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  • Writer's pictureGrace Hamilton

Avoiding the 6pm scroll

A 20-year-old's guide (because I'm obviously so experienced)...

Unfortunately I've fallen into the trap myself on many occasions. And, although I prefer not to admit it, scrolling the depths of TikTok comments and the Instagram explore page takes up a fair chunk of my embarrassing screen time. I like to think my mum has the same issue, since her Judge Judy screen time alone could account for my work day, but that's another story entirely.

So in my efforts to avoid the 6pm, or let's face it, anytime-of-the-day-scroll, I've brainstormed activities that could replace those time slots. And for the sake of avoiding the 'gatekeeper' cancel culture, I believe it's only fair to share with you those activities.

A warning to all procrastinators, some of these options are not WFH 'lunch break' appropriate.

ONE: hot *person* walks

I say person, because while the typical saying is hot-GIRL walks, men can equally enjoy strolling down the street with an iced latte and dog on collar. Personally I like the crop top and matching bike short aesthetic, but maybe men will catch onto that trend in 2025.

The best part of these kind of walks, is that you don't have to go a million miles an hour for it to count. Need to pause for a moment of scenic admiration? Go for it. Feel the need to sit on that passing park bench? Fair enough. And of course, the inevitable coffee stop that takes a minimum 15 minutes because that niche cafe you so desperately love likes to take their sweet time. Worth it.

As for where to take said hot person walks, that's entirely up to you. It really just depends on where you live, how far you want to travel, and how far you want to walk. All I can do is offer suggestions. Here are a few of the places I've labelled as 'go-to' for my scrolls - I mean strolls.

Mermaid Beach to Southport (10-15km).

Whether you follow the footpaths or deviate now and then will decide how far this is exactly, and for extra effort, you can always intermittently walk on the sand. Give those calves something to cry about. Fun fact: I was forced to walk this route when my car was sitting at my grandparents house after getting trapped in flood waters... I did cheat the last 1km and use one of those Lime bikes, but I usually leave that part out.

Southbank to K-Point... and back (5-10km)

Again, it really comes down to which paths you take for how far you want your total distance to be. If you start at the Southbank parking, walk to the Museum, turn around and walk to Kangaroo Point stairs (and yes, climb them) and then reverse your steps...

...sorry, out of breath...'ll probably end up at the 8km mark. The last time I went with a friend we also added a trip down Queen Street Mall and finished at 10.1km. It was also the middle of the day, so our commitment got us a hefty sunburn along with a god complex. If I could give you advice: it's that this walk is for a duo or trio, since it is also the perfect time for a gossip session. Sweat + T = hella productive.

TWO: paint and sip

Nothing beats a good Officeworks trip. Oh, except an Officeworks trip that's followed by drinks (and maybe friends). I know paint and sips are usually done by instruction, but maybe a more cost effective method could simply be buying a shitty pack of paints and doing-it-yourself at home. Invite a few friends (preferably ones of similar artistic ability) and give each other a challenge to paint.

Need some more inspo? Try these:

- Every time someone switches colour, they take a shot

- Set a timer for every 5 minutes and switch canvas but continue the other person's painting (then repeat until done)

- Use 3D glasses and try and guess the colours, and don't reveal until the end (can also use LED lights)

- Turn your brushes upside down so nobody knows what shape or size they are, then take turns drawing them one by one. Everyone is stuck with the brush they draw, and cannot change throughout.

- Paint on terracotta pots!

While some people might be more creatively challenged than others, alcohol will usually level the field.

THREE: budget-approved Kmart haul

I shamelessly take myself to Kmart on a monthly basis AT LEAST. And although I'm terrible at sticking to budgets, I'm sure you can do better. The rest is simple. Once you have your 'budget,' stroll the aisles and be inspired. New dinner plate set? Fresh bath towels? Funky candle to add to your small collection of 1 million? Sounds perfect. Just check with your parents/ housemates/ etc before bringing home a TV cabinet that's 'giving Pinterest.'

FOUR: experiment with (PG) baking

In today's world I thought it best to specify that I'm referring to the kind of baking that requires eggs, milk and an electric beater. And if you thought of the other kind, then you're my exact target audience (congrats).

The beauty with this one, is it can be catered to your skill set - or lack of - in the kitchen. Grab a packet mix, or find a recipe of your choosing online. Personally, never fails me. And when it does, I'm usually the one who messed up.

So whip out the funky aprons your mum has stored somewhere in the closet, work out how to use that oven of yours, and get baking (again, PG please).

Prompts for the creatively-challenged

- Remake the Harry Potter cake that Hagrid made in the first movie (spelling and all)

- Blueberry and lemon muffins (your mum will like the fruit inclusion)

- DIY Woolies mud cake, and see if your friends can pick the difference from an authentic Woolies mud cake

- A 'two-tier sponge' which would be your Great Britich Bake Off submission (or pick an episode and try to create something in the same time frame given to contestants)

- Bake off with your most competitive friends (sign a contract first to say no friendships can be compromised by the result... Just in case).

FIVE: make your own clothes

Alright, so not everyone has a sewing machine or is trusted with said sewing machine. But if you happen to have access, this is the perfect activity for killing time. Get yourself online and be inspired to make something simple first: I started with a mini skirt, but a band-style tied-top would be ideal for a beginner too.

I'd like to preface by saying I'm still not fantastic at this, and far from actually. But I've been sewing for about 6 months now and am at the point of wearing by better pieces to work (I'm an office chick most days if that gives you an indication). So the process can be quickly learned.

Once you know what you want to make, take a trip to spotlight and find some material. Cotton poplin is one of the easiest to work with, and jersey knit is also pretty good for stretch and flow (I use this for my work skirts).

Purchase a pattern or download one you find online, then follow the steps from professionals (not me) to create your masterpiece. And before you get discouraged, I assure you my first skirt was ATROCIOUS. I mean, like, seams in the middle of my front section, interfacing popping out, hem uneven. I promise it gets better. If anything, the mistakes process is just as fun.

SIX: cartwheel like a 9-year-old

Again, do I really have to explain? Just get out of the house and practice your gymnastics routine. This is exactly how I learned to headstand, and now it's my go-to party trick. This is also coming from someone who never touched a gymnastics floor in my life (and has woeful coordination off the netball court).

SEVEN: clean.

This is admittedly not for everyone, and even the cleanliest of us need to be in the mood to actually clean. But I find starting with the neglected draw of 'house clothes' is always a good choice. Maybe your sock draw/bag/ bucket needs a revamp (do I hear sock shopping on the cards)? Or perhaps your makeup arrangement needs.. well... rearrangement. Whatever it is that's haunting you, get it cleaned out.

Donate the clothes/ stuffed toys and etc you don't need, or offer them to a younger family member. Not only will you find the hair tie you lost in 2016, and not only will you suddenly have room for those freshly folded clothes in the laundry, but you'll miraculously become the favourite child. If you're an only child then you'll take over the other parent or the house pet as favourite household member.

From experience, there's just something so refreshing about knowing you cleaned out everything that was bugging you.

SO, those are my seven tips. Nothing fancy. Nothing ridiculously hard - except perhaps sticking to budget in Kmart. Give them a go, see which works for you, or send in a suggestion that I may have missed. Now if you don't mind, I have a hot person walk to get to.

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