As a society, I think that we have gotten into a rut. Or maybe it is just me! We rely on TV, phones, and tablets to entertain us every night.
I want to challenge you to join me in getting out of that rut. Cut out the blue light emitting electronics in the evening for a week. Wind down in the evening for a couple of hours before bed without the blue lights. (This also involves not turning on your overhead bright LED/CFL lights as well – get some warm candlelight bulbs for your lamps.)
The idea of cutting out electronic devices for a couple of hours before bed leaves me thinking: What will I do? Stare at the walls? Do laundry? (Actually, doing laundry idea isn't a bad idea...)
If you are looking for ideas of things to do in the evening sans screens, here are five for you to try out this week:
1) Read a book.
Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, books were written on paper and not back-lit with blue light. I love to read and grew up reading books every night before bed. Somehow, though, I've come to rely on my eReader now and rarely pick up a paper book. This is mainly because I love to be able to check out books from the library online, and then have them automatically returned at the end of the borrowing period without accruing library fines.
2) Have a conversation.
Sit down in a comfy spot with your partner, kids, sister, brother, friend... and just hang out and talk for a couple of hours. Talk about your work week, wax poetical about your deep thoughts, or dish on the 'goings ons'. When was the last time you just sat down to talk without turning on the TV?
3) Enjoy some music.
Whether playing an instrument or just listening to an album, take an hour or two to immerse yourself in music. Not only does this disconnect you from the world of social media and blue light emitting electronics, but it is also good for your brain. There are tons of research studies showing the cognitive benefits of listening to music.
Putting pen to paper seems to be an almost lost art. Why not give creative writing a try and write a short story? If you are not into fiction, you could journal about your thoughts or write down things you are grateful for. You could write a letter to someone - your grandmother, the manager of the cell phone company that messed up your bill, or your congressman to try to impact policy.
5) Meditation or Yoga
You've read about how great meditation is but never seem to find the time to try it. Now that Netflix is turned off and Facebook is doing without your presence for an evening, why not try meditation or gentle yoga stretching or both. You could go all out and meditate or stretch just by candle light.
Give up electronics at night for a week. See if you sleep better and feel better. I bet you do!