True story — Yesterday I accidentally left my phone at work. The office was locked, the building was closed, and there was no way I was getting that phone until my next work day.

At first, I felt a little panicked: What if one of my kids needed me, or what if my husband might try to text me and I couldn’t answer? Then I took a deep breath, let it go, and thought to myself, “There’s nothing I can do, so I might as well deal with it.”

So I spent the evening without a phone, and surprisingly, I made it through. I did more than make it through—I can say I had a very nice evening not looking at my phone.

I’m definitely not cynical like others from my generation can be: I see great value in carrying phones, but I did discover without it, even for one evening, I re-discovered the joy of unplugging and living phone-free.

If you find yourself without your phone, I recommend trying out one of these activities.

Things You Can Do Without Your Phone

For one evening, I re-discovered the joy of unplugging and living phone-free. If you find yourself without your phone, try out one of these activities.

Have face-to-face Conversations

Honestly, I’m not being sarcastic here: I noticed the color of eyes, little twitches, gestures, and expressions of the people I was interacting with. I even discovered a new color of lipstick! In the end, I truly felt more deeply connected to the people I surrounded myself with when I wasn’t looking at my phone.

Read

I’m a bit of a reader anyway, but when I read with my phone beside me, I allow texting to interrupt the flow of the book. Last night when I read, I enjoyed the story so much more. Tonight, I might just “accidentally” leave my phone in the other room when I read.

4 Things You Can Do Without Your Phone To Re-Discover Your Joy Click To Tweet

Walk

I try to walk every day, mostly taking my adorable little dog for a stroll. When I have my phone, I listen to music or download a podcast. Without my phone, I could hear cheers from the nearby soccer field, songs from the birds in my backyard, and the gurgling of the neighbor’s front yard fountain. These beautiful sounds reminded me of the abundant life that takes place around me.

4 Things You Can Do Without Your Phone To Re-Discover Your Joy

Do a Craft, or Bake

Last evening my daughter and I made tassels out of tissue paper to decorate her college dorm room with. Although we were having fun together, I noticed when she would stop and text someone with her phone: although she was just doing what everybody else does, this temporary pause really did shut down conversation. Several times I realized we actually didn’t pick back up on our topic, but moved on to something else.

The list might seem a bit pedestrian, but more than anything, what it says to me is I’m missing out on some of the simple, beautiful things life puts in front of me every day when I have my phone connected to my hand. I really am distracted from the things and people around me when my phone is close by, even though I tell myself I can do both things—I’m now not so sure that’s true.

At least once a week now, I might accidentally-on-purpose forget my phone at work. I dare you to join me and live without your phone every now and then!

For one evening, I re-discovered the joy of unplugging and living phone-free. If you find yourself without your phone, try out one of these activities.

Tammy Tilley
Tammy Tilley

Tammy Tilley, mom of two adult children, cares deeply about parenting issues. Although she’s looking in the rearview mirror of her hands-on parenting days, once you’re a parent, you’re always a parent. She enjoys sharing a few memories and a touch of advice about spending energy on the things that matter. Tammy has a BA in English from Anderson University (IN) and a MS in Education from IUPUI.