Festive-phubbing: 10 phone-free activities (and games) for the Christmas period

We spend weeks prepping for the end of year wind-down. So make sure you don’t waste it by being a festive-phubber. Here’s our top tips on having a semi-detox at home and connecting with friends and family.

Festive-phubbing: 10 phone-free activities (and games) for the Christmas period
It’s rare in our always-busy lives that we get to spend proper quality time with loved ones. We spend hours planning and looking forward to the time that we can switch off and just chill out. Yet, a lot of us habitually continue to scroll on our phones and spend time alone-together.
Whether you’re at home or away, with family or new acquaintances, use the festive season as an opportunity for us to get our 7 types of rest. To spend time doing things that fill up our cups, rather than empty them. If you’re lucky enough to get some time off this Christmas, use your time the best you can. Here’s our how tips on how to make the most of your time off, by setting going OOO properly and filling your time with screen free activities to avoid being a festive-phubber.

Don't Be a Festive-Phubber

Phubbing is the act of ignoring someone in favour of your mobile phone. We’ve all done it, or been victim to it: a quick check of a message or a scrolling whilst someone is talking. It's a common habit that can silently disrupt the quality of our interactions, especially during such a family-centric time as Christmas.
Studies show that snubbing someone by using (or even glancing at) your phone can significantly lower relationship and conversation satisfaction. It sends a message of disinterest to those around you: that you’re more interested in your phone than them. Using your phone also reduces your memory and recollection of events - you’re distracted so you don’t absorb what’s going on around you.
If you’re looking forward to spending time with loved ones over Christmas, don’t waste it by watching what other people are doing on social media.
Top tip: Set ground rules for mobile use, personally or as a group. Leave your phone in another room or implement rules such as no phones at the dinner table.

Christmas prep for your phone

During Christmas period, most people are doing similar things. Many on us have our out of offices on and our plates filled with the same festive menus. Embrace the fact that you’re not missing out on much if you’re not on your phone and set your phone up to help you break the habitual reach for it.
  • Remove notifications Turn off email notifications or any other alerts from apps that you don’t need whilst you’re OOO.
  • Delete apps Do you need to scroll socials? Do you need to have Slack on your phone? Why not just delete them to remove the temptation to ‘check-in’?
  • Pop on DND mode Or just utilise your DND mode or switch it off completely.
FOSO isn’t invited to Christmas this year: What is FOSO?

10 Phone-Free Activities This Christmas

When you’re in a group is so much easier to spend time offline. Here’s 10 activities, including our favourite 6 games to enjoy phone free during your festive break.

1. Would I lie to you?

Similar to the popular TV show, each player writes down 5 truths which is mixed with a pot of lies that the game master has made up. The game master picks one at random from your pile and you have to convince friends and family that it’s true, whether it is or not.

2. Dobble

Also known as Spot It, it’s similar to snap but it’s more about pattern recognition. You just need to pot the similar illustration you have on your card first. Perfect for all ages.

3. Conversation Cards

Such as The Diary of CEO or Hygge Game conversation cards. Great prompts by cards that ignite quality conversations with loved ones. Perfect for 1+ people.

4. Definition

Learn new words through play. Choose an obscure or unknown word from the dictionary (paper copy only please) and everyone has to write down what they think it means.

5. Sequence

Sequence is game of strategy that we include in our cabins. The aim is to get 5 cards in a row on the board, but watch our for the wild jacks!

6. Who am I?

A classic. Everyone writes down a famous person or character on a post it note that people put on their heads. Each players asks yes and no questions to figure out who it is. You can continue to ask questions until you get ‘no’, when it moves to the next player.

7. Single-screen movie

Watch your fave Christmas movie, but without your phones near you. Leave them in another room and watch without second-screening.

8. DIY Decorations

Get creative together. You could paint candles, cut out garlands or slow-bake orange slices.

9. Winter Walks

Get outside and stretch your legs. Conversation flows when you walk together, especially in nature which is a natural mood booster.

10. Volunteer

If you’d prefer to do something different this Christmas, why not spread the kindness by volunteering or getting involves in community events.
The essence of the Christmas break lies in spending quality time with our loved ones. By setting a few ground rules and planning in phone free activities, we can truly embrace the spirit of the season. This Christmas, create memories that are cherished, not just captured.

Fancy time away from the screen?

Recharge your batteries by going off-grid for 3 days. Backed by science - you will feel more calm, relaxed and creative after your digital detox.

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