Happy 2018!
Posted 01/04/2018 by Denise Cripps

“I’ve given this a lot of thought, and … I think we should take a break.”

We know. There are days you feel like breaking up with your SO. You know, your phone.

The emails, texts, tweets, pins, Vines, Snapchats, Instagrams, FB notifications and LinkedIn updates are enough to make us all want to punch our way out of the grid from time to time.

But aside from the days we feel like powering off, most of us are so entangled with our devices, we start feeling FOMO (fear of missing out) if we dare stray too far from our digital lifelines.

Unhappily, however, this desire to stay constantly connected might be what's making us unhappy. And anxious. And stressed. Yup. You heard right: The very anxiety and stress we’re trying to fight via that little screen is actually triggering more.

Sigh. Yeah. Deciding to step away from your phone for a time is WAY easier said than done, right?

However, mental health experts say doing so for an hour, a whole day or even an entire weekend has surprising benefits. When they can talk someone into giving it a try, they report improvements in relationships, self-esteem, quality of sleep and ability to learn. And a decrease in stress and anxiety.

Have you ever caught yourself wondering what you did with all your time before constant connectivity became a way of life? And then wondering what you should do instead?

We gotchu. A smart list of fun time-fillers that don’t require a smart phone:

  • Go play!
    Although our devices offer a virtual treasure trove of games and apps, real-life games are way more fun. Plus, they give us face-to-face time with people we actually know. And probably like. Maybe even love. A lot. But if your peeps think sitting around a Scrabble board or a Jenga tower sounds kinda derpy, no worries. Our supersized Word Tussle and Towering Timbers take word and strategy games to whole ‘nother level. And, they play as well outdoors as in.

  • Yes, outside!
    Have you ever noticed that the funnest social times happen outdoors? From backyard BBQs and tailgates to camping and days at the beach, simply getting out can often be the best de-stressor of all. And honestly, you don’t even need to leave home. Set up Cornhole or Tic-Tac-Toe right in your own backyard. Play Dominoes on your deck. Roll some Giant Yard Dice around the lawn. (Just please, wherever you are, play like a kid, but pick up like an adult, ok?)

  • Try on a take-yourself-less-seriously attitude
    They say laughter is an instant vacation. So be silly, incite shenanigans, laugh, slow down, enjoy this. And while you’re at it, try playing by what we like to call The Neighborhood Rules. They’re super easy: Be nice. Everybody's invited. No one who wants to play gets left out. Because we know inclusion lessens stress and anxiety and helps stop bullying. So set a great example for everyone around you. When you see someone alone, probably staring at their screen, ask them to join the fun! 

Convinced? Then are you ready join a new kind of WIFI?
Try it. Here’s the network: What If … FUN Instead
And the password? GoOutsideAndPlay

Because maybe fighting FOMO takes nothing more than being the one who makes screen-free time fun....