Sometimes the only thing you want to do is flop on the couch and flip on the TV. Whether it’s mindless reality shows or a documentary, it feels good to just do what feels like nothing. However, it turns out that TV may not be all that great, after all.
Watching Too Much TV Could Be Stressing You Out
Hollywood isn’t exactly Disneyland. There are all kinds of negativity in the news, reality TV drama and unrealistic expectations no matter where you turn. Even ads try to tell you that your life simply will not be good enough unless you buy This Thing Right Here. After countless hours of being bombarded with these messages of inadequacy, enough might be enough.
Don’t You Feel a Little Bit Guilty?
You just couldn’t tear yourself away from the Kardashians long enough to toss a load of laundry in, so it looks like you’re wearing Monday’s shirt to the office. Oops. It’s easy to watch one more episode when you can rationalize each one into 30-minute chunks, but before you know it, the day is gone. If self-discipline isn’t enough to make you turn the TV off when you’ve got a to-do list a mile long, it might be better to leave it off in the first place.
It’s Even More Time That You’re Sitting Around
If you’ve got an office job, there’s a good chance you’re sitting down for around eight hours per day. Why add more time to that? Even a small amount of walking or moving around each day can have significant health benefits, and when you’re spending so much time in the office as it is, it’s in your best interest to get a move on instead.
So what are you supposed to do if you’re trying to watch less TV? Here are five things to consider doing besides plopping down for another episode of “Law and Order.”
1. Be a Tourist in Your Own Town
I know, I know, you’ve heard this one before. You’ve done the baseball game and the dinner at the tourist trap. Do something different. Maybe there’s a cool restaurant you pass by every day on your way to work, or a last-minute concert. The point is to just do something that you wouldn’t necessarily do on a normal weekend, so figure out what piques your interest and go do it.
2. Learn a New Hobby
You know how you’ve been telling yourself for years that you’re going to take a rock-climbing course? Sign up for it today.
Studies show that learning a new hobby or skill promotes eustress, a positive kind of stress that makes you feel excited. It’s the rush you get when you’re doing what you love, which probably doesn’t happen while watching TV.
You’ll also end up with something pretty to display or use if you take up a craft, or at least a good story to tell about the experiences you’ve had if you pursue a more active hobby like running. Instead of watching TV, take the time to dive into something you never thought you had the time for.
3. Throw a Party
OK, so it’s difficult to throw a party at the last minute on a Wednesday night when you’re already tired and your friends are, too. You don’t have to make this a huge shindig. Create a festive environment by ordering takeout, mixing up a drink or two if that’s your style and putting on your favorite music.
Whether your guests are your kids, your friends or even the dog, play a game and enjoy being together.
4. Do a Crossword Puzzle
Crosswords and other logic puzzles can easily help you pass an hour or two. They also do wonders for your brain. A few puzzles here and there can enhance your memory and processing speed, improve concentration and just give you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
5. Meditate or Take a Nap
If you’re watching TV to unwind, you’re better off meditating for a while or taking a quick power nap. Meditating can reduce stress, even if you just sit still and breathe for five minutes.
If you’re tired, you don’t need to watch TV – you need to sleep. Taking a short nap can recharge you better than any amount of time in front of the screen, and chances are that your eyes can use a break anyway.
TV is fun every once in a while, but it’s not everything. There are plenty of things to get out and do instead, whether it’s exercising your brain or body, using your time a bit more productively or just giving yourself a break.
Image by DeathToTheStockPhoto
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