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Many people have suddenly found themselves spending more time at home, relying on televisions, video games, computers, and phones to help pass the hours. Be honest, when was the last time you weren't glued to a screen? 

These days, screens are infiltrating every aspect of our lives, in the form of smartphones, TVs, monitors and tablets etc. According to a Nielsen Company audience report, the average person spends almost 11 hours per day staring at a screen.[1] Screens are everywhere. 

There was a time when going to the gym meant no contact with screens, however currently, there are screens lined up in front of the equipment. When there are no screens, we take our own out! We watch movies or TV shows and we check our devices when we receive notifications. After what we’re watching ends, we look up other ideas on our smartphones.

Our eyes experience visual stress after only a few minutes of blue light exposure, however what about several hours of it, continuously, on a daily basis? Eye strain, combined with all of the negative content we're exposed to online can make it harder to feel positive.

Can you think of any offline activities you enjoyed, when our lives were not experienced so extremely online? While Millennials and Generation Z and even Generation X,  boast about all their hobbies online, what we seem to forget, is that indulging in an offline activity is much more beneficial to spending our time constantly staring at a screen. We can enrich our lives tremendously, just by participating in offline activities. 

  • Without a map, you boost your knowledge of the area.

  • By reading an encyclopedia, you boost your knowledge of the subjects you read about. 

  • While cooking, you boost your knowledge of food, flavors and more, you also help your brain stay healthy and you end up making something new.[2]

Learn by getting lost

Instead of participating in your connected hobby of virtual farming, solving puzzles or watching Youtube, try something disconnected. Something new. Get lost in a new hobby. 

By not resorting to the Internet you can lower your anxiety, relax your mind, and give the muscles in your eyes and neck a much needed break. You could even focus on yourself by building face to face relationships. Which in turn, gives you even more reason to disconnect in the future.

  1. Cook a new recipe. One of the best things to do indoors, is to do something that you can’t replicate outdoors. Take that recipe you got from work, your mom or a book and try it out. Remember, cooking isn’t just for adults!

  2. Bake a cake or cookies. Kids love to help bake cookies. They also love to eat them! It is also a wonderful way to incorporate something you value, e.g. healthy recipes, into something a child or another person values, spending time with you and cookies.

  3. Read a book. Either head over to a library, bookstore or your shelves. Were you into SciFi in high school? Then pick up your favorite book. People’s tastes can change, too, so if you think that you aren’t feeling SciFi, try something different before giving up on reading. Just explore. 

  4. Start an indoor garden. The website nourishmedicine.com states Vitamin G (for ‘grounding’)[3] is released when walking barefoot on the earth. In colder climates, not all of us are able to do this during winter. By planting a garden indoors or a sole cactus, you are able to release 'Vitamin G' by touching the soil as you arrange your garden. 

  5. Practice Yoga. Yoga can be as static or dynamic as you’d like it to be. Practicing yoga stretches your muscles, relaxes your body and helps you feel more energetic. 

  6. Knit. Knitting is making a huge comeback and it isn’t just for grandmothers. You can start with something easy, like a coaster or a scarf, before you make sweaters for your whole family. 

  7. Call someone. Communication methods have changed drastically in recent decades. But researchers from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, have proven that getting a call from mom gives you the same release of hormones as getting a hug from mom. So why not give someone you love and haven’t been able to see in awhile a hug. 

  8. Look through an encyclopedia. Growing up before the Internet allowed many early Millennials and Generation X-ers, to use physical encyclopedias and dictionaries. You learned about whatever you read, leading you to the next item you would look up, before making it to your destination an hour later. 

  9. Make a photo album. Today, many people take photos with their phones and digital cameras, but the files sit on computers. Print out your favorites and make an album. It is the ultimate #ThrowbackThursday, but every day.

  10. Practice Meditation. Meditation is an excellent way to cope with stress and anxiety, while gaining inner peace. 

  11. Cultivate mindful moments. Have you ever heard of mindfulness cards? Mindfulness cards, like Mudita Pause, are a creative alternative for those moments when venturing outside is not an option, but when we still crave a moment of reflection, which comes from exposure to nature. It provides an opportunity to immerse yourself in the phenomena of nature and reconnect with the natural world at any time. 

  12. Journal. When was the last time you wrote something? Either about your day, a recent funny situation or your dream vacation. By journaling, you gain insights about yourself, evoke mindfulness and help regulate your emotions.

  13. Write a handwritten letter to mail. Grab some paper and a pen and write a letter to someone close before posting it. Imagine their surprise when they’ll get it.

  14. Play a board game with your family or friends. Today, there are board games for children, families and adults. You can always play the classic Monopoly if you can’t decide. But be sure to look up Elizabeth Magie’s original rules for the Landlord’s Game...

  15. Host a small dinner party. Make it fancy or not. Bonus points for setting up a smartphone basket so everyone will need to chat. No phubbing allowed.

  16. Invite your friends or family for dessert. You can either bake a dessert or buy it, but you’ll spend quality time with someone close. 

  17. Study maps. As children, we loved looking at maps. Why don’t we have time to do this anymore? Try to imagine the places you’d like to visit, make a list!

  18. Model. Either with family members or with friends, dress up and have a photoshoot. The best cameras won't be digital, but they’ll work as well.

  19. Learn DIY hacks. By doing ‘Do It Yourself’ (DIY) projects, you not only learn but save some cash in the long run.

  20. Teach your pets tricks. Oftentimes, we ignore our pets when they want our undivided attention because of screens. Take some treats and teach your four-legged family members a new trick. Or, just give them a one-on-one cuddle session. That works, too.

  21. Put together a puzzle. By working on a puzzle, you’ll use your logic skills, test your patience, and work towards a goal. Great with helpers or alone.

  22. Redecorate a room. Changing our spaces is great for us. Whether you use different throw pillows or change the pictures around, redoing your house can turn into a new hobby that you, and your guests, will love. 

  23. Make a decorative bowl. There are so many options and ways to upcycle old things. Try by baking an old record over an ovenproof bowl until it melts resembles the shape of a bowl or by gluing spare buttons together on a balloon.

  24. Decorate a picture frame. You can make decorations for picture frames easily depending on what you can find at home. Make a frame out of old PVC pipes or finally use up that ancient glitter from middle school. Either way, no one else will have picture frames quite like yours. 

  25. Draw a picture. Around high school, we start saying we can’t draw, unless we want to do it professionally. Grab a pencil, pen, marker, and some paper and just draw. You can doodle or sketch your dog or even make stick figures. 

  26. Color a mandala. Adult coloring books are fairly popular now because of the benefits associated with spending time offline, mindfulness and stress relief.

  27. Model trains. Put together a train track and run the locomotive on it. You are the conductor.

  28. Create a birthday card and send it using snail mail. Make a birthday card for someone whose birthday is coming up, write a message inside, put it in an envelope, place a stamp on it and post it. When was the last time they got a handmade birthday card in the mail?

  29. Re-organize an unorganized area in your home. While this may sound like a chore, maybe the unorganized area just needs reorganization. In the long run, you may have less work and more time to spend offline. 

  30. Build a birdhouse. Bird watching not only gets you closer to nature, but reduces anxiety and builds patience. You can make a birdhouse to start your new hobby from the comfort of your own home. 

  31. Do crossword or Sudoku puzzles. Learn new things and test yourself by doing crossword puzzles. Hone your logic skills by completing Sudoku puzzles.

This list could go on and on, as there are plenty of things you can do indoors without being bored. Also, never underestimate the time you can spend indoors, relaxing, with a warm cup of tea, without a smartphone or an internet connection. 

Hopefully our ideas will help you spend quality time indoors, free from the distraction and pressure of digital devices.

Do you have any favorite offline activities? Perhaps some other great ideas worth sharing?

Is there anything you’d like to add to our list, or have we missed anything?

If you’re interested in sharing your experiences let us know in the comments below. 

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