Ideas from each of the 9 pillars of Arts & Letters for what to do while your phone is tied away:
Read a physical book you already have in your home, maybe one you have started countless of times and have never been able to finish. Or pick a completely brand new book.
Do some creative writing for 15 minutes, with or without a writing prompt. A writing prompt is a question or an idea that kick-starts your thoughts and inspires you to start writing. This is an example writing prompt: think of a specific place that intrigues you. A place that could be the setting of a story. What do you choose? A gondola leading up to a mountain peak, a hotel room in Las Vegas, a board room on the 33rd floor in a big city in Asia, a stable in rural Ireland,… the possibilities are endless of course. Once you pick a place, brainstorm characters that could be present in that setting and then branch out from there. Writing prompts are an easy way to get started with creative writing.
Write a letter to a friend or relative. If you don’t want to write a full-length letter, write a brief note on a postcard or a greeting card for a specific occasion (such as birthdays, thank you, just to say hello, get well soon, congratulations, etc.)
Get out of the house to visit an art gallery and see some free art. Contemporary art galleries exhibit the art they sell and – unlike museums – don’t usually charge entrance fees.
Think of poems you used to know, hear, memorize, read or learn about in the past. Who is a poet you’ve always liked? What’s a poem you’ve always been drawn to? Go find it either in your own library, in a bookshop or in a physical book at the public library.
Get out of the house and walk until you come across a public art installation or outdoor sculpture. (If you live in a remote town, you may have to drive to a more populated area first.)
See if there are any lectures or speaker series being offered by organizations in your area, for example in libraries, community centres, shops, cultural organizations or not-for-profits. If you find a topic that interests you, pick an event to attend.
Go back to studying a language you’ve always been meaning to learn, ideally by using physical language learning materials such as textbooks and dictionaries.