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Screen-free ways to unwind at home

Business Life

5 alternatives to Netflix to get you through the long weeks at home

We get it, being stuck at home without the usual opportunities to get out and socialise makes it easy to default to hours in front of a screen. We’re all conscious of trying to limit screen time for our children, but some studies have found adults spend an average of 11 hours staring at screens. And this was in the pre-Coronavirus world before our main connections to the outside world were through video chatting, social media and group messaging apps. Too much screen time can lead to eye strain, headaches, and sleep issues among other health concerns.

Unplugging for a few hours a day and doing something creative or practical can boost your mental health and reinvigorate your self-esteem. Here are just a few suggestions to get you off the sofa and away from streaming and watching TV.

  1. Read a book - While we’re all confined to our homes, it’s the perfect way to get lost in another world and can catch up on those things you’ve been meaning to read (or listen to on Audible). Whether you want to revisit an old favourite, tackle a few of the classics or work your way through your newspaper bestseller list, sink into a chair, crack open a tome and enjoy. If you want to make it social, why not organise a Zoom book club with some friends and family? And if your library is a bit limited, check out local and international providers of free ebooks and audiobooks. Tip: You can find free books on the Google Play Store in their “Top Free” section and on Apple Books.

  2. Learn a new skill - ideally something you can do with your hands such as painting, playing an instrument, baking or crafting to induce a state of flow. Positive psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi coined the term “state of flow” to describe the feeling of getting lost in an activity. In his book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience he said flow is “a state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter." Ideal for the current climate!

    Kids can get in on the action too. If you’re looking for some easy crafts, check out these downloadable PDFs for little ones to try. You can help your kids cut and paste Perfect Harmony the butterfly and join the dots to make Bee Bee.

  3. Plant something - Even if you don’t have a garden, your home can benefit from a window box or house plants. Research has shown that plants improve air quality and humidity levels, reduce stress and boost productivity. Succulents are low-maintenance plants if you’re not sure about your green thumb. Peace lilies are also easy to care for and only need low light, moderate temperatures and moist soil.

  4. Finish those outstanding DIY jobs - From fixing the doorbell to putting up some bookshelves, you’ve been saying you’ll do it when you get a bit more time, so here’s your chance. If you’re already a seasoned DIY-er, now’s the time to tick off all those to-do list items and feel a sense of accomplishment and earn points with your housemates. Although if you’re not very handy with a hammer or power tools, maybe wait until self-isolation is over before starting anything too ambitious…

  5. Start a new project - Make that family photo album or practice some Marie Kondo on your closets and junk drawers. Form a family band. Learn a new language. Challenge yourself to commit 20 minutes a day to your new project and you may be surprised at how much you accomplish.

For more hints and tips visit our Amway, together at home content hub.

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