5 Ways to Stay Off Screens this Christmas
This is post 2 of 2 in the series “Presence Not Presents”
- We’re dreaming of a Screen-Free Christmas
- 5 Ways to Stay Off Screens this Christmas
2020 has been a hard year. It’s also been a screen-filled year as we all connected with our loved ones, worked and even taught our kids on screens. After such a year it’s understandable that many of us want to log off for the holidays and enjoy a screen-free Christmas, but that’s easier said than done, especially if you are spending Christmas alone. So, we’ve put together five tips to help you stay away from screens as much as possible this year, and finally unwind.
#1 Schedule screen-time
2020 is an unusual year. Normally we would recommend putting down screens entirely, at least on the big day. However, this year most of the South of the UK will be isolated in Tier 4 and the rest of the country will only be able to visit one household. This means that many of us will spend time video calling our loved ones, trying to spend time with them on Christmas Day, especially if we are spending the holidays alone. Our advice is to schedule that screen time. Book in calls in advance and try to only use your devices for that communication. By all means, call family and friends, but don’t spend the hours between those calls mindlessly doom scrolling, especially with all the bad news out there this year!
#2 Phone-free food
Whilst we may not be able to achieve an entirely screen-free Christmas, the least we can all aim for is a screen-free meal, (like we all managed only a couple of decades ago). So, we recommend instituting a phone box for everyone to put their devices in during the meal, so that you can all focus on the food and truly appreciate the people you are with. You’ll be able to have a much better conversation. And even if you’re alone you will appreciate the ability to mindfully eat without distraction.
#3 Analogue activities
Another great way to keep yourself (and your family) offline for a screen-free Christmas is to organise analogue activities to take up some of your phone time. You could do a puzzle, play a board game, read a book, or just sit and snack whilst you listen to some Christmas carols. A firm favourite at Time to Log Off is the Hat Game. This involves everyone putting names of celebs (or at least people everyone at the gathering knows) into a hat, and then in teams one person describing all the people they pick out with one minute on the clock, until the hat is empty. You can even add more rounds with a limit on words, or make it charades!
#4 Get outside
One of the best ways to ensure you have a blissfully uninterrupted Christmas is to go outside. MIND recommend spending time outside to help with your mental health, something we all probably need after 2020. On top of that, going outside is also a great way to take your focus away from your screen, you could even leave it behind! We recommend a Christmas walk to get yourself moving again after dinner, but you could also just sit in a garden, or even go for a bike ride if you’re feeling particularly restless.
#5 Lead by example
If you want to create an environment free of screens for your family, or housemates, this Christmas, the best thing you can do is to lead by example. If you’re not on your phone at dinner, whilst playing a game, or as you talk, hopefully they will catch the hint and put theirs down more too. If the people you’re trying to convince are family that might be harder, but as long as you are taking part in screen-free Christmas as much as you are asking them to, you should be in with a good chance to get some analogue time this year.
From everyone at Time to Log Off we wish you a happy Christmas!