In a world dominated by technology, screen-free activities are often forgotten—but they are essential for overall health and wellbeing.
I see so many articles online about how screen time can interfere with brain development in children. I don’t have kids myself, but I know many parents who limit their children’s daily screen time so they can also enjoy screen-free activities.
It makes me remember when I was growing up. I had a Gameboy, and I loved it. I played on it every day—but I liked doing other things too, like drawing, writing, making up stories, and hanging out in the backyard.
I started to think about what an average day looks like for me now. I easily spend at least 12 hours per day staring at a screen, whether I’m working on my laptop, scrolling through social media on my phone, watching TV, or messing around on my iPad.
I started to wonder how screen time affects my health and wellness. Most of the screen time studies I read online were about kids. I didn’t see as much info about the effects of technology on adults’ health and wellness. So, I dug a little deeper.
The negative effects of screens on health and wellness
From my research, I learned that too much screen time truly is bad for both kids and adults. It can cause gray matter atrophy and diminished white matter in your brain. My first thought was, “That sounds really bad.” And it is!
Negative effects of too much screen time can include:
- Decreased productivity
- Increased stress
- Long-term vision problems
- Irregular sleep patterns
- Lower capacity to feel empathy and compassion
- Significant structural changes in the brain
Continue reading about the negative effects of screen time.
It’s hard to say how much screen time is too much because it really depends on the person. For me, it’s difficult to lower my screen time on my workdays because I always use my laptop or phone for work.
I have started using a physical notebook more often for brainstorming sessions, but when I’m conducting research, communicating with clients, or blogging, I absolutely need to be on my laptop.
To solve my problem, I decided to come up with a list of screen-free activities I can enjoy when I’m not working. To avoid the negative effects of technology on your wellbeing, you should plan some screen-free time into your schedule. I need more of it, you need more of it, and everybody else needs more of it, too.
Keep reading for 100 things you can do that are 100 percent screen-free!
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Here are 100 screen-free activities you can enjoy today:
1. Read a book.
2. Go for a walk.
3. Bake something.
4. Color in an adult coloring book.
5. Go to the gym.
6. Play with a pet.
7. Write in a journal.
8. Start a bullet journal.
9. Go to a wine and paint night.
10. Take a long bath.
11. Take a sketchbook outside and draw.
12. Get coffee with a friend.
14. Paint your nails.
15. Donate or sell items you don’t use.
16. Write an old-fashioned letter to someone you love.
17. Take a nap.
18. Ride your bike around the neighborhood.
19. Go to a concert.
20. Learn to play a new instrument.
21. Play a board game.
22. Visit a library.
23. Make your own ice cream.
24. Go outside and photograph nature.
25. Try a new recipe.
26. Check out a museum.
27. Go on a day trip somewhere.
28. Write a poem.
29. Put together a scrapbook.
30. Take a flower arranging class.
31. Run all your errands.
32. Read a magazine.
33. Create your own vision board.
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34. Make a focus board. (Yes, it’s different than a vision board!)
35. Paper mache something.
36. Plan your goals for the rest of the year.
37. Host a tea party.
38. Go bird watching.
39. Meditate or do some mindfulness exercises.
40. Design your dream home.
41. Do a random DIY project.
42. Visit an aquarium.
43. Test your skills in an escape room.
44. Meal prep for the week.
45. Declutter a room in your house.
46. Volunteer for a cause you believe in.
47. Create a budget for yourself and your family.
48. Make a seasonal bucket list.
49. Create a weekly self-care routine you can stick to.
50. Have a whole screen-free self-care day.
51. Decorate your bedroom or home office.
52. Frame your favorite family photos.
53. Design your own greeting cards.
54. Practice your hand-lettering skills.
55. Read the screenplay of one of your favorite movies.
56. Start collecting something, like coins or stamps. (Check your local thrift stores for additions to your new collection!)
57. Write yourself a love letter.
58. Go to a networking event for your industry.
59. Go speed dating.
60. Go for a hike.
61. Take a long walk down the beach.
62. Make a kite and fly it.
63. Do a puzzle.
64. Take a dance class.
65. Repair something that’s broken.
66. Cook breakfast for dinner.
67. Learn a new language.
68. Finish all your chores for the day.
69. Find new outfit combinations with the clothes you have.
70. Go shopping!
71. Have a no-phones-allowed dinner at your favorite restaurant.
72. Host a no-phones-allowed party and invite all your friends!
73. Go to a genealogy library and see what you find out!
74. Visit a cat cafe and pet the kitties!
75. Do a bar crawl without looking at your phone. (Chances are, people watching will be much more interesting than scrolling through Instagram anyway!)
76. Get a guided journal and write in it.
77. Start your own vegetable garden.
78. Plant some flowers outside.
79. Make cute care packages to send to your friends and family.
80. Go geocaching.
81. Make a wreath for your front door.
82. Paint artwork to hang up in your house.
83. Start a rock collection and paint them!
84. Go mini-golfing.
85. Go bowling.
86. Reenact your favorite sitcom.
87. Go to a play or comedy show.
88. Write a novel or autobiography.
89. Plan a new morning routine for yourself.
90. Plan a new bedtime routine for yourself.
91. Go out of your way to do something kind for your neighbors.
92. Do a crossword puzzle.
93. Rake the leaves in your yard.
94. Take a pottery class.
95. Start a DIY home improvement project.
96. Clean the whole house.
97. Write and illustrate your own comic book.
98. Drive around town and hunt for a new place to hang out.
99. Design a new skincare or makeup routine for yourself.
100. Make a list of things you’re grateful for.