Nine Ways to Limit Your Screen Time and Make the Most of Your Quarantine


Graphic by Grace Dunlavy

There are two ways to look at sheltering in place. One way is that it’s an interruption of what you’d rather be doing. The other way to look at it is that it’s an opportunity to do something you’d like to do without interruption and to grow in the process. However, it’s hard to look at it in the second way when you’re forced to be in front of a screen all day. Not only is sitting in front of a screen for hours on end bad for your eyes, after a while, it just makes you feel bad. Here are some ways you can limit your screen time and, in turn, come out of this pandemic at least a little bit happier than before.



  • Physical activity

While your local gym is likely closed, now is a better time than ever to figure out your at home workout routine. It’s hard enough to find time to exercise when there is an open gym nearby, but adding some sort of physical activity to your daily routine now will make it easier to keep the habit going when things get back to normal. Whether that’s yoga, going for a run or a bike ride, doing push ups or a full workout with at-home equipment, you can always benefit from taking care of your health. Additionally, with the endorphins that come from physical activity, there is hardly a better way to deal with the stress of this pandemic. Plus, I can say from personal experience that running a 5k makes you feel a lot better about watching too much TV.



  • Reading a book

Yeah, this might be obvious, but I’m sure a lot of people, including myself, who’ve been hoping to “get into reading” haven’t even picked up that book they’ve had on their desk for the past year. While it’s often hard to get into the habit, the hardest part of most things is starting, and sharpening your reading skills is always a plus. Once you have the habit started, you’ll be happy when it sticks.



  • Cooking or baking

If you’re a master chef, make some master meals. If you can follow basic recipes, find one a little more challenging. If you can barely boil water, learn some basic cooking skills. There will never be a world where knowing how to cook isn’t useful, and it’s a skill everyone loves to have.



  • Playing a game with your shelter-mates

Board games, card games, drinking games, etc. They never get old and are some of the best ways to bond with the people you’re living with, whether that’s family or friends.



  • Puzzles

This goes hand in hand with playing games with your shelter-mates. Setting up a puzzle with 1000 pieces or more takes a little while, and can be quite frustrating at times, but the process is about as therapeutic as it is stimulating to your mind.



  • Take some advice from Marie Kondo

You’ve likely seen many copies of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo. You’ve also probably heard people tell you how it changed their lives. I have personally never read the book, but I was not prepared for how happy it made me when I took the advice my family members gave me from the book and cleaned out my closet. Its magic really is life changing.



  • Meditation

Whatever meditation means to you, however long it takes, even five minutes of what my sister calls “mindfulness” can benefit you even on the most stressful of days.



  • Learning a tangible talent, skill or hobby

If you’ve ever found yourself saying, “I’d really love to learn how to _____,” now’s your chance! You have all the time in the world to practice, and starting is the hardest part, but to use this time as the catalyst of a new talent, skill or hobby will be incredibly beneficial in the long run.



  • Listen to music

As someone who goes great lengths to keep up on music that’s coming out and what’s important from the past, I’ve found there’s never enough time in the day to listen to so many albums I’ve wanted to. The beauty of listening to music is that you can do it while you do just about any of the activities above.