Simple ways to spend more time offline | Words by Abi Rose
Photo by Hannah Barker
Whether it’s for work or play, studies show we spend nearly almost all of our waking hours starting at screens.
While the digital world can cultivate community and provide oodles of inspiration, scientists believe it’s best to take regular breaks.
How to tell if you’re ready for screen break
When does social media become an unhealthy obsession? Here’s a handy checklist to keep you on track:
- you compare yourself to bloggers, celebrities and brands
- you get a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out) seeing what loved ones are up to
- you spend time looking at social media profiles of people you don’t actually like – your old boss, an ex-partner or that school bully you’d rather forget
- social media starts to interrupt downtime – your phone is out at meals, meetings and even the cinema. Shh!
- you find it hard to wind down – looking at your phone late at night and first thing in the morning
If you do one or more of these things regularly, it’s time to reconnect with the real world. From protecting your privacy by deleting a profile (or two) to helping you live in the moment (without taking snaps for Instagram) there’s loads of benefits to living life offline. Here’s how you can start today…
Pop your devices away and get your arty materials out. Painting, drawing, doodling and sketching are some of the most effective ways to keep yourself occupied offline. Adult colouring books have been proven to ease stress while bright watercolours can help to improve your hand eye coordination. Who knows, you may even discover a hidden talent.
Soak up some nature
We’re so used to pounding the pavement with our headphones in, it seems alien to head out of the door without them. But science proves ‘forest bathing’ (the act of spending time in nature without any devices) is great for improving your mood and your general wellbeing.
Nature walks are also an effective way to get the whole family involved in a device-free day. Tear your teenagers away from Snapchat and your little ones way from the iPad and head off for a day of hiking or biking (with no Instagram liking in sight).
Learn a new skill
Calligraphy, fencing, saxophone playing and kayaking. We’ve all got those weird and wonderful hobbies we gave up on way too soon. So why not give them another go? Having an unusual hobby can help to boost your confidence, broaden your friendship network and get the conversation going at get-togethers.
Book on to a pottery or poetry course, learn a new language or take up horse riding, soon your diary will be filled with activities that don’t require a phone in hand. And if letterpress or bookbinding is your thing, we know a little studio you can visit…
Sometimes the solution is right on your doorstep.
Start by volunteering with animals, young people and the elderly to get that feel-good feeling you don’t get from scrolling through Twitter (find local opportunities here).
Next, look for fun local events to pop along to – and leave your phone at home. Right here in Derbyshire we have the awesome Storytelling Cafe in Matlock, quirky creative groups at Scarthin Bookshop in Cromford and the super-lovely Mama Meet and Market events in Derby. How’s that for starters?
How do you detox digitally?
We want to hear how you make the most of your screen break. Whether you pop along to our workshops, meet with a friendly book club or have a favourite fitness class, share your digital detox tips with us on Instagram and we’ll share them with our wonderful followers.
About the author
Abi Rose is a marketing consultant, social media manager and writer from the Peak District. She loves working with fearless indie brands and enjoys living life at a slower pace. Follow her on Instagram or take a look at her website.
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