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Activities you can do that don’t involve screens

In lockdown, we're all spending a lot of time in front of screens, but it can be good for our mental health to have a break sometimes. Grace, 14, shares some activities you can try.

Because of the pandemic, we’ve all had to start online schooling. Staring at a screen all day can cause us to feel tired, and it may drain our energy. As well as this, with devices at our fingertips, it is likely that we all are now digitally connected for most of our time. Staying in touch with friends and family is so very important, especially during these strange times, however constant exposure and access to the digital world also opens up a world of cyber-bullying, trolls and abuse.

It is important for our mental health to take some time away from our screens every now and then, but sometimes it can be hard to know what to do instead. Here are a few things you can do that can give us time away from our screens:

Take up a new hobby

Finding a hobby is a great way to develop new interests and find new aims, ambitions and aspirations. It can give us a sense of purpose, as well as a focus, and this can be so important and beneficial during these times where we’re stuck at home. Here are a few ideas of hobbies you could take up:

  • Painting, drawing or sketching. It could be of anything, but if you’re really stuck for inspiration then take a walk outside, observe anything that appeals to you, and turn it into art!
  • Reading. Books are one of the best ways to immerse yourself in a whole different world. Keeping a reading log is also a great way to keep track of what you’ve read and what you thought of it.
  • Photography. Use a phone (or even an SLR if you have one!) and take pictures of items around your house. Try and get different perspectives of these objects, aiming for a new, fresh outlook. If you can, go outside for a walk, and bring your camera with you! You’ll be surprised how much the environment has thrived during lockdown, even in urban areas, with wildlife and plants flourishing in the absence of people and the vehicles on the road.
Finding a hobby is a great way to develop new interests and find new aims, ambitions and aspirations.

Exercise

This could be for as little as ten minutes a day. Or, for a challenge, you could try a 20-minute run a day! Just doing a bit of exercise will immediately boost your energy levels, and make you feel refreshed, ready for the day ahead. There is a lot of science behind this (which I won’t delve into right now!) but studies have shown that exercise makes us feel better, as well as keeping us fit during a time where sitting down is all too easy!

Go outside for a walk

Appreciating our natural environment is so important, and can provide a good opportunity to check in with ourselves!

Don't check social media too often

Be mindful of how much time you spend online, as it can be easy to lose hours scrolling through social media. Remember things in the online world can have real consequences, so be careful and report anything concerning. Also, be aware that social media is a highlight reel - try not to compare yourself with others.

Be aware that social media is a highlight reel - try not to compare yourself with others.

Listen to podcasts

Yes, despite this needing technology, you aren’t technically at a screen, so you are taking time away from your screens! There are hundreds of interesting and informative podcasts online- have a look on Spotify, Apple or BBC. Whatever you’re interested in, there is guaranteed to be a podcast about it!

Where to get help

If you are struggling with your mental health, you're not alone. For tips, advice and information on where you can get support with whatever you're going through, have a look at our find help pages.

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