Whether I like to admit it or not, my screen time has reached an all-time high… I’m talking an average of five to six hours a day (yikes). I usually hide behind the excuse that it’s because I’m listening to long podcasts or I’m on Facetime with friends, but in reality, a majority of that time is me scrolling endlessly on TikTok. So much so that I could be defined as “chronically online”—a title I’m not proud of.
While the time has come and gone for a New Year’s resolution, I’m declaring mid-year resolutions a thing and cutting my screen time in half is the first order of business on my list. Maybe you don’t dread your weekly screen-time report like me, but if you are, here are a few ways to unplug this summer that I’m sticking to:
1. Book a quick weekend getaway
Maybe I’m stubborn, but the best way for me to break out of a bad habit—like being glued to my phone—is to get a change of scenery (bonus points if it’s out in nature). One of my favorite ways to escape is by using AutoCamp, a glamping experience that is the perfect happy medium between roughing it and staying at a boutique hotel.
My coworker recently came back from a weekend trip completely rejuvenated after enjoying artisanal s’mores around a private bonfire pit outside her luxury Airstream camper, stopping by the AutoCamp clubhouse for a night of live music, and taking long bike rides to the beach thanks to Autocamp’s complimentary bikes. After she told me about the incredible experience she had, I knew I had to book a trip myself. And if you’re not quite ready to go technology-free, Autocamp has free wifi all throughout the property. You can check in at home and post a couple of cute pics before getting back to your digital detox weekend.
2. Go on headphone-free walks
On a normal day, I’m listening to a podcast or Taylor Swift on repeat on my after-work walk, but recently, I’ve discovered how zen-like walks are when I leave my AirPods behind. I typically use my walks to decompress and transition from work mode to life mode and, before I knew the joy of headphone-free walks, I’d often find myself feeling just as overstimulated as I did before I left my apartment. Opening up my phone to switch songs was like opening a can of worms—before I knew it, I was checking my text notifications, realizing I missed a call from my mom, and then scrolling IG all because I wanted to change All Too Well to Karma. I feel so much more clarity and presence during my walks now—almost like I hit refresh on my brain. My three biggest tips for a peaceful walk? 1) Take in the scenery, 2) use that time to practice calming breaths, and 3) meditate on three things you’re grateful for that day.
3. Start a new outdoor hobby
When you’re a Midwest girly like me, you question where you live for over half the year. We’re anxiously counting down the days, hours, and minutes until the summertime rolls around. I realized that, while I quite literally had a summer bucket list saved in my notes app since March, I wasn’t getting around to crossing off the items on my list. Instead, I was cooped up inside catching up on Selling Sunset as if it were the dead of winter. When I realized I wasn’t prioritizing the things that actually make me happy and fulfilled, I knew I had to switch things up. Now, I’ve been trading screentime for starting a new hobby that gets me outside—like gardening or flower pressing. Surprisingly, I have kept all of my herb and veggie plants alive, thank you for asking. If gardening isn’t for you, try photography, hiking, tennis, cycling, or any of the 20 ideas from this list—they are all WAY better than scrolling IG all day.
4. Pick up a light summer read
Would I describe myself as a reader? Yes. Do I actually sit down and read often (without the urge to pick up my phone every five minutes)? Eh, not so much. When I was a kid, I would look forward to the summertime to read all of the books I didn’t have time to read during the school year. I’m picking up that habit again this summer by ditching the endless scroll and picking up a book to relax, unwind, and reduce my blue light time. Here are some of the summer books on my reading bucket list that’ll be flipping through while reading in my favorite spot: on the pier at my family’s lake house.
This post contains a sponsored inclusion of AutoCamp but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.