This year, I have taken it upon myself to use my phone less day to day. On the christmas break I was averaging 7 HOURS (!!!!!!) screen time per day which is absolutely mental. It was a real wakeup call to me because I could be using that time to do something more productive like focus on my blog, or learn a new skill etc.
When checking my screen time app, it showed that the evenings are when I tend to mindlessly scroll for hours. Now, when first checking the app I was completely in denial making up excuses to myself like “but Meg, you sometimes write blog posts on your phone!!”, “don’t forget you talk to your nan for about an hour per day on facetime!”, “but social media is like your second job? so technically you’re working!!!” the list was endless, but the facts were there!!!! Most used was instagram (3+ hours per day!) and lets be real here: 1. I don’t write blog posts on instagram 2. I don’t use instagram to facetime my nan 3. Getting into a black hole of looking at puppies and food aint “working” either.
If you know me, you’ll know I have the attention span of a 2 year old. I physically cannot sit still for longer than 15 seconds. Which is why I tend to mindlessly scroll in the evenings because it’s when Brad and I sit down to watch a movie/a series and I just cannot sit there like a normal person with my full attention on the screen.
I decided to take up a couple of hobbies to stop me using my phone so much. These are things I enjoy doing and it keeps me offline for a good few hours a day which quite honestly has done my mental health wonders these days!
I am absolutely not a creative person whatsoever. My “creative juices” flow just about far enough to give me ideas for my blog posts; however something inside me was itching to do something creative. I have always enjoyed painting, but rarely do it because I am shockingly bad at art. It wasn’t until I saw Brad’s auntie post pictures of her paint-by-numbers paintings on facebook that I had an idea. I searched “custom paint by numbers” in google and got them to generate a picture of Bella for me to paint. It only arrived last week but so far I have spent a total of 4.5 hours on it and absolutely love doing it in the evenings! It’s so satisfying and hard to stop once you’ve started! So excited to see the finished product, and I will definitely be buying some more to do!
This is quite a niche hobby as you have to like horses and know a person whose horse you can ride but this was one thing I wanted to make sure I do this year. I grew up with my family having horses, and sadly we had to sell them when my mum passed away; I have been wanting to get back on the saddle again ever since- I made arrangements with my very kind friend and she let me ride her beautiful horse for a couple of hours. I am going to make it routine to ride at least once a month as it’s something I want to get better at, and I genuinely feel at peace when on the back of a horse!
I feel this is quite a simple one, but would you believe me if I told you that until november I hadn’t read a book in 9 years! Shocking. Reading is such a good way to forget about the world for an hour or so and I genuinely do enjoy it. I put off reading all the time because I feel I could be doing something else instead; however, I now set aside an hour or so throughout the week to get through some chapters.
This one is tapered more towards the festive months, but you can certainly do it all year round. Brad and I often set aside a night to play board games – It’s something that takes our minds off of what is going on in the world and it’s fun to do together.
This probably won’t come as a surprise as a lot of you will already know that I adore cooking but I have recently been teaching myself new things to cook. I am currently learning michelin star plating – It keeps me busy for a good few hours and means that I can do cute date nights at home ETC. This one is kind of cheating as I do use my phone for recipes often, but still stops me from mindlessly scrolling through social media!
These are just a few things that keep me off my phone throughout the day. Lockdown is harder as we are all home 24/7, but the constant scrolling is sometimes draining and I feel doing something that isn’t on my phone is much more productive!