Screen Free Week 2016

by Katy on May 1, 2016 · 25 comments

Screen Free Week

Monday, May 2nd starts Screen Free Week, which means that thousands of people will turn off their TV’s, video games, hand held devices and computers. Yes, computers have become necessary tools, but they’re also a major distraction that suck up hours upon hours of our daily lives. So reset your screen addiction and dust off your creative thinking skills!

Here are 100 ideas to get you going!

  1. Call a friend you haven’t talked to for awhile.
  2. Read a guilty pleasure novel.
  3. Tidy up your garden and then share extra perennials with your neighbors.
  4. Start gathering up extra stuff for a garage sale or thrift store run.
  5. Write a letter to an elderly family member.
  6. Go to sleep earlier.
  7. Invite a friend over for an afternoon of chatting and snacks.
  8. Assemble extra meals for your freezer.
  9. Go for a bike ride.
  10. Start a journal.
  11. Put on your favorite music from high school and belt. Out. Those. Tunes!
  12. Finish up your craft projects.
  13. Choose one room in your house to clean, declutter and redecorate using stuff you already own.
  14. Plant some edible seeds. Don’t have a garden? Many veggies such as lettuce and radishes grow well in pots.
  15. Go see some live entertainment. Local community theater is usually affordable enough to be a treat but not a wallet buster.
  16. Pick up an instrument and practice, practice, practice.
  17. Bake a delicious treat, and then share the bounty with your neighbors.
  18. Go outside with your kids and kick a soccer ball or shoot hoops.
  19. Send an unexpected gift to a child.
  20. Pull out your mending pile and bring your wardrobe back to life.
  21. Put your best sheets on your bed and then take a nap.
  22. Write down your goals for the summer.
  23. Offer to babysit for a friend, and then plan some fun screen-free activities for the evening.
  24. Set up a still life and draw it, even if you’re normally not an artistic person.
  25. Drive your car to the fanciest neighborhood in town and go for a walk among the mansions.
  26. Bring a notebook to a coffee shop and do nothing but doodle to see where your mind goes.
  27. Bake bread and then relax into the smell.
  28. Pull out your board games and play into the night.
  29. Have your neighbors over for an informal potluck.
  30. Take all your blankets and pillows and build a kick-ass fort with your kids. Eat dinner in there.
  31. Set up a lemonade stand.
  32. Lay a blanket out in your backyard and stargaze.
  33. Pull out your piles of paper to organize, shred and file.
  34. Take a long hot bath while listening to your favorite music.
  35. Go to the library and ask about free activities for adults.
  36. Pet your dog/cat/guinea pig/unicorn/ferret.
  37. Take advantage of any sunny days to wash your bedding and hang them on the clothesline.
  38. Take an old friend out for coffee/wine/dessert.
  39. Read aloud to your kids, even if they think they’re too old for it.
  40. Go to your favorite thrift shop and photograph the weirdest stuff you can find.
  41. Put a fresh coat of paint on a tired old piece of furniture.
  42. Use your gym membership.
  43. Recreate your favorite restaurant meal at home.
  44. Visit a museum in your own town.
  45. Take another nap.
  46. Find all the gift cards you’ve received through the years and treat yo self.
  47. Prepare a meal to bring to the parents of young children. Trust me, they need it.
  48. Pull out your comic books and catch up with Archie, Spiderman and Buffy.
  49. Open your windows and air out your house.
  50. Drive to the country and stop at all farm stands.
  51. Make your own postcards and mail them to far flung friends.
  52. Read an autobiography.
  53. Get a book of craft projects from the library and attempt creating something.
  54. Make a flower bouquet from your own garden, even if it’s mostly greenery.
  55. Hula hoop/jump rope/play hopscotch.
  56. Go for a hike.
  57. Wash all your sneakers and shine all your shoes.
  58. Trade clothes with a same size friend.
  59. Visit with an older family member and learn what they did instead of watching TV.
  60. Go on a picnic.
  61. Call a friend who’s going through hard times to let her know that you’re thinking of her.
  62. Treat yourself as you would a guest and prepare yourself a sumptuous feast.
  63. Go window shopping in your favorite district, but leave your money and credit cards at home.
  64. Finish a home improvement project.
  65. Volunteer at a pet shelter/school/food pantry.
  66. Go swimming with a friend.
  67. Go to your local beauty school and treat yourself to a new haircut.
  68. Declutter and reorganize your closet in a way that’s pleasing to the eye.
  69. Buy yourself something completely indulgent from a bakery.
  70. Go find a local body of water. A river, pond or ocean will restore your spirits.
  71. Light a fire in the fireplace and pour a glass of wine.
  72. Take another nap.
  73. Write a short story.
  74. Go to your nearest track and do some power walking.
  75. Surprise your family with a fancy dessert on a weeknight.
  76. Give yourself a manicure or pedicure.
  77. Go to an author reading at your favorite book store.
  78. Bust out that deck of cards for an hour or two of gin rummy, poker, solitaire or go fish.
  79. Do an anonymous good deed for a stranger.
  80. Find some live music to enjoy.
  81. Sit at an outdoor cafe and people watch.
  82. Offer to help a friend for a couple of hours with whatever she needs.
  83. Plan a day trip and explore your own state.
  84. Dump out one junk drawer and get it clean and organized.
  85. Borrow a friend’s dog and take it for a nice long walk.
  86. Dedicate one day to all your boring errands to get them over with.
  87. Trade magazines with a friend, and then bring the whole stack into bed.
  88. Spread a sheet on your living room floor and dump out all of your Legos and start creating.
  89. Challenge your kids to create their own board games, and then be willing to play the games.
  90. Plan a date night with your sweetie.
  91. Take a nature walk in your own neighborhood and take close up photos of the plants and flowers.
  92. Stare into space and let your mind wander.
  93. Read the actual newsprint version of your local newspaper.
  94. Write a letter of appreciation to your mother as a mother’s day gift.
  95. Sign up for a one day class in an area of interest.
  96. Sleep late on your days off from work.
  97. Go to a comedy club and laugh your ass off.
  98. Pore through your cookbooks and find new recipes to try.
  99. Do things that would normally be outside of your routine.
  100. Take another nap.

The average American spends 25 hours per day in front of a screen. Can you set one week aside to recharge your creative juices?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

April May 2, 2016 at 2:36 am

25 hours per day? Lol. 🙂


Shevaun May 2, 2016 at 3:55 am

And 25 hours a day is only the average, which means some people spend more (this is possible through multitasking: watching TV while simultaneously on a smartphone, etc., thus 1 hour counts as 2 hours of screen time, etc.).

My college students routinely spend 36 hours a day on technology. I know this because they track it as part of a data-collection project.

No wonder they’re all kinds of stressed out.


Mariana May 2, 2016 at 4:31 am

I am joining with no TV this week. I don’t think I can quit my laptop time 😉


Mariana May 8, 2016 at 11:27 am

An update.
I failed.


Marion May 2, 2016 at 4:51 am

I pulled the plug on tv nearly 20 years ago. Best choice I ever made.
I limit Kindle time to less than 30 minutes a day. Unless, of course, I have a good book going and the all bets are off


jennifer May 2, 2016 at 6:27 am

So wait, no posts from Katy for a whole week?**nail biting


Trish May 2, 2016 at 5:02 pm

right? this stinks!!!!


JD May 2, 2016 at 8:04 am

I really like the nap options — how I could use that, but work keeps me gone from the house almost 10 hours a day, and in front of a screen, so the nap probably won’t happen. But TV is a rare, rare choice — I haven’t watched any in three weeks, so what’s one week more? And I already don’t do Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or…. whatever is the thing to do now. I can do this!
P.S. I’m reading this on my lunch break at work 🙂


Sue May 2, 2016 at 9:45 am

This has to be a typo… average American spends 25 HOURS a day in front of a screen? Even if you worked on line all day and watched TV the rest of your leisure time… how can that be?


Katy May 2, 2016 at 12:52 pm

It’s humor.


IsabelI May 2, 2016 at 4:54 pm

Thank God I thought I was going crazy! Count me out!


Isabelle May 2, 2016 at 10:16 am

Mmm…. this is a vacation week for me, so unplugging is not going to happen this year. I did do 3-4 days last year and it was an interesting experience. Enjoy!


Beth May 2, 2016 at 10:59 am

I realize that I may be an NCA addict, as I’ve checked the homepage 3 times today in hopes that the no-screen thing is a fluke and that I’m going to see a FFT post! Sigh…


Diane C May 3, 2016 at 1:34 pm

Right there with you, sister!

OMG, I suppose if you really wanted to, you could post your own FFT right here in the comments section. NCA anarchy! As long a nobody buys anything new, it’s all good.


Ruby May 2, 2016 at 1:46 pm

We watch very little television any more, having cut out cable years ago, and my phone is just a phone, not an entertainment device.

However, there’s not much I can do about the computer time, as that’s what I do for a living and how I keep up with some very far-flung friends. Today brought an e-mail from a friend in Holland, so you bet I’ll answer her right away.


tonya parham May 2, 2016 at 7:17 pm

I can’t go screen free this week– I’m working an online job from home which puts me on the computer for 8 hours a day. BUT, it’s less than two weeks till I leave for Italy! I plan on being screen free for the vast majority of the three weeks I am there!

I can hardly wait!


jennifer May 3, 2016 at 6:00 am

Excited for you, so fun!


tonya parham May 3, 2016 at 5:42 pm

It’s my first time abroad so I’m excited and scared, too!


Gina in Ky May 4, 2016 at 4:23 am

Oh, just seeing this one, but I will be joining in! Fortunately for my older son, it corresponds with a grounding for school behavior! 🙂


Diane C May 7, 2016 at 9:43 am

Oooooohhhhhh, is this week ever going to end? You are missed KW-S!


Elizabeth May 9, 2016 at 1:16 pm

I hope you enjoyed your week unplugged, but it’s been a heck of a week without the NCA blog. Can’t wait for more!


Katy May 9, 2016 at 8:55 pm



Brantlee May 10, 2016 at 1:19 am

I agree! It has been a long week without NCA !


Lesley May 10, 2016 at 2:44 am

Come back, Katy!


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