As much as I like to unplug and stay away from looking at a screen, it is definitely easier said than done. Several times, I’ve found myself feeling “uneasy” about having a digital detox day. I realized when it seems forceful, it just doesn’t stick.
And then I realized my approach was wrong. Instead of focusing on “how to stop looking at my phone,” I should be thinking about what I can do that doesn’t involve my phone. Once I shifted my mindset, it became a lot easier for me to stay away from looking at screens.
In case you're looking for some inspiration, here are 10 of my personal favorite activities that don't involve looking at your phone or laptop. Read on for more:
1. Practice face yoga
In the mornings, I often meditate while I do my morning skincare routine. But recently, I have been dedicating time to practicing face yoga.
If you’re not familiar with what face yoga is, it’s a series of exercises that you do for your face to relax and tone muscles. Similar to a lymphatic drainage massage, you can use your hands or a beauty tool. Personally, I like using a gua sha tool because it gives me more of an at-home spa experience.
When I first started practicing face yoga, I did have to use the TV to play YouTube videos for me to follow the exercises. After repeating the same routine a few times, I was then able to do it on my own, at my own pace, and with my own music playing in the background. So I guess initially it wasn’t exactly screen-free but eventually it did evolve into a 100% screen-free activity.
Whether it really tones the muscles on my face or not, I can't say, but what I do know is that it really relaxes me. I feel more awake and my head feels “lighter” after every face yoga session.
2. Write in a gratitude journal
Writing in my gratitude journal — like this really great one from Alleyoop — has been a very enjoyable daily activity. Although any notebook would easily work, I personally like following a template because it provides me with a framework and a structure before I'm able to "freestyle" it. There are several great gratitude journal options on Etsy if you want to check them out!
I write 1 to 3 things I’m grateful for every morning before I start doing work, and it really sets my day off with the right “mood.” Even if you just do it once a week, I think it’s one of the best things you can do for yourself.
3. Tidy up your workspace or de-clutter your closet
Sometimes when I feel like I have a “messy” mind — cleaning physical spaces always help me clear it. So when I need a break from looking at screens in the middle of a workday, I would focus on tidying up an area of my workspace.
On weekends when I have more time to spare, I like to spend it re-organizing my closet (especially if I’ve just done laundry) or going through a section of my closet to de-clutter. I gather lesser worn clothing or the accessories I no longer need into a pile and then I sell them online at The RealReal or Poshmark, or I donate them!
4. Opt for a floral arrangement session
I’m pretty sure I make a ton of floral arranging mistakes when I’m playing around with flowers at home but that hasn’t stopped me from doing it. I like recreating pretty floral arrangements that I see on social media — just because!
Most of the time I would use dried flowers because they last longer, but once in a while when the husband is sweet enough to buy me some fresh flowers on his way home from somewhere, I’d immediately find a vase or an empty jar and play with the arrangement.
5. Try new makeup looks or hairstyles
Doing my hair and makeup used to be something I had to do before I leave the house. But now, I see myself actually having fun “playing” with colors and trying out different hairstyles. In a way, it became a creative outlet for me!
And since I’m not going out to frighten people with my failed attempts (it happens more often than you’d think), I can really experiment with new beauty products.
The same thing goes for testing hairstyles — I would open up my Pinterest and find a saved pin and try to recreate the hairstyle. Sometimes I would see if I could find several ways to use the same hair accessories, while other times I would try things like overnight heatless curls to see what works for my hair.
6. DIY bath salts or coffee scrubs
So I don’t love cooking but I do like baking — as well as making my own bath salts and coffee scrubs!
Instead of throwing my ground coffee away after I've made my coffee in the mornings, I would mix it with olive oil to make my own body scrub once or twice a week. I like using the scrub on my elbows and knees, as well as my back; in fact, I sometimes let it sit on my back for a bit longer before I wash it off because that has helped manage my bacne.
If you have a bathtub, taking a hot bath with bath salt is a great way to unwind and it helps you sleep better. Here’s a simple floral bath salt recipe I use in case you’re interested in trying it:
- 2 cups of Epsom salt (it helps draw impurities from the body)
- 2 teaspoons of olive or grapeseed oil
- 10 drops of your favorite essential oil (such as eucalyptus or lavender)
- Some dried flowers
Simply mix all the ingredients and store them in a glass jar with a lid. I just use a mason jar I got from Amazon.