You know who I’ve always admired “our elders” because that was the generation that did not have access to mobiles, the device that has consumed our lives. In the 60s and 70s, when television was relatively new was the time when our parents were growing up. They had never been consumed by their devices, they only had books to read and each other to interact with. Most of their time was spent playing outside in the yard or playing board games with family which allows for free-flowing interaction and laughter. Our generation doesn’t know that feeling, we all have our devices. We don’t know what it feels like to sit idle, we scroll through Facebook while announcing to everyone that we are bored. An incident shook me a couple of days ago, I saw my dad sitting on the sofa idly thinking to himself, with the Television switched off and looking down at the carpet. He wasn’t using any screen and I got worried, I asked him a million times “are you okay?”, even though he said that he was fine, I wasn’t satisfied by the answer so instead, I kept badgering him until he said “I’m just thinking about some stuff it’s important to think and plan for things.” and I still remember this cause his sentence has provoked a thought process in my mind. Why can’t we sit idle and think? Or why is our mind so conditioned to using cellphones and other devices to ensure that we don’t spend one breathing moment interacting with others? In order to practice some control over my obsession with the devices, here’s what I do to avoid using my devices, or screen.
Sitting outside to soak some sun is very important for your body as it provides you with Vitamin D and it’s good for your joints and body to get some natural air into your system. As we live in our air-conditioned houses that sucks up the humidity from the air and leaves it dry, making our skin go dry and wrinkly as well, so grab a cup of tea and settle down on a nice lounger to relax under the sun.
30 Minute Meditation
Work Out, no not your body, your mind, flex some muscles in your head by meditating for 30 minutes, and understanding yourself. Relax your mind by letting go of the pressures of the world, and experience the calmness take over you. It generally takes a while to learn how to meditate properly. To get started on the journey, I would suggest the following apps as they guide you through the process of meditation, Relax with Andrew Johnson lite,Free Your Mind Hypnosis and if you can try buying the subscription of Headspace then that’s the best one out there.
Personally speaking from my own experience, these 45 minutes are purely you and your mind, it’s a meditation if you think about it. I’ve been treating brisk walk as an exercise ever since I was 13 or 14 years old, I would walk for an hour inside our house, from the front porch to back porch. After losing my mom, I thought I would not be able to do it again, but one day I decided to pick up a tasbeeh and take that time to recite for her and that’s how I’ve gotten back into brisk walking. It helps keep your metabolism up and you get to take in some fresh air and get the heartbeat going, it’s excellent cardio.
Read a book
Find yourself a good book that you enjoy reading that can hold your attention span for a while. If it’s a slow one then get yourself two books that you read both sides by side, so if one doesn’t work for you, you can switch things up a bit. If it’s hard to build the habit of reading try clocking it, set timers to minimize distractions, and maintain the momentum of reading for 30 minutes straight.
Take out time to cook, either for yourself or for someone else and while you are heading into the kitchen leave your cell phone behind, no phones in the kitchen rule, we have that in our house. It’s a continuous distraction and you keep thinking about checking your phone. It got worse for me, I actually started balancing work with one hand meanwhile holding my phone in the other, which is the worst thing to do while you are in the kitchen. Now when I go into the kitchen I leave my cellphone behind.
Cleaning up can be an excellent exercise when you want to move away from devices, simply put your device away and start cleaning up from the biggest room to the smallest one, one after the other and make sure everything is in order by the time you are done, make the beds, tidy up the house, a quick blitz to make sure everything is in its right place.
Do what the name suggests, pick up a paper n’ pencil and doodle, draw something or write something, make a list of things you intend to do or sketch, or anything at all.
Most of these work for me and some of these might work for you as well. Share your feedback down below and let me know what do you do to avoid using screens?