Week Four: Instead of Screens


This week, we invite you to consider other means of entertainment and information gathering that do not require screens.

As children of days gone past, we grew up in a world in which we learned to creatively play in any setting.  We made forts out of blankets and created clubhouses in the midst of bushes.  The rules of our games were fluid and often depended on other people’s participation to be fulfilling and fun.The information we gathered from the world was delayed, not instantaneous, and relevant to us as particular individuals.  When we compare our entertainment and information gathering of today to the times of our youth, how different or the same is it?  Do we still value opportunities that don’t require a screen to participate?  Are we intentionally engaging with nature, other people, or tangible items like books, puzzles, or boxed games on a regular basis?


  • Read a book, work a puzzle, clean the house.  Do something that requires hands and eyes and engages your mind that has nothing to do with screen time.  Think about how it made you feel to spend time in an activity that wasn’t screen-related.  Active engagement of your brain in learning something new is proven to reduce dementia risk.  Why might this be true and how can you engage your brain in something other than a screen?
  • Take a forest bath. Soaking up the oxygen and other plant producing benefits help to clear the mind as well as improve physical health.  You can walk in nature or simply sit amongst the trees.  Notice how you feel after enjoying a sunny afternoon sitting on a park bench or taking the dog for a walk.  Would you have felt the same way after spending an hour on Facebook or some other social media site?
  • Breath.  Mindfulness practices and meditation are good for the soul.  Instead of picking up your phone when you are bored (in a meeting, at the doctor’s office, sitting on the couch) or first thing in the morning try intentional breathing practices.  No one will know.  An easy practice is to simply inhale for a count of four and exhale for a count of six.  Do this as little as five minutes a day to discover that your mind is clearer and you are less distracted in your day.  

Week Four Prayer – Heavenly Father in whom we live and move and have our being; strengthen me to resist picking up my phone or turning to my screens when I am bored or lonely and help me to find my comfort in you and the many gifts of this world that you have offered.  Amen.


Prayer Request