You survived the day, that 9 till 5 work grind, and you’ve got a few hours to unwind and relax before you shut your eyes and do it all over again. Maybe you spend your evenings with your partner, your family, surrounded by room mates or by yourself. How do you spend it? Staring at that little pocket sized glass screen by any chance? I think we’re all guilty of ‘catching up on the day’ by scrolling through Instagram, watching videos on Facebook and opening any unread Snapchats. I know I fall victim to this vicious circle and it’s not until I realise half an hour sometimes even an hour has gone by, how much time I have wasted pointlessly scrolling falling into this horrendous rut.
Keeping a track of my screen time has been a really helpful tool which has allowed me to realise how much time I waste on my phone. Already this week I’ve spent a total of 9 hours 18 minutes on social networking! I find my screen time is never for productive things it’s merely for sitting, scrolling and keeping up with new Instagram posts – Instagram is my weakness.
As a little health booster I’ve decided to change up my evening routine by banning my phone from 8pm and swapping late night scrolling for what some may deem as the most mundane activities. My reason for this? To simply reconnect with myself, make time for the things that I enjoy and appreciate the person I’m sharing my sofa with.
Not a kindle, an actual book. Go to the charity shop or treat yourself to a freshie – remember when you were a kid and you’d go to the library and pick out anything you wanted? Let that same wandering spirit lead you to choosing something that you can lose yourself in. The latest romantic novel may not be your cup of tea, perhaps your prefer thrillers, mysteries or biographies. Maybe you read a cookbook as you’re looking for some home cooking inspiration or maybe you feel like brightening your mood with a little Happy Newspaper. Whatever it may be I’m sure it shall be far more interesting and enriching than scrolling through your Instagram feed.
Actually Watch A Movie
Anyone else guilty of endlessly scrolling, pausing for 5 to glance at the TV and then sink back to your phone? I don’t think I remember the last time I actually sat and watched an entire film or series without looking at my phone. Whether it takes leaving it in another room, putting it across the other end of your bedroom or turning it off. Watch it, enjoy it and don’t invite your phone.
Journal / Blog
Working full time I struggle to allocate time to write. I managed to piece this one together across the evenings this week and the feeling of releasing my thoughts, getting everything out on paper and typing has felt so soothing and has really helped me to reset for tomorrow. Whether it’s ending your day by finalising the details of a new post, starting a bullet journal, writing your diary entry or creating your to do list for tomorrow. Sometimes putting pen to paper is the perfect way to end your day, release any stress or worry and help you wind down.
Talk About Your Day
(Girl and boy are sat next to each other, both looking at phone screens and are not making conversation)
Boy: ‘How was your day?’
Girl: (Shrugs) ‘It was fine’
Boy: ‘Ah, ok’
(Girl and boy both go back to staring at phone screens)
It is so easy to shrug off ‘it was fine’ and move on, or should I say carry on, scrolling whilst sitting next to your friend or partner. But do you ever find sometimes you explode in a way you didn’t plan to because you’ve kept everything bottle up inside when all you want to do is talk about your day, tell that funny story that happened at work, tell someone how your really feeling or share that frustrating moment. One of my favourite things to do is ring my best friend or my mum and dad and just chat to them about anything and everything. It massively helps relieve any stress and worry that I may be feeling as my day comes to an end and I always feel so grateful to have someone to essentially off-load too. Plus I’m pretty certain it out-weights a text or an Instagram like, that supposedly counts as ‘staying in touch’.
Take a Shower/Bath
This has to be one of my favourite; I’m a big lover of a super hot shower and a mini pamper. But lately I have fallen into a rather bad habit. As soon as I hop in the bath I continuing scrolling or when I’m in the shower I keep my phone nearby so that I can carry on listening to a series on Netflix. The results of this? A quick shower so that I can grab my phone again and wrinkled body, quite like a prune, in a lukewarm bath. Nothing about that screams relaxing to me!
Having a shower is a major part of my preparing-for-bed routine. I go to bed feeling clean, relaxed, my skin and hair feel healthier and I instantly feel cosy and ready to settle down for the evening. Removing my phone from this time of day has helped me focus my attention towards caring for myself; replenishing and unwinding as the day comes to an end.
Now these may seem like some of the most common tasks, but I think unless you totally remove your phone from your routine you won’t realise quite how much you rely on it, even up to the point where you fall asleep.