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Screen-Free Activities for Adults – 10 Ideas

Each year that passes seems to turn the world into a more digital place. Nowadays, people can have an entire computer in the palm of their hands, and many people don’t manage to go for minutes without checking their phone or other electronic devices. If this is something that you’ve been noticing that you’re doing (especially with global quarantine), and if you’re looking for ways to stop it – or, at the very least, limit it – then this list of screen-free activities for adults is for you.

If you’ve been looking for ideas to keep yourself entertained without relying on a device that has a screen (television, computer, phone, tablet, etc.), then read on to see what you can implement in your life to change up your screen-specific activities!

image of adult doing screnn free activities of puzzles.

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Possible Non-Screen Activities for Adults

1. Read a Book

You remember books, right? Those things that used to maybe give you entertainment before the internet was a thing?

If you’re the type of person who tends to read a lot on your phone (or on other devices), then it might be in your best interest to go analog and dust off a book from your shelf.

If you don’t have any books in your residence, check out your local library. It’s free, and it’ll have a book or two that you haven’t yet read!

2. Go For a Walk or Exercise

Even though the coronavirus is still a thing, doing outside activities such as walking is still allowed!

Put your phone down and leave your house (provided your kids are with or cared for, of course).

Go for a walk (or a light jog, depending on what you enjoy), and physically and mentally separate yourself from your screen.

If you’re not in a safe neighborhood for running, set the phone/device down in one room, and try jogging in place or other simple activities that will get your heart pumping.

Not only will you be removing yourself from your screen, but you’ll also be working on your health and wellness! Working out on my elliptical with some headphones on is my personal go-to screen-free activity.

3. Coloring and Painting

Just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to color anymore. A few years ago, adult coloring books made a comeback, and they’re still around to keep you entertained.

They come in all different shapes, sizes, and with different themes, so if you have a particular interest, you’ll likely be able to find a coloring book to match!

Do a quick search on Amazon or your local retailer and see what you can find. There are also some great paint by numbers for adults.

If you are a natural artist or you’re feeling creative, grab some canvases and art tools to see what you can create in your screen-free time.

4. Cook or Bake

Step away from the screen and make something from scratch. You can make up something completely new, or work on recreating your childhood favorite in your kitchen.

If you’re not confident enough to cook or bake without a recipe (and there’s no shame in that!), handwrite the recipe before you turn off your screens, and then start cooking/baking.

(Good, old-fashioned cookbooks are still in print, too. FYI)

5. Clean

It’s time, to be honest with yourself… there’s a room in your house that needs a little bit of TLC, isn’t there? You know the room we’re talking about.

A great way to be productive and stay away from your screens is to start cleaning out a room. Cleaning can come in many different forms, such as dusting, scrubbing, or even decluttering and organizing.

If there’s a cleaning project you’ve been putting off, now might be the time to turn off your devices and get to it.

You might even find you feel a bit less anxious afterward – crossing things off a to-do list has that effect on many people.

6. Podcasts

If you’re not ready to completely jump the gun and separate yourself from your devices, look into getting into a podcast or two.

Podcasts have grown extensively in popularity over the last decade, and nowadays, you can find a podcast about absolutely everything.

Queue up an episode that’s touching on a topic you’re interested in and set the phone aside. Close your eyes – or do a task around the house – and listen to the podcast.

7. Listen to Music or an Audiobook

Similar to listening to a podcast, put on your favorite album or that audiobook you’ve been putting off listening to, and let the sounds carry you away to a place that doesn’t have screens.

If you find that you don’t have the time for this relaxation, install a text-to-speech app on your phone, and listen to your work documents instead of reading them.

Use your ears in place of your eyes and save yourself some eyestrain.

8. Call Your Loved Ones

Not a screen-free activity for adults you were expecting to see on this list, were you? But indeed, realize that your devices can connect you to your family… but it doesn’t have to be “face-to-face!” Use your phone for what it was intended for… and call one of your loved ones.

You’ll be staying away from the screen (because you’re focusing on the conversation), and also catching up with someone you may not have spoken with in a while.

Talk about a win-win!

Or, if you happen to live with your loved ones, having a face-to-face conversation with them is a great way to avoid looking at your screened devices.

9. Board Games/Puzzles

Think about what you used to do before the Internet – board games and puzzles! Think back to your favorite childhood game and pull it out to bask in the nostalgia.

Or, if you live alone and don’t have someone to play against, get a puzzle (with enough pieces to challenge you) and start to put it together.

There are some really unique and creative puzzles out there. You might find that you really get pulled into piecing together huge puzzles and forget about doom-scrolling altogether.

If you’re an adult looking for some serious screen-free fun and you like puzzles, Sunsout has some beautiful options.

10. Spa Treatment

Let’s be honest… part of the reason that you’re trying to get yourself away from your screens is that all your time on them is starting to stress you out, right?

Or, if you’re one of the few who doesn’t find constantly being plugged in to be exhausting, you’re likely not taking care of yourself in other ways.

If you’re looking for screen-time and relaxation, it’s time to treat yourself to an in-home spa treatment.

There are kits you can buy online, or you can simply draw yourself a bubble bath and take out your favorite face mask to follow up.

If you don’t like baths and luxurious skin treatments, find something that you know relaxes you (light some incense or a candle, do some yoga, lay on the floor, or play with your pet) and dedicate some time to doing it so that you’re destressing and staying away from your screens.


Increasing your time away from screens can be a nearly impossible task in this day and age. You use screens for work, for connecting with loved ones, and for play.

Limiting your screen time might feel like you’re losing out on those aspects of your life. But it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing relationship.

So long as you’re able to balance the time that you’re looking at screens against when you’re not looking at screens, you should be able to notice an uptick in your health and mental wellness.

We hope this list of screen-free activities for adults has some ideas to get you started!

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