Take a Break: 5 Ideas for Screen-Free Time
There’s something special about the summer. Even if you still have work or lots of activities to do, something about the warmth (when we have it) and the long days makes us just want to kick back, unwind, and have fun.
The thing is, it can be really hard to truly switch off, even with the sun shining outside. Although technology is amazing, it’s way easier now than it ever was to spend hours online over the summer without taking a break. So many people can relate to this: it’s easy for time to just slip away from you when you’re on your phone.
The Royal Society for Public Health is running a campaign named Scroll-Free September, which encourages people to take a break from social media for 30 days. Why not practice now with a few scroll-free moments this summer?
It’s really important to have a healthy relationship with our phones and with technology in general. Try to take breaks: even if it’s hard, it’s so worth it to have a few hours off, for your peace of mind and your wellbeing.
Want to break the habit of constantly checking your phone? Here’s a few things you can do to keep your occupied while you take a break:
Try Something New
I’m guilty of this as much as the next person – I tell myself I’m too busy to learn a new skill, or read a new book, or to go and explore somewhere new, when in fact I have lots of pockets of time that I fill up by staring at my phone or the TV. Summer is the perfect time to try out something new, something that you’ve been wanting to do for a while. Want to learn to cook something new? Or try a new type of exercise? Try it: even if it turns out you don’t like it, at least you’ll know you’ve given it a go.
With the heatwaves we’ve been having, going outdoors isn’t always possible – but in slightly cooler temperatures, summer is the perfect time to get outdoors. Gather a group of friends and get outside: maybe you can Google somewhere new that you’ve never been before. Something about fresh air and sunshine makes life feel a little more peaceful.
Spend Time with Family
Once you reach a certain point in your life, you may end up spending more time with your friends than your family. That’s fine – but if you can, spend some time with family, too. Go out for coffee with your Mum. Take your (annoying) little sibling to the park. Go see your Grandma. Suggest a family trip to the cinema. Enjoy the company of loved ones – they’ll appreciate it, and so will you.
Celebrate Your Year
Once September hits, everything is about new beginnings and fresh starts, when everybody goes back to school or college or university. But what about the academic year that has just gone? If you’ve had a tough time over the last year, you may be tempted just to write it off and forget it. But give yourself a little time to think about your achievements – all the things you have done which have made you proud. You don’t need a wall of trophies or certificates: it’s important to celebrate the things that may seem little to you, but often make a huge difference to others, for example being a loyal friend, sticking up for someone, or being a nice person. Think back on how you’ve grown over the past year, and enjoy those small things: come September, you can start thinking ahead about how you’d like your next year to go.
When was the last time you didn’t have any noise around you? No TV, no music, no YouTube – just quiet? When we’re constantly consuming media, our brain is always processing new information. Sometimes, we need to give ourselves a break – just to be still. Not to rush around to the next activity, or to look at our phones or the TV – we just need to sit, even for five minutes, and truly relax. These small pockets of peaceful time could really help you to unwind: especially on busy, hot summer days.
Get out there, leave your phone in your bag or your pocket, and have a fun summer – and we’ll see you in September!
Revealed Projects works with young people across North Somerset and parts of Somerset, delivering large and small group workshops on a variety of topics, aiming to promote healthy self-esteem and positive relationships. To find out more about what we do, click here.