In my effort to achieve a more balanced life, especially after work, I set out for a week of screen free evenings. That meant not looking at my phone, the TV, or computer. I challenged myself to do alternative activities so that I could evaluate how relaxed I really felt and really to see if the advice I found on the internet worked.
Of course the first day felt difficult because I constantly had this urge to scroll through my phone, browse through ALL social media accounts to get “caught up” and to text on various messaging apps. I also struggled with not writing reminders, email address’ or the grocery list on my phone, instead I looked for paper to write these items on but it felt like a chore (first world problems). Relaying on my phone has become so ingrained in me that my dependency on it has become second nature. So to fight the urge I decided to put my phone out of sight, like leaving it in my bag or another room.
The TV wasn’t much of challenge for me because I had I barely a have time during the weeknight to watch scheduled programs. I PVR (record) everything, so I can watch it when on my own schedule.
What was surprisingly difficult for me was the impulse to go on my computer. Throughout the week I usually work on some draft blog posts, or do some research on the internet or other random things. So I figured I’d use my spare time to do one of those things, in order to be productive and get work done. Wrong! I couldn’t do that either because it involved a computer screen. So I truly felt stuck. I thought now what?
It was in that moment I truly realized how much of my life and the things I do involve technology (or a screen). I was truly at a loss for what I could do with my time.
The first night, I got home late so I figured the only thing I could do was journal. So I did and it honestly felt therapeutic. I went to bed with a clear mind, no swirling or endless thoughts. By putting my thoughts on paper I think I resolved a few things I had been struggling with, wrote some ideas I need to get out of my brain and solved a problem or two. It was great! Talk about going to bed feeling accomplished.
The second evening, I went you right after work, so I decided to journal again since it was so helpful the night before. After journaling I realized that were was STILL 3 hours left to my evening. A rare occurrence for me as a commuter, I loose so much of my evening travel from the city to the suburbs each day by the time I get home it feels like I only have an hour to do anything. I should probably blame my screen addiction for the hours whizzing by every evening.
Other nights during my screen free evenings, I would go to my Barre class (it’s a mix of ballet and Pilates…soo good!), swimming class or I would run errands, read or sketch. I had so much time at my disposal, I found I was getting a lot of things done and my evenings felt so much longer (which is a plus in my books!).
Funny enough, since I wasn’t using my phone all evening, the batter life literally lasted the whole day. At the end of the night I felt like there was no need to charge my phone, but I did anyway because it’s a habit. J
So if you want to try a screen free evening, let me warn you.. your evenings will feel a lot calmer. I realized that sitting on my phone all evening messaging and being “social” on social media has eaten up all my time. I never realized how it literally is a time waster, taking away precious time I’ll never get back. I’m definitely more conscious of how much time I spend on my phone. So if I want my evenings to last long and feel more relaxed I literally need to stay away from any sort of technology. So now I’m aiming to have a screen free evening at least once a week. I know, it’s just one, but it’s better than nothing!)
So what about you, will you try a screen free evening? What kind of things will you do with all your spare time? Tell me in the comments; I would love to get some ideas from you.
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