Most of us spend a lot of time in front of a screen. I study from a laptop. I work from a laptop.
And during my time off, I spend too much of my valuable leisure time in front of my iPhone screen, mindlessly and endlessly scrolling through social media feeds, watching posts that add little value to my life. On bad days, I feel sick and tired of spending so much of my life in front of a screen. And that’s without all the negative side effects that come from our increasing use of (and addiction to?!) screens.
I think back on the days when I worked at a fashion PR agency. My favorite task working there was to organize the back stock of clothes. It was the perfect break away from the screen and it left me with a satisfying feeling of having done something that actually provided me with a tangible result of my work, like a before/after, and not just a job that’s floating somewhere in the digital cloud.
Since then, I have started spending way more time behind a screen, as 99% of my work and study is done digitally. And I’ve grown tired of it and learned that I truly need a break away from the screen. I’m actively trying to manage my screen time and add screen-free activities to my calendar. It helps a lot! That’s why I am excited to share my favorite non-screen-time activities that also serve as the best ways to unwind when you’re over constantly looking at a screen.
Just like the pleasure of organizing the back stock of clothes, doing something with your hands that leaves you with a visible result is a true joy. It also has tons of health benefits – you get into a deep state of concentration, improve your skills, boost your self-confidence and stimulate your neuron connection growth. Yes please. At home I knit and embroider, but during the past year, I’ve found myself doing classes and courses for crafting, and even better, I’ve visited some of the creative cafes in Copenhagen where you can create lovely objects.
My ultimate favorite (because it’s not too complicated or demanding yet very satisfying and useful) is Smykbar, located in Gammel Kongevej. At Smykbar you can create your own jewelry while enjoying a nice cup of coffee. What’s not to like? You do not need to book in advance as Smykbar brands itself on being a café where you happen to be able to make jewelry as you’re having coffee.
The feeling of having created something yourself while being in a deep state of focusing while holding on to a tangible result is amazing!
If you’re even more about getting into the crafting game, you can paint ceramics at Creative Space, make your own ceramics at Keramiklokalet or join one of the many crafting courses at Absalon.
Phone-free friend dates
It’s nothing new, hanging out with a good friend after a long day of work. Spending quality time with loved ones does wonders for your stress levels, mind and heart. The reason I’ve added it to my list is that the important part while spending quality time with friends is to leave your phone out of the picture. It gives you a break from the screen and it shows your friends that you prioritize them and give them your full attention as you’re not constantly on edge waiting for a more important notification to pop up on your screen.
If you’re having coffee or wine, keep your phone off the table. Leave it in your bag. Your brain and your friends will thank you. And maybe you’ll even inspire them to leave their eyes off their phone screens as well.
Extra pro tip: If you truly want to unwind and feel good, take a friend on a date in nature.
Work that body
Another good ole’ classic, but that’s simply because it works. Getting away from the screen, out of your head and into your body is a miracle worker with so many benefits for your heart, mind, soul and physical body that it would be hard to list them all here.
After a long day at school or the office, it feels amazing to move your body and feel that you’re actually alive. I do a variety of workouts as I like to mix it up depending on my mood and energy levels. Meditation works if I remember to take deep breaths. Dance classes work if I need a mood booster after a rotten day. Functional training and HIIT classes work when I feel bursts of energy or need a boost of energy. Yoga if I need a good stretch or feel low on energy but still want to move. Regardless of what’s up – stress, slight pain, anxiety, tiredness – a workout is the cure.
And just as with the friend date, make sure you leave your phone in your locker while doing the class. It’s just an hour and being able to focus on your workout and what is going on around you during the class instead of keeping an eye on your phone is important for getting out of your head and into your body. Also, you might encounter someone like me who is truly bothered when people bring their phones to a workout class, and even more so if they check them during the class.
Book worm it up
I know, I know, you probably read a lot and more than you’d like to, sometimes, if you’re a student at CBS. But if you’re looking to get away from the screen, turn off your brain for a while and dive into the exciting universe of a fiction book. You should.
Not only is it a perfect way to calm down and do a nice undemanding activity that doesn’t require a screen, but there are also tons of reasons to read fiction, with long lists of benefits that are almost too great to count. It improves your memory, vocabulary and focus, as well as increasing your levels of empathy and emotional intelligence.
Selfcare for stressed times
I’ve learned that when I’m most stressed and don’t feel like I have time to work out, craft something or read a book, I still need screen-free time. But getting that is difficult when your to do list feels endless. That’s when selfcare comes in handy.
Selfcare is any little thing that you do solely for yourself because it feels good and is good for you, even tiny things. It could be a five-minute meditation session. A face mask. A quick face massage. Or it could be a bigger treat like an actual massage. The point is that you take time to do something for yourself, without a screen, that you really enjoy.
With the new semester just started and winter approaching, there’s plenty of screen time ahead. I truly hope that these tips and ways to unwind without a screen can inspire you to do more screen-free activities. It’s good for you❤️