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A Mental Health Boost: Break Free of the Screen and Do Something New


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If you ever find yourself stuck to your smartphone and you realize that maybe you spend a little too much time staring at screens, you’re not alone. A recent study published in Scientific American found that adults spend an average of nine hours and 22 minutes every day in front of various screens—including computers, smartphones, tablets and televisions.


Out of nearly 9.5 hours, eight hours were found to be for personal use. Not only does this serve as a bad example for children, but this screen addiction is making us unhappy.


The Answer to Too Much Screen Time


Picking up hobbies such as photography, yoga, or gardening is a great antidote to a screen addiction. Hobbies give your brain a break from the information overload we’ve become desensitized to. They provide a sense of motivation that inspires learning and growth. They give you a challenge you get to conquer on your own terms. They help relieve anxiety and stress while encouraging mindfulness you can take with you into the rest of your day. Furthermore, they help you break away from the screen and do something in the real world.


Of course, not everyone is keen on the idea of traditional hobbies such as stamp collecting or woodworking. These can take a lot of resources to get into. Plus, they simply may not interest some people. The following ideas for hobbies are easy to get into and enjoyable to do, so you won’t mind putting down the phone or turning off Netflix to pursue them.


Meditation


The best thing about picking up meditation as a hobby is it is free and you can start it at any time and anywhere. But the impact meditation can have on your life goes well beyond its frugality and ease. Meditation can truly improve your life. If you sometimes struggle with tough emotions, meditation teaches you to turn off the negative chatter in your head these emotions often spur. People who meditate are less anxious and happier overall. Meditation is a tool that allows you to build a deeper connection with yourself. It can even benefit the physical body by promoting a healthy heart, a stronger immune system and better sleep.


Switch Up Your Fitness


While exercise is a form of self-care for most people, there are ways to enjoy fitness as a hobby. This can come in the form of learning Zumba, body-building, mountain biking, yoga and even indoor rock climbing. Learning a new and more intense form of exercise takes practice, so it’s important to be patient as your body adapts and builds endurance.


Upcycling


Most Americans are oblivious to the world’s trash problem. The truth is, we create billions of tons of waste each year and the numbers are only set to increase with time. Most of that trash doesn’t have a place to go -- it ends up in landfills or in giant garbage patches in the ocean. In fact, there is so much waste that 83 percent of the world’s tap water contains plastic fibers. That old sandwich bag you threw away years ago never really went anywhere. It just disintegrated into microscopic molecules and found itself in your drinking water.


Upcycling is a hobby that helps you express your creativity while reducing your impact on the environment. You can upcycle almost anything:


● Turn an old egg carton into seed starts for your own indoor herb garden.

● Make glass bottles into vases for the perfect homemade gift for friends.

● Cut up old T-shirts to use as dust rags around the house.

● Use old leather belts to give a chair a second life.

● Find furniture at thrift shops and give it a modern update with a couple coats of paint.


The only limits to upcycling are what you have on hand and your imagination. Explore online to get ideas. Pinterest is a great resource for upcycling inspiration.


Make a Space


Get the most out of your new hobby by creating a positive and stress-free environment at home. You can start by deep cleaning and decluttering. Upgrade your furniture, or better yet, consider searching for an “upholstery shop near me” to give your chairs and sofa a well-deserved facelift. Then make sure to let in some natural light and fresh air into your home. Taking these steps can reduce tension, which will make it easier to savor what you’re doing.


Too much screen time is wasting your time and making you unhappy. Try picking up a hobby to break free and do something new. Meditation is a great hobby that is easy to get into because it’s free, and you can do it anywhere. Furthermore, it has many mental and physical health benefits. Upcycling is another wonderful hobby that gives you the chance to express yourself creatively while doing a small part to help the world’s trash problem.


Sometimes finding effective ways to make lifestyle shifts is tough. You don’t need to go it alone! Get some assistance from Coach Jen Bilger. Click here for information on current specials and how to book a session.

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