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5 Things to Do That Don’t Involve Screens

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Riverside chapter.


Having our school, work, and social lives now being confined solely to the online world, it is more important than ever to make time for detoxing from our screens. Our bodies and minds were not made to sit at our desk or in our bed staring at our laptops all day. It may have been fun to do that for a Netflix binge once in a while but now being required to consume hours of online lectures every day is much worse. It can be easy to take breaks from our laptops by going onto our phones instead, but in this cycle, we never escape the light of our screens even for relaxation. Most of us watch TV in our free time or go on YouTube out of habit because we genuinely don’t know what else to do. But next time you need a break, here are a few other ideas: 

woman meditating alone
Photo by Cliff Booth from Pexels

1. Journal or Meditate

I know this is practically number one on almost every list of things to do but that’s because it works. If you’re thinking “I’ve tried journaling before, got bored, and quit” or “I only write when something big happens” or “I’m scared of putting thoughts onto paper,” then journaling is definitely meant for you. If you don’t want to write it down, meditate on it. Alone time in quarantine can drive you crazy but if you intentionally set time aside to self-reflect regularly through journaling, chances are you’ll feel a lot less overwhelmed and a lot more in control than just letting your mind wander all day. You deserve to feel in tune with your thoughts and emotions! 

2. Cook or Bake

Most of us have probably gotten very used to snacking often or eating whatever we can find in the house at this point. But a fun thing to do is to purposefully go all out for a meal. Look up some recipes you want to try or a new take on your favorite recipe and go grocery shopping. You can make a whole day out of planning to cook/bake and setting up the scenery. Make the table look pretty or decorate your baked desserts with extra flare or recreate the fighting with flour scenes we see in every movie. Point is, take something mundane in your day like eating and make it special! With the holidays coming up, now’s a great time to prepare your chef skills.


3. Bath & Book/Podcast

Incorporate some self-care into your day by treating yourself to a bath instead of just jamming a quick shower in between zooms. If you get easily bored in baths, try getting a new book and bringing it with you. Find a book that interests you or that you can learn something from then set some candles and start reading! You could even play an audiobook or a podcast for even more relaxing. There are so many great podcasts available on self-care like The Self-Love Fix to add more meaning to your day.  4. Get Creative 

Try out a new hobby or craft to work on whenever you go to pick up your phone out of habit. If your FYP is like mine, you’ve already seen so many different artsy ideas. One of my personal favorites is paint by numbers. These are easy because you don’t have to be artistically gifted and you can make a hangout out of it with your family or friends (even over zoom). This website has a paint by numbers set for practically anything you can think of, including and especially photos of Harry Styles. You could also get into knitting, crocheting, and embroidery and give your creations out as gifts for the holidays to kill two birds with one stone!

Window Sun Curtains Plants Apartment
Anna Thetard / Her Campus

5. Get Some Sunlight

Staying cooped up inside is also not the best for our health, regardless of whether we stay on screens or not so schedule some outside time each week. One thing on my quarantine bucket list is to go on a picnic. You can grab a friend, family member, or date and make a cute set up at your neighborhood park or even just in your backyard to be safe! Almost all of the things you do inside your house like eat, study, chat can be moved outside for some fun. You could also learn to bike, skate, or rollerblade to get your body moving in a more amusing way. 

No matter what you decide to fill your free time with, try to balance all your body’s needs. Some days, all you’ll want to do is lay in bed and that’s okay! But if your mind and body are begging for something that isn’t electronic, listen to it. Take as many breaks as you need and adjust your daily routine to keep your energy and motivation up!

Shanelle Huynh

UC Riverside '22

I am a UCR graduate with a degree in Creative Writing and a minor in Business Administration learning to define my own way of living as a "writer" and sharing what I find out on my journey along the way.
Deedee Plata

UC Riverside '22

20 year old creative writing major with a love for skincare, representation, and art. When not laying down and watching cartoons, I can be found working on my novel or browsing through baby name forums.