I shared in my last post that Tony and I are working through a 30 Day Break Up With Your Phone Challenge. It’s going pretty well overall, though I am definitely still very addicted to my phone. I’m noticing the addiction though, so that’s a start 😉 ! On Saturday, our challenge for the day was to figure out some activities to do in place of getting sucked into our phones. It’s Monday night as I write this, and I have yet to truly sit down and figure those out for myself yet (which probably explains the waaaaaay too much time that I spent on it today. Oops).
I’ve shared before that I often get sucked into my phone in those moments of quiet right after putting Charlie down for his nap or when we finally get both kids down for bedtime. I usually just need a break where no one is touching me or asking me to do something for them. Sometimes this ends up with me sitting on the couch for almost an hour without resurfacing. When I look up that hour later, I hardly remember what I was even looking at and I don’t usually feel all that refreshed. Since, I’m on a journey to use my time, even my veg time, more intentionally, I am working on figuring out the activities I can turn to instead of my phone that allow me to veg in a way that’s way more refreshing.
In saying this, I don’t think that taking a brain break on your phone is necessarily bad. I think it just needs to be a little more intentional than what I’m currently doing. My phone background now states “What do you want to pay attention to?” Sometimes that is the posts on Facebook or Instagram, but often, I’m just looking for a way to relax. Since doing the social media scroll doesn’t often leave me feeling more refreshed, I need to find activities instead of my phone for these moments. Then I can save the scroll for when that’s what I actually want to do so that I can be a little more intentional in that time.
I checked out quite a few lists of activities to do instead of my phone online, and many of them included ideas outside of the home. Since I stay at home with my three and one year old, there aren’t a lot of times I can just leave the house and do something by myself. That being said, going out somewhere with my kids does prevent me from using my phone as much as I do at home! Plus, in general, I am a much better mom when we are out and about than when we’re just hanging out at home.
So here’s my list of activities that I can do instead of getting sucked into my phone. I hope to incorporate these into the times I usually pick up my phone while I’m just hanging around the house with the kids, as well as in those quiet moments where I’m just needing something to occupy my hands while I relax. Most are activities that I can do at home with minimal prep work. And also minimal cleanup since my toddler’s hands tend to get into EVERYTHING. I’m thinking about posting this list somewhere in my house so that I can turn to these and have a plan for what to do rather than going straight to my phone. It’s time to start some new habits and hobbies!
I have a goal to read at least three books a month this year. The last couple days, I’ve been attempting to read an “easy reader” novel (in book form!) while the kids are playing instead of going on my phone. Then at night or when I’m able to focus better, I have a book that I need to pay a little more attention to (I’m still reading Dorothy Day’s A Long Loneliness from Advent). I figure if the kids see me reading, they’ll just want to read more too!
2) Prayer Time
I really do try to incorporate some sort of meditation/prayer time into my every day life. With that being said, how often do I sit down on my phone for an hour, but only take 15 minutes (if that!) to pray? I definitely could switch those times around and grow so much more spiritually and as a person.
I’ve always been pretty into yoga, but I’ve never kept up with it regularly. Since starting this challenge, Tony and I have been attempting to do a 20-30 minute YouTube Yoga video (I’m a big fan of these ones!) every night right after we get the kids to bed. It’s been a great way to start our night and keeps us from falling into the phone/TV trap as soon as we sit down. I’ve also been pulling out my yoga mat some afternoons while Nora is awake during Charlie’s nap. She’ll sometimes do some things with me, but often will just play on her own, and I get a little exercise in.
I have a couple of Adult Coloring Books that are so relaxing when I actually get into them. I’ve actually forgotten about doing this, so I’ll have to pull them out of our guest/now Charlie’s room so that I can actually do them when the feeling strikes. What’s nice about coloring is that you can see what you’ve done with your time, but it’s still pretty mindless. Plus, it’s a good thing to do while chatting or listening to a podcast!
I saw this idea when I was doing a quick search of my own for ideas of activities to do instead of my phone. I used to be very into Sudoku puzzles, and I have an app for it on my phone, but I haven’t done a paper one in quite some time! I’m thinking I’ll go out and get an activity book or two with crossword puzzles, word searches, sudoku puzzles, and whatever else to work on during my downtime. Building up my brain is never a bad thing!
6) Cross Stitch/Knitting/Crafting
This one requires a little bit of prep work to get the materials ready, but I keep seeing people doing cross stitch lately, and I’m very interested. One of my friends said it’s not too bad to do around kids, so I’ll have to look into that. Knitting is another crafty thing that doesn’t require too much brain power (once I relearn how to do it!). I’m finding that I need to exercise my right side brain and get that creative itch taken care of a little better, so what better way than to start a new crafting hobby.
7) 15 Min Declutters
While not quite as relaxing, I’ve been really getting into doing 15 Minute Declutters. Sometimes I set a timer, but more often I just sit down and take whatever time it takes to go through a small area. Tonight, I sorted through the kids socks, sweatshirts, and shoes, and now everything is in its place. Decluttering is one of those things that I have to force myself to start, but I usually enjoy the process, and I definitely enjoy the end result.
I’m currently deciding if I want to get into baking. I love baking (and the results from baking), but I have a lack of people to bake for/ I probably shouldn’t eat the entire batch of cookies every time I make them. I’d love to learn more about making my own bread, or maybe some “healthier” baking. Or I just need to make more friends/babies to eat my baked goods. Either way, it’s another slightly mindless activity that results in something much better than what my phone can bring.
9) Call a Friend
While I often want to just relax and talk to nobody for awhile once the kids are in bed, I do have days where I just need a little extra adult chatter time. Especially now that Charlie is actually sleeping at night, I have a good chunk of time available to catch up and build relationships with friends and family that I’ve not been as good about keeping in touch with over the past year. While I use the phone in these conversations, it’s much more intentional than the social media scroll.
10) Nap/ Go to Bed Early
And for my last activity I could do instead of going on my phone. I can just use that time to sleep. Pretty self explanatory 😉
So that’s my quick list of activities to do instead of getting sucked into my phone. I’d love to hear what ideas you have or if there’s anything that has been working well for you! Find me on Instagram and Facebook or send me a message here with your ideas!
Read More: Why I’m Breaking Up With My Phone