Mental Health

Tired of staring at a screen all day? Try these 5 feel-good activities instead

Posted by
Lauren Geall
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5 things to do instead of staring at your phone all day.

Thanks to lockdown-induced boredom and a rise in the number of us working from home, screen usage is at an all-time high right now. Here’s why you should take a break from screens this weekend – and 5 activities to do instead.

If you’re working from home on a laptop at the moment, chances are you’re spending more time than ever looking at a screen.

While working in the office often means getting up at regular intervals throughout the day to go to the bathroom, attend a meeting or make a cup of tea, when we’re working from home, all of this is reduced to a maximum two minute break every couple of hours. Without the atmosphere of the office to break up your day, staring at a laptop for hours on end is all too easy.

Add the amount of time we spend scrolling endlessly through social media to curb some of our lockdown-induced boredom or checking for the latest news updates, and we’re faced with a pretty significant dilemma.

With this in mind, it’s more important than ever that we take time away from our screens this weekend and give ourselves a well-earned break, especially because the coronavirus outbreak has led to heightened levels of anxiety and stress for many of us. 

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After all, excessive amounts of screen time have previously been proven to disrupt our sleep and lead to poor mental health, so taking a proper period of time away from your phone and laptop is even more vital during this difficult period.

So without further ado, here’s five things you can do this weekend to get away from your phone or laptop screen and enjoy a proper digital detox. 

1. Binge a podcast series

Woman listening to a podcast
How to reduce your screen time: listen to a podcast.

Ok, ok, so you do technically have to use a screen to listen to a podcast, but once you’ve got it playing you can just sit back and enjoy.

Luckily there are plenty of podcasts out there with hundreds of episodes just waiting for you to tune in, whether you’re interested in hearing more from your favourite celebrities, learning more about self-care or having a good old laugh.

There are even series you can devour in one weekend. 

2. Organise your wardrobe

If the inside of your wardrobe looks like it’s been hit by a bombshell, now is the perfect time to give it a good sort out and donate or sell any pieces that you don’t need.

This seven-step guide to organising your clothing collection is a great place to start.

3. Get creative

If it’s been a while since you last picked up a pencil or paintbrush, why not give it a go this weekend? Getting creative not only allows you to switch off for a bit and take some time away from a screen, it’s also a great way to find some headspace and calm any feelings of anxiety you might be dealing with.

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Watercolour is probably a great place to start. There are plenty of guides and starter kits available to buy online which will talk you through the basics of watercolour painting and give you the tips and tricks you need to get started – something like New Botanical Painting by Harriet de Winton is a great introduction to the artform. 

If you don’t have any watercolour paints or paintbrushes lying around at home, places like Amazon and Cass Art offer online delivery so you can pick up the basic tools.

4. Flex your culinary muscles

A woman cooking
How to reduce screen time: get cooking.

You don’t have to be an experienced chef to have some fun in the kitchen, so why not test your culinary skills this weekend and give some new recipes a go? 

Whether you want to bake your own bread or make yourself some tasty hot cross buns, there’s plenty of free (and simple) recipes out there to get you started – you could even have a go at recreating some of your favourite takeaway treats at home.

5. Take care of yourself

When we’ve got lots of time on our hand, for example, during a lockdown triggered by a global pandemic, it’s incredibly easy to whittle away the hours scrolling through social media – but how about using that time to give yourself a little TLC? 

Drink that water! Do that yoga! Have that bath! Scream those songs at the top of your lungs! Do whatever you need to make yourself feel a little bit special – you deserve it.

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Main image: May van Millingen

Images: Pexels/Unsplash


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Lauren Geall

As Stylist’s digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and work. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time.

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