This article was originally published on March 17, 2014.

I don’t know about you, but my smart phone has become a regular companion on my trips to the loo. I can check emails, transfer money between bank accounts, buy a new outfit, or watch Tik Toks all from the comfort of my own commode. If there was a toilet paper app, my phone would be all I needed in there.

But, it has occurred to me that perhaps bringing my phone into the bathroom is *not* the brightest or most sanitary idea. I put my phone up to my mouth to make calls, touch it unthinkingly before meals, and allow others to borrow it all the time.

Sanitizing your phone from time to time is a great idea, but another way to cut down on germs is to quit bringing it into the bathroom every time nature calls. There are other ways to spend time in the bathroom (aside from the task at hand, of course). Here are a few ideas to inspire you to do something other than stare at your phone during bathroom breaks.

6 Things To Do On The Toilet Besides Stare At Your Phone

1. Join the toilet yoga movement.

Yep, this is a thing. There’s even a book about it. It’s called Toilet Yoga (Because Sometimes Sh*t Doesn’t Happen)

Maybe toilet yoga is a little ridiculous, but the fact that you’re even reading this article indicates you may be the type to venture out and try something new.

So why not try out the “slider” pose and strengthen your core, or reach your arms up and stretch? Yoga in general is hailed as a brilliant practice for the mind and body. Maybe giving it a go during your trips to the bathroom is a small way to add peace and movement into your day.

You could also use this time to meditate. Instead of using an app to help you do so, check out this guide to meditation and then make it part of your routine.

2. Read a book or magazine.

Have you ever seen a stack of books or magazines sitting next to a toilet? Those aren’t just sitting there in case you happen to run out of toilet paper.

Before smart phones, people would actually get some reading done on the toilet! Magazines with short articles or even puzzle books are great to keep next to the old porcelain throne. Get yourself a little book of crossword puzzles or sodoku for an extra mind-stretching challenge. 

3. Let your mind wander.

When was the last time you allowed yourself some time to daydream? Clear your mind of worries for a moment and let your mind go free.

Daydreaming makes you more creative and could improve your sleep. It also indicates that your mind is healthy. Let your imagination go wild.

This is a good time to go over your to-do list or to get inspired by what’s around you. Dream up how you can redecorate your bathroom to be a space of peace and calm. These few moments of quiet in your day can be an opportunity to think about things we’re otherwise to busy to ponder.

title photo: 6 Things To Do On The Toilet Besides Stare At Your Phone (pink background, white toilet)

4. Act a little silly.

Tie your shirt into a belly shirt for fun like you used to do in middle school. Make a silly face (silly faces aren’t just for Snapchat!). Talk to yourself, make silly noises, try to juggle a few toilet paper rolls.

Twenty-somethings don’t always get a chance to act like five-year-olds; we here at GenTwenty think that’s a little unfair. Let your inner child out.

You could also use this time to practice your smile or use a few of these techniques to release facial tension. All of these are great ways to reduce stress!

5. Notice what’s on the walls.

If you’re in a public toilet, take the time to read the Sharpie graffiti that’s inevitably decorating the walls. Sometimes there’s a nice quote or a well-drawn picture to look at. Open your eyes; you might see something that makes you smile or laugh.

If you’re at home, look around. What in here is inspiring you? Look at what doesn’t belong in here. What could be organized more effectively? Use this time to get your thoughts organized around those things!

6. Do something productive.

Shave your legs (if that’s your thing), brush your hair, paint your nails, brush your teeth, swish some mouthwash. Use these few minutes to do something you were planning on doing anyway to save yourself a little bit of time. We can use all the extra time we can get, right?

What do you think, twenty-somethings? Are you willing to ditch your phone to try a little something new? Tell us in the comments below!