Life @ U of T

Introduction

My Favourite Screen-Free Activities to Decompress

My Favourite Screen-Free Activities to Decompress

With all my lectures and meetings being online now, it’s definitely fair to say that I’m spending way too much time looking at a screen! I can really feel the effects of this—I’m super exhausted by the end of the day, my eyes hurt a lot, and I have trouble focusing and staying motivated. Inspired by Olive’s recent blog about eye strain, I thought I’d write this week about my favourite screen-free activities. These have been so essential to decompress after long days of online school—Netflix doesn’t feel quite as good anymore!

A picture of a purple sky

Cooking 

I’m already a huge fan of cooking, so I know this year I’m going to take extra time to cook and decompress. Not only does cooking allow me to look after my body, but I can take that much needed break from looking at a screen. Tonight for dinner, I made roasted chickpeas and collard greens fried with onions and garlic! It was simple and easy, but actually so good!

A picture of chickpeas and collard greens sautéed together

Cleaning and redecorating

I’ve also found that tasks like cleaning my room—which usually got tossed aside for Netflix— are now super appealing. In addition to my usual cleaning tasks, I’ve been redecorating my room, moving around furniture, and going through storage spaces in my house to see what old things I can dig up.

Exercising 

For when I’m feeling really tired, a quick walk or run around my neighbourhood has been doing wonders for making me feel energized and rejuvenated. I also have a yoga mat (but a carpet works too!) which I love doing some simple yoga moves on to stretch and relax.

A gif of a seal trying and failing to do push-ups
Basically me! Creds: Giphy.com

Exploring new neighbourhoods

If I’m feeling especially adventurous, I’ll go on a walk or a run to a completely different neighbourhood! I’ve found this to be a great way to exercise, but also get out of my comfort zone and explore a completely new area of the city. 

A picture of the inside of a cafe
One of my favourite cafes which I found exploring in Little Italy (picture taken pre-Covid)!

Meditating 

Though I’ve never been a meditation person, I’ve been really getting into it lately. Closing my eyes and meditating for 10-15 minutes has helped me restart my brain, feel less anxious, and centred me in the present moment. If you’re looking to get started meditating for the first time, I recommend U of T Student Life’s Mindful Moments workshops!

Listening to music, podcasts, and audiobooks 

When I’m craving the ease of consuming visual content, but can’t handle a screen, I’ve definitely been turning to music, podcasts, and audiobooks. Here’s a playlist of some of the songs I’ve been listening to currently:

A picture of a Spotify playlist linked in the text

Journalling and planning 

I’ve also been taking the additional time to really plan out my weeks on paper. Though I haven’t yet, I’m definitely going to start bullet-journalling. I’m hoping this will encourage me to spend lots of time planning online-school every month and help me get creative designing my journal.

A picture of a planner filled with multiple events

What’s been your go-to off-line activity? Let me know in the comments below!

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