Excerpted from Aleid ter Weel
Instead of watching Netflix all evening, do these highly-rated activities.
It is common to feel concerned about spending excessive hours binge-watching TV or online video content, and it is not an isolated feeling.
Adults on average spent approximately close to five hours and forty minutes watching TV and online videos, which accounts for a third of their waking hours.
However, there is no need to take drastic measures such as throwing your TV out the window or creating a complicated evening routine to reduce your TV time, rather you can develop a set of routine and alternative activities that align with your interests and can be rotated to keep your evenings fresh, flexible, and entertaining.
You can select a few activities that appeal to you and replace some of your TV time. You can experiment, adjust, and add your activities to find what positively impacts your energy, mental health, and relationships, so you can go to bed feeling rested and content.
Furthermore, you can as well check out 30 Amazing Things To Do Instead Of Watching Netflix
For instance, you can indulge in the daily routine of reading a book, playing board games with family or friends, taking an online course, practising yoga or meditation, listening to music or podcasts, cooking, or engaging in a hobby such as painting, writing, or gardening.
By taking small steps and gradually incorporating new activities into your routine, you can maintain a healthy balance between screen time and other fulfilling activities.
GETTING AHEAD OF TOMORROW’S ACTIVITIES
To prevent unresolved thoughts from weighing on our minds the next day, it’s helpful to capture personal concerns by making a to-do list, scheduling appointments in a calendar, or doing a quick brain dump in the evening.
Watching reality TV, talk shows, and celebrity gossip is like consuming junk food for the brain. It’s low-quality and highly processed, but many of us still consume it despite knowing how bad it is.
A few years ago, I made the decision to stop consuming what author Paul Greenberg calls ‘junk media’. Instead, I opt for a good film or documentary, and I follow a handful of creators on YouTube who produces high-quality content. If I do decide to watch something in the evening, this type of content leaves my brain in much better shape than if I had indulged in junk media.
Our evenings tend to lack enough rest as we fill them with social media, news scanning, and TV watching after a long day of work. Rather than giving our brains the rest they need, we distract them with more input, information, and stimulation from our devices.
It’s not realistic to eliminate all devices from our evening routine, nor do I think we should. However, we need to prioritize high-quality leisure over low-quality leisure. By the end of the evening, we want to have moved forward mentally and feel more energized, rather than depleted.
Introduce Board Game Night
To break the after-dinner routine of withdrawing into separate virtual realities, try implementing a weekly family board game night. According to Digital Detox expert Tanya Gooding, playing board games can induce a flow state, slowing down your breathing and heart rate while allowing your brain to restore and produce rewarding chemicals.
Avoid relying on texting for emotional conversations and instead, use it for logistical purposes. Research shows that reading fiction reduces stress levels by 68%, making it one of the most effective ways to unwind. So, pick up a book and let your imagination take you to another world.
Don’t feel obligated to be instantly available on messaging platforms. Take back control of your availability and set boundaries. Remove the TV from your bedroom and dedicate the space to sleep and intimacy.
Writing just one line a day in a journal is a manageable and attainable way to reflect on your day and focus on the small joys. These activities can inspire you to spend less time on devices and more time investing in relationships, rest, and focus.
Read Something Fun And Not Work-Related
Studies have demonstrated that reading fiction is highly effective in reducing stress levels, with a decrease of 68% being observed after reading a work of fiction. This reduction is greater than that achieved by other popular stress-relieving activities such as listening to music, taking a walk, or having a cup of tea.
While many of us view reading as a means of personal development, with the goal of becoming more knowledgeable, interesting, or productive, bestselling author Matt Haig reminds us that reading is more than just a means to an end. In his words, “Reading isn’t important because it helps to get you a job. It’s important because it gives you room to exist beyond the reality you’re given.”
LET SOCIAL MEDIA WAIT
The convenience of instant messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Messenger has created an unhealthy expectation that we need to be constantly available to respond to messages, emails, and social media notifications.
It’s important to recognize and challenge these unrealistic expectations of instant communication and take back control over our availability. By setting boundaries and prioritizing our time, we can reduce stress and improve our overall well-being.
If your friends truly value your relationship, they will understand when you need time and space to disconnect. And if they don’t, it may be worth reconsidering the nature of your friendship.
IF POSSIBLE, REMOVE TV FROM YOUR BEDROOM
Every room in your house has a designated purpose. The kitchen is where you cook, the dining room is where you eat, the office is where you work, the living room is where you entertain guests, and the bedroom is where you sleep.
When we use each room for its intended purpose, we can increase our productivity. Therefore, it’s essential to keep your bedroom solely for sleeping and intimacy. Remove all work items, laptops, and televisions from your sleeping environment to create a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere that promotes restful sleep.
Excerpted from Aleid ter Weel