Our world is interconnected in ways we never imagined even 20 years ago. Many of us have friends we only know through social media. We use computers to communicate. And, after the COVID-19 crisis of 2020, we began to rely on technology to stay in touch, do our jobs, and take care of our basic needs. But how can we take time to decompress when we’re connected to the greater network at all times? Here are some tips to help you unplug, unwind, and be happier, including alternatives to screen time.

Go Outside

There is nothing like communing with nature to help you find your balance again. You don’t have to engage in extreme outdoor sports or climb a mountain. Simply going to the local park on a sunny day can help recalibrate your mood. Go for a walk in the woods by yourself or with a loved one. Pack a picnic and make a day of it.

Start a Journal

Writing can help us find our center. Even if you don’t think you’re much of a writer, that’s okay. Opening a journal to a blank page and letting your thoughts for the day onto the page can help you process your feelings and even find solutions. You’ll be surprised by the ideas your brain has when you allow yourself to write without expectations.

Write a Letter

While a journal is private, you can also take writing to the next level. In the last ten years, we have spent so much time becoming more connected digitally that we sometimes forget how to go back to analog. While you’re traveling, write letters to your loved ones wherever they are. Address an envelope, add a stamp, and mail it out. They’ll be excited to receive mail, and it’ll make you feel warm and fuzzy too.

Clean Your House

Sometimes, when we unplug, our brain plays tricks on us, so we begin to believe we’re ineffective with our time. You can quiet your brain by taking on other tasks that will help you focus your energy and keep your living space neat and clean. Spend time away from your phone, computer, or TV, and the only thing you need to plug in is your vacuum cleaner.

Play a Game

If you want to connect with your family or friends without being tied to your phones, why not break out an old-fashioned board game or card game. We’ve come a long way since Monopoly, though it’s still a classic, and there are games for anything you enjoy. They can be complex or straightforward, but the goal is to spend time away from the screen.

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