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25 Things You Can Do Instead of Watching TV

25 Things You Can Do Instead of Watching TV | Screen-Free Activities
Listen, I love a good night in front of the TV as much as the next person. And, I don’t think we should feel ashamed if we spend a Sunday binge-watching old X-Files reruns. It’s called relaxation, look it up.

But, I do think that in general, we all spend a lot of time in front of screens. From computers to TVs to cellphones, it’s A LOT of screen time. And, I’m sure, like me, you’ve seen the countless studies that prove that too much time in front of a screen isn’t doing good things for us. It has been shown to decrease cognitive functioning and even shrink the gray matter areas of the brain (where “processing” occurs).

So, I always make a conscious effort to have tech-free time in my life. Today, I’m sharing 25 of my FAVORITE screen-free activities. Most of these can be enjoyed year-round. And, I tried to pick things that won’t cost a lot. It’s about having fun without a screen – not breaking the bank!

25 Things You Can Do Instead of Watching TV | Screen-Free Activities

1. Enjoy an outdoor sport: Whether you like skiing, sailing, biking, hiking, etc., get out there an enjoy one of your favorite outdoor activities.

2. Listen to a Podcast/Radio: Michael and I are more than guilty of having our dinner in front of the television. But, often in an effort to have less screen time we’ll have dinner while listening to the radio or a podcast. Usually, they strike up great conversations too!

3. Organize Something: Not sure about you, but there is ALWAYS something in my house that needs to be organized. Use the time to tackle one of those spots. Last night I finally organized the cupboards in my kitchen after dinner and it felt great!

25 Things You Can Do Instead of Watching TV | Screen-Free Activities

4. Bake Something: Who doesn’t love a freshly baked loaf of bread or cookies (or a cake!!) Bake something from scratch. And, if you don’t have enough people in your house to eat it all, bring them into the office.

5. Visit with Neighbors: Sometimes I feel like good old fashion neighborly friendship is going away. But, Michael and I have always tried to make an effort to be friendly with neighbors. Often, it leads to dinners together which are great screen-free hours!

25 Things You Can Do Instead of Watching TV | Screen-Free Activities

6. Do a Craft! One of my favorite pastimes is crafting. You don’t need to be an artist to enjoy crafting. I have tons of DIYs here on my blog you can check out. Or, of course, you can check out all my affordable DIYs on my YouTube channel.

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7. Finish that Project – you know which one I’m talking about: We all have at least one project we’ve been putting off. Use this time to get it done!

8.Check for Live Music Events: You’d be surprised how many local events are in your area if you just look. Lots of towns have live music during the spring/summer/fall on town greens. Bring a blanket and some wine and you’re golden!

25 Things You Can Do Instead of Watching TV | Screen-Free Activities

9. Go for a Walk: This is a great way to get outside. Even if it’s cold, bundle up and take a walk in your town, neighborhood, etc.

10. Deep Clean: Take everything out of your cabinets and wipe them all down, mop your floors and wipe down your baseboards, dust everything, detail your car…there’s always something you can get squeaky clean!

11. Enjoy Your Outdoor Space: Not ideal for those colder months, but take advantage of your outdoor space. Whether you shoot hoops in your driveway, throw the football in the yard, hang out on your patio, etc.

12. People Watch: People watching is so entertaining. If you live somewhere you can sit on a front porch and watch people go for it! Otherwise, local coffee shops make great spots to watch the people coming and going.

25 Things You Can Do Instead of Watching TV | Screen-Free Activities

13. Paint/Draw a Picture: It doesn’t matter if you consider yourself an artist or not, everyone can enjoy drawing or painting. Just get some cheap paints and a canvas (you can literally get it for less than $15 at JoAnn’s, you don’t need the fancy stuff! Maybe even set up a still life and try to paint it!

14. Play a Board Game: There are so many fun games to play, even if it’s just two of you! And, don’t forget about all the great card games, too.

15. Take up Cross Stich: Why not learn a new skill! Recently I started doing cross stitch, but you could also try something else like knitting, pottery, macrame, etc.

16. Read: Maybe a DUH item, but I always have books I want to get through and always say I don’t “have the time.” Lately, I’ve been reading before bed instead of my normal “browse through Instagram.” I think it helps me shut down from the day much better.

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25 Things You Can Do Instead of Watching TV | Screen-Free Activities

17. Write: Writing can be so therapeutic. You can write about anything. Write in your blog if you have one, start a journal, or find a writing prompt and write on the topic for 30 minutes.

18. Exercise or Do Yoga: Not sure about you but my favorite excuse for not exercising is that I “don’t have the time.” But, this is mostly BS since I usually have time for a TV show before bed. I’ve been trying to do yoga before bed lately to help detox after the day (and improve my sleep!)

19. Purge Your Closet: This always feels SO GOOD! Go through your closet, get rid of anything you don’t wear anymore and reorganize it. A decluttered closet is the best cure for not knowing what to wear in the morning.

20. Give Yourself an At-Home Manicure and Pedicure: How about a little “me time?!” I don’t know about you but I hate paying to get my nails done regularly. It takes time and it’s pricey in the long run. You can give yourself the same pamper sesh at home!

21. Do a Puzzle: Puzzles are great technology-free pastimes and they usually take a few nights to complete, so set one up and work on each night after dinner instead of watching TV!

22. Go to Bed Earlier: We’re all guilty of not getting enough sleep sometimes. Turn off the screen and get the ZZZs.

25 Things You Can Do Instead of Watching TV | Screen-Free Activities

23. Go out for dessert: In our house, after dinner is the most common time to get sucked into the TV. Sometimes going out after dinner is the perfect way to avoid this! Head out for dessert whether you get some ice cream or go to an actual restaurant and split a dessert!

24. Have a Picnic: When the weather is nice I try to enjoy it as much as I can. Even if we just picnic in our own yard, having a meal outside is such a relaxing way to pass the time.

25. Style a bookshelf or coffee table: I love rearranging little corners in my house like a shelf or a table. Take everything off one of your surfaces, dust it down, and then restyle the area.


What did I miss? What are some of your favorite screen-free activites?!

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