I’m not that good at relaxing. I thought I was, but I’m really not. That’s why I’ve been exploring new ways to relax without a screen, which is quite hard for me. Because my default way of relaxing is firing up Netflix or a Word document so I can write an article like this. There nothing wrong with relaxing this way, however I’ve been noticing it doesn’t relax me anymore. I just feel more restless and like I’ve wasted my time on silly shows and typing. I know I’m not the only one who fell into the screen time trap. So here are some ways I’ve been using to relax without a screen, and hopefully they also work for you.
Draw, doodle or paint
It sounds so simple and that’s because it is! Most kids draw, doodle or paint pretty much every day. Even if it’s just for five minutes, they use their crayons and go nuts. As adults we often forget that we used to do this and how relaxing it felt to just doodle away. It puts your brain in a different gear and it helps you improve your hand-eye-coordination. The best part is that drawing, doodling or painting is also good when you have trouble expressing yourself through words.
I’m pretty good at talking about what I do, but I’m not good at talking about myself or what bothers me. That’s why I went out and bought a bunch of art supplies last year. Mainly paper, pencils, fine liners and watercolor paint. Drawing and watercolor painting helps me put my thoughts into images, which is a way of processing my life. After drawing or painting I feel so much more relaxed. Simply because I was actually doing something I like, while working on my mental health and relaxing. Start being artsy today, give it a try!
Reading a book
For just an hour. Just an hour? Yes, just an hour. I know reading books is a very common way of relaxing, but it can also feel like a bit of task when you first try it. Not everyone is good at reading or likes it that much. And then there’s the snobby vibe you sometimes experience when it comes to the type of book you’re ‘supposed’ to read. I think I’m not the only one who has seen people being a bit snobby about literature and feeling a bit bad because of it. Well, I say: Kiss my ass, I read whatever I want!
I used to read a lot when I was a kid and teenager. Nowadays I just pop up a screen, so I am a bit out of practice. Reading the entire day felt like a big hurdle, so I decided to set a timer for an hour. To my surprise I was able to read half of a 224-page book. And yes, I did feel very relaxed and proud of myself afterwards. I recommend reading about something you’re actually interested in. For me that’s a business or a self care book. But I also love comics and I can flip through them for hours. I really get into the storylines and I truly enjoy it! that’s how reading for an hour often turns into half a day without me even noticing it.
Cooking and baking
I know, I’m getting a bit crafty up in here. But I honestly think that cooking and baking are very relaxing activities. Especially when you make something with a friend, your kids or the entire family. There’s just something nostalgic about putting the ingredients for cookies in a bowl. Or picking out your favorite spices for that lovely dish everyone likes. For me making something in the kitchen is really relaxing. I love researching recipes, putting together my grocery list, shopping, cooking and then the eating. Yeah, the eating is my favorite part.
The only thing I dislike is the cleaning up afterwards, haha! However, there’s something very prideful about being able to cook or bake something tasty. The moment where you taste the cake you made and find out it’s fantastic… That’s just the best, isn’t it? You made that with your own hands and now everyone you love gets to taste it. It’s brilliant and it helps your brain relax by moving your hands, paying attention to the food and enjoying all the flavors and smells. I mean, everyone loves the smell of fresh cookies in the oven!
A short trip
I don’t have my dog anymore, but when Dior was still around, we would go on short trips together. We would go to the beach for a few hours or I would bring my dog to the mall. I’d pack some snacks and water for him and myself. We would walk along the boulevard and have a snack moment in between. It was great! Now that I’m by myself I like to go to the city. I browse the shops, walk through the neighborhood I want to move into and buy a nice cup of Matcha tea. A short trip can take an hour or the entire day, it’s up to you. Just planning a short trip can bring up so much fun and it puts your mind into a happy state.
How to relax without a screen? Simply leave all your devices at home and get into the car or the train. don’t want to pay money for traveling? Hop on your bike or just start walking right now! Walk around with a friend in a city you’ve never been in. Explore your own country, meet new people and try new places to eat. Relaxing really can be that simple and low budget if you want it to be. I’ve met so many interesting people by just getting out there back in the day. I always came home with new energy and ideas. I actually felt relaxed and some kind of happy-hyped after, and I loved it!
These are some ways you can relax without a screen. Give them a try and let me know what you think. If you have some good ideas for me, definitely let me know in a comment below. Because I really want to relax more without a screen.