7 things you can do instead of picking up your phone

How easy is it these days when you’re alone just to pick up your phone and scroll?

For most of us, it’s the first thing we do when we can’t handle being alone. I for one, am my own culprit. But when Optus informed me the other day that the reason why my data plan is over is because of the 70GB data usage of Instagram on my phone, I realised enough is enough. I was getting caught in a daily scroll hole.

I’ve started to become really conscious of this lately and instead of picking up my phone, I do other nice things instead which has given my mind space, decreases stress and anxiety and enhances my creativity.

1. Be observant

When you’re waiting for something, take note of what’s around you. Like when Nathan and I go out for dinner and he needs to go to the bathroom - I take notice of how the restaurant is decorated, what people are wearing and what they look like, what music is playing, what smells I can sense and if not, I simply daydream about anything from the weird to the wonderful. When I’m waiting in a line at the shops, I look at the people around me and I observe what they’re doing. Without looking like I creep, I take notice of details, colours, shapes, gestures which helps me become completely present.

2. Connect with your body

Put on a meditation playlist on Spotify and throw your legs up on the wall. This feel-good yoga pose (my favourite actually) facilitates venous drainage, increases blood circulation, soothes swollen or tired feet, relieves lower back tension and enhances relaxation. Do this for at least ten minutes and you will feel oh so blissed out.

3. Do a calming brain exercise

Note three things you can see, hear, feel and touch. This is a simple exercise I learnt off the Anxiety Slayer Podcast which has brought the biggest smile to my face so many times and decreased my stress and overthinking immensely. It brings us back to the present moment and without sounding corny, it really does remind us how alive we are and how grateful we should be. I do this everywhere whether I’m in the car, on a walk or simply lounging around on the couch. It’s actually incredible what we can really take notice of when we pay attention.

4. Give yourself a little massage

Mix some essential oils with your favourite base oil or moisturiser and give yourself some loving. Especially with my belly stretching out now, I really enjoy giving myself a little tummy rub with a beautiful Rose-hip oil that was gifted to me recently.

5. Start a puzzle

At first I didn’t think this would interest me at all, but it’s actually a lot more fun than I thought. Nathan found an unopened puzzle of Bondi a few months ago and we have been working on it ever since. Not to mention it teaches a little patience along the way too. It’s taken us forever to finish it, but that’s the great part about it. It just sits in a room and we walk in and attempt to add a few pieces each night.

6. Read a few pages of a novel

In the past I’ve been a non-fiction whore, but lately I’ve realised that self-help books are a bit overrated and I’m just tired of reading stuff that tells me how I can ‘better myself’, which goes against everything I’ve learnt now about self-compassion and the studying I’ve done in counselling so far. So instead I’ve really been getting into my fiction books as it’s a great way to keep the mind present and our creativity thriving, especially as a writer. I’ve been following Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club Hello Sunshine and she has a great list of recommendations. So far my favourites have been Where the Crawdad’s Sing and Elenaor Oliphant is Completely Fine.

7. Tidy up your living space

This one might sound a little mundane, but it honestly works. Yesterday I spend twenty minutes vacuuming, tidying the room and wiping the bathroom sink, and just these simple little things made the space feel much fresher and nicer to be in.