12 Activities That Will Make You Put Down Your Phone and Get Creative

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It is a tough job living life in the digital age. 

The more that technology advances and assists day to day life, the harder it is to find time to get unplugged. Even small moments – like sitting at a red light, or waiting for someone to meet you for coffee – are now surrendered to our phones. While it is great to be alerted every time you get an email or a podcast, it is sometimes difficult to remember to take some time for yourself, sans phone.

The benefits of putting technology aside and getting your brain working differently are innumerable, and will trickle into other aspects of your life. Whether it be generating new and organic ideas, finding a hobby that inspires you to get your work done faster, or just a brighter perspective as you take on the week, everyone should make the effort to leave their phone behind, and kick it old school every day.

Here are 12 activities to keep you entertained and inspired. No cell phone necessary.  

Photo by  kooklanekookla  on Flickr

Photo by kooklanekookla on Flickr

1. Bike Ride 
Walks are wonderful for exploring, but do you know what is even better? A bike ride. There is no greater way to get your bearings on a new (or old) neighborhood than by exploring it on two wheels.  On a bike, you don’t pay for long detours, and mistakes can be made up for in no time.  Plus, it is a simple way to fit some physical activity into your day. As the weather gets nicer, consider biking to work or going on a leisurely ride while running some errands.  

Photo by  crdot  on Flickr

Photo by crdot on Flickr

2. Meditation
Few people are willing to commit to meditating every day because they see it as a huge commitment. However, just spending 5-10 minutes right after waking up and concentrating on your breathing is all that is required!  Spending some time with just your thoughts will open up your mind for the rest of the day. Don’t like sitting still? Consider starting your day with a few minutes of relaxing yoga.

Image by  Moyan Brenn  on Flickr

Image by Moyan Brenn on Flickr

3. Explore a New Neighborhood
Your mission, should you choose to accept it: drive to that part of town you have never been to, put your phone on silent, and just walk around. You never know what you might find – even if it is just some pretty houses.

Photo by  yellowhouse72  on Flickr

Photo by yellowhouse72 on Flickr

4. Craft
We all have a long list of craft projects (usually on Pinterest) that we want to complete. It is time to bite the bullet and actually make one. Pick something simple and then see it through to completion!

Photo by  thelittleandroid  on Flickr

Photo by thelittleandroid on Flickr

5. Thrift Shopping
Even if you don’t buy anything, just looking at old treasures and imagining trends is hilarious and inspiring. 

Photo by  chameleons0ul  on Flickr

Photo by chameleons0ul on Flickr

6. Journal for 10 Minutes
Once again, on the surface, it may seem like journaling requires a long time and a major commitment. However, writers always say the same thing – journaling for 10 minutes, right after you wake up, opens up your brain for the rest of the day. Plus, at the end of the year, you will have spent over 60 hours journaling.  It will be incredible to have that catalogue of your days to go back through for the rest of your life.

Photo by  invisible_helicopter  on Flickr

Photo by invisible_helicopter on Flickr

7. Make a Movie
Dust off that old point-and-shoot camera sitting in a drawer.  Since the advancement of phone cameras, our old faithful cameras have not been getting a lot of action. Consider making a short film with your friends – it is guaranteed to be entertaining, and another treasure that will be fun to watch for years to come.  

Photo by  mecrip  on Flickr

Photo by mecrip on Flickr

8. Watch a Short Film
If you don’t want to make a short movie, consider watching one. People always assume that watching a movie requires several hours of your day. Not true! There are many brilliant artists who tell their stories in just 20-30 minutes. An entire short film genre is waiting to be explored.

Photo by  danielmsteinberg  on Flickr

Photo by danielmsteinberg on Flickr

9. Star Gazing
Marvel at the sky and try to identify some basic constellations. Star gazing has been a hobby for thousands of years, and it is never too late to get into it. Plus, you can impress your friends the next time you are out by showing them new patterns in the sky.

Photo by  lupinoduck  on Flickr

Photo by lupinoduck on Flickr

10. Hang Out with Kids
It is a child’s full time job to be creative. If you have children, or friends with children, spend a few hours coloring or playing imaginary games. It might have been a while since you’ve used your brain in this way, and you may find it inspiring or relaxing!

Photo by  kennysarmy  on Flickr

Photo by kennysarmy on Flickr

11. Card Games or Board Games
People had been having fun for decades without technology, and board games and card games have played a large part. There is nothing like the thrill of friendly competition or getting better at a new game. 

Photo by  ambernambrose  on Flickr

Photo by ambernambrose on Flickr

12. Make a Cocktail
Instead of inviting your friends out for drinks, invite them over for drinks!  Take the time to find a recipe and perfect it.

Photo by  elise  on Flickr

Photo by elise on Flickr

Call Someone
This is a bonus because, yes, it does require your phone.  Instead of typing up an email or text, consider taking the extra time to call someone. It is funny that in 2017, actually speaking with someone has become intimidating.  Usually, more times than not, you’re happy you had the chance to chat.

Cover photo by Photo by invisible_helicopter on Flickr

Madeline Quigley, Pittsburgh native and travel enthusiast, is the founder of The Gal-ivanter.  

Madeline hopes others can learn from the tips and lessons she's gained through her travels.... especially the lessons (ie: make sure you have your debit card in your wallet before you walk away from the ATM).

All of the best travel advice she's ever received didn't come from books or guides.  It came from real people who went out there, did the damn thing, and then shared their experiences through blogs or IRL conversations (those still happen)!   This type of real travel advice is what she aims to emulate on thegal-ivanter.com

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