The precious time away from phones, laptops & co: A new year’s resolution

Whenever a new year is just around the corner (or has just started), people plan on changing their lives completely. I myself don’t really believe in making big resolutions  in the beginning of a new year because why do you need a specific date to change what you don’t like about your life? But then again, if it helps…

Anyways, that’s not the topic of this article. It’s more what people plan to change this year. The other day I listened to the radio here in Munich and I heard, that most of the younger people that were asked plan on relaxing more, having more time for themselves and not staring at their phone screen 24/7 anymore.

This made me think.. What are the best ways to stay away from your phone? Or better yet: What are alternatives to being on your phone constantly, especially when bored? (Both traveling and at home.)

#1 Mandala Books

For my birthday last year, my mum gave me the best Mandala book ever: A city coloring book. It has Mandalas or other coloring pages made out of cities, either famous or fiction.
But any other coloring book helps. It can be very relaxing and helps you switch off your thoughts for a bit.
What about doing it an hour before you go to sleep?

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Color Book Cities

Side fact: Staring at a screen before bed can actually affect your sleep AND your weight.

#2 Printed Books

When I first went traveling solo, my mum wanted me to take her Tolino, so I’d be able to read a few books without having to carry all of them around. But I’m just a sucker for the good old fashioned books. I can’t even explain it, but it makes me very happy to open a new book, and even happier when I can close it in the end and put it on the shelf with all the other great books, that sucked me into their world for a certain amount of time.
I know, there are people out there, that don’t really like reading, but I’m sure there’s a book out there that would even captivate you.

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A used bookstore in Vienna, Austria

#3 A hobby

Well, this sounds like a given. But I notice more and more that a lot of people don’t have real hobbies anymore. When I was a kid, my friends played instruments or sports or were part of some kind of club. Now, that we are older, we don’t do that anymore. The average young adult might force itself to go to the gym every once in a while but that’s about it. So here’s a plea to you: Find a hobby that you enjoy and practice it at least once a week. It can be any kind of sport, from boxing to dancing to yoga or photography (with an actual camera) or going for walks or painting or whatever else your heart desires. Just leave your phone at home while doing it 🙂

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Me photographing Glendalough National Park, Ireland

#4 Meditate

Meditation is my new favourite thing to do. I gotta admit, I started it with an app (Headspace), so I had my phone with me while I did it, but it still is a great way to turn your thoughts off and just be with yourself for a while. Ideally, I would love to squeeze in one meditation session a day (even if it’s only for 5-10 minutes) but you know how it is, life gets in the way. But I definitely do it whenever I find the time and it calms me down a lot.
I know from a lot of people who say they wouldn’t have the peace for it and I really thought I wouldn’t either but after a few times I got the hang of it and I wouldn’t want to live without it anymore!

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Me meditating in Dalat, Vietnam

#5 Go for walks (or hikes)

This might be connected with any new hobby you discover for yourself, but even if it isn’t, going for walks can be very soothing and relaxing for your mind and body. I’m lucky enough to live close to a forest back home, but even when I was living in the city of Hamburg or Dublin, I tried to find nice walks to do, no matter if it’s only for 10 minutes or a few hours. Nature has a great effect on you!

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These are just a few options you have to maybe make that one 2017 resolution happening. And even if you never thought about staying away from screens for too long or if you are not even on your phone or laptop all the time, they are nice things to do when you’re by yourself, no matter if you are traveling or at home!

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