your bullet journal, take a nap, sit down and binge-read a book. There are a million options for self-care, and very few of them involve spending time on your phone.
11. Have a phone-free movie night
There's no much great TV and so many good movies out there, but so often they only get about 50% of our attention because we're also on our phones. Sound familiar? If so, plan a phone-free movie night with friends or on your own. You can eat all the popcorn and candy you want during it—the only rule is that your phone needs to stay in another room. You'll enjoy the movie (or movies) a lot more that way. Trust us.
12. Engage in your child's activity with them
If you're a parent, you're probably so busy taking care of the everyday tasks like cooking, cleaning, making sure your kids get to school, do their homework—the list goes on and on—that you don't think about actually spending time involving yourself in their activities.
Kids tend to get very immersed in what they're doing, and this can serve as an inspiration for anyone looking to spend less time on their phone. Get involved with them in imaginative play, color with them, climb a play structure. You may be surprised by how easy it is to get into these activities.
While it's not always easy to tear yourself away from your phone, these activities are a great starting point. We believe you can do it!
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