I miss those carefree days when you simply got to be a kid. You built snow forts in the backyard with your brother. You’d call your parents from the mall with 1-800 Collect. You weren’t looking down at your cell phone scrolling through Instagram, checking a CNN alert, or responding to a text with a laughing emoji. Maybe we all need to have phone breaks and recharge ourselves every once in a while.
Here are 10 fun ways to get the “duck” off your phone.
1. Get outside.
It’s fall, so enjoy the changing leaves. Go on a walk, and take in all your picturesque surroundings. Relaxing near a body of water will heal you, too. After just two minutes admiring nature, you’ll instantly feel reset.
2. Make a “gratitude list.”
I’m not saying that you need to be Tolstoy or Shakespeare to express yourself. Regardless of whether you’re the next bestselling author, make a list of three things for which you’re grateful. Carry it around with you, or put it somewhere it will catch your eye. One of the secrets to securing happiness is appreciating what we already have and writing is a wonderful way to reflect on the things that bring us joy.
3. Read… the old-school way.
Read… holding an actual book. Call me old-fashioned, but I love turning the pages of a real, livebook. (Yes, I even travel with hardcovers.) You will feel a sense of accomplishment when you reach that last page and close the story— you finished!
4. Communicate in-person.
Stop butchering the English language via text, and instead, converse with a friend or coworker. Brush past the, “How are you?” small talk, and move toward something authentic. Surface-level conversation isn’t always satisfactory. People want to share their experiences. We all have an inherent human need to connect, and communication is even more profound in person.
If I work out with my trainer or take an exercise class, I’m offline for one whole hour. My cell phone is face-down, I’m in my own zone, and no one can reach me. Unplugging to exercise is freeing. In these moments, the only thought I have on my mind is, “Why the F is a minute on a treadmill so freaking long?”
6. Discover a new hobby.
Find a new craft. If you’ve always wanted to be an artist or photographer, take a leap of faith, and sign up for a course. Join a group that matches your interests. Volunteer your time. Involve yourself in the community. Engage with people with diverse points of view. Immerse yourself in something that’s totally outside your comfort zone. When we’re uncomfortable, we really grow and evolve.
7. Cook for yourself.
Believe me, I’m not a chef, but I do dabble in the culinary arts. Head to your favorite grocery store, grab a piece of salmon or beef, throw some teriyaki marinade over it, and broil for 15 minutes. While you’re at it, toss some veggies next to it. You’ll be so impressed with yourself. (Alright, you can share your final product on your Instagram story later).
8. Organize your living space.
Rearrange your shoes, or start cleaning out your entire closet. It’s beyond invigorating to purge old clothes, and begin fresh. If you donate your extra items to those in need, you can even help others. (thredUP will send you a bag to fill with a return label included. It’s that easy. #NotAnAd).
9. Utilize USPS.
Send a meaningful card to someone whether it’s to cheer them up, congratulate them on a new job, or for no reason at all other than for them to know how special they are to you. Handwritten notes are so vintage but so thoughtful. One note goes a long way, and if you send one, you’re sure to make your friend cry happy tears!
Your life is constantly moving at warp speed, therefore take a moment each day to relax. Slow down and breathe. Close your eyes and exhale.
You’re probably reading this on your phone, but set it down anyways, and try one of my suggestions to unplug. Perhaps, learning to disconnect from the world will help us feel even more connected to each other.