It is all too easy to live our lives completely consumed by media and technology. When we’re not watching TV, we’re playing games, surfing the Internet and staring at our smartphones.
It’s safe to say that most of us work at our computers 40-plus-hours a week, as well as dealing with the eyestrain and wrist cramps to boot. To get away from our technology-filled lives, here are some simple ways to break the norm, change your routine and most importantly, breathe in some fresh air.
1. Adopt A Leisurely Activity That Involves Using Your Hands
Too many activities use some type of technology. Whether you relax by watching a series of documentaries, playing computer games or downloading the latest and greatest apps on your smartphone, technology dictates most of our interests. Have you had to call on someone else to help you with something lately that didn’t involve a screen? Maybe fixing a hole in your pants or sanding down and staining your sundeck?
Learning these skills yourself gives you an extra-curricular activity that does not involve technology. You will feel more fulfilled and save money by tackling these DIY projects. Sewing, woodworking, cooking, any great manual hobby will keep you active and away from a screen.
2. Appreciate Being Outside
You don’t need to go hiking or jogging just to enjoy being outside. Aside from the extreme cold or summer scorchers, just sitting outside to get away from the computer screen for 30 minutes is enough to value fresh air again. Make it a habit of having breakfast outside on the nicer days. Wake up to coffee, a bagel and the cool morning breeze to give you a Zen start before your busy workday in front of a computer screen.
If you have the time to spare and you live in an area that allows it, running one of your errands by walking there isn’t so bad, either! Don’t take that trip to the post office and waste the gas, just walk to the mailbox down the street and drop your mail off.
3. Get Your Dailies Done Early
How much time do you spend procrastinating reviewing your personal emails, going through old Facebook posts, or ending up on some random funny picture site that isn’t relevant or needed? Many of these sites are part of our daily routines and we’re going to go on them one way or another.
Instead of first logging onto your computer, going to random sites and then doing your important dailies, make a folder with the shortcuts you need for your dailies to keep everything in order. Add Facebook, your email, twitter, your blogs and so on to this folder and check them off as you go to each site to get them done.
No need to end up on some blog of which you’ve never heard when you should be replying to your mother’s latest email to see how you’re doing and you’ll be surprised how quickly you fly through your personal computer stuff and have more time away from the screen!
4. Get Out Of The House – It Isn’t That Expensive
Money is an issue plaguing many Americans now and we can’t deny that, buy it doesn’t mean that after a long day of work we can’t afford anything. When was the last time that instead of busting out Netflix once you got home you stayed out and went to a friend’s house?
Even taking a few extra minutes and seeing some local event is a good way to stay out and active. Get your local paper, see what’s happening around town and help a good cause. Your local police or fire station is likely to have some beneficial fundraiser going on to better the community in which you can stay away from the screen and partake.
5. Turn It All Off
This final step is easier said than done, sure, but it’ll be worth it in the end. It’s hard nowadays to just turn the TV off, put down the phone and step away from the laptop. It takes some getting used to, but setting a specific time each day to be done with technology helps. Turning off the TV by a certain time in the evening is beneficial, as is turning off that notepad, computer and smartphone an hour or more before bed. You’ll sleep better for it and believe it or not, it will feel good after a while.