What’s the craziest thing you’ve done lately? Run a marathon? Visit a new country? ….watched the entire first season of King of Thrones. I highly doubt most people would include TV on their list of “Most Interesting Things I’ve Done This Week” Can you even remember what these last few hours of television were about? Is there anything you watched that you would really want to share with someone? Yet, why do we watch?
This frustration with a habit that most of us spend a big chuck of our free time doing, yet it adds very little value to our lives is what prompted me to give up TV a second time. After a month of TV freedom, I realized that TV was a stress-reliever for me. A way to forget about my troubles and unwind. It’s my default mode of work, eat, watch TV and sleep. Without that option, I found better ways to chill out. Here’s how you can, too:
- Make a list of things you enjoy more than watching TV. Obvious right? I’m glad I follow my own advice, but lists are amazing. If you’re ever bored, just start writing out things you have an interest in and I’m sure you’ll find activities more enlightening then TV time.
- Read a book. When’s the last time you read a good book? Are you even reading anything? Curl up in that perfect spot with a good book and a nice cup of green tea.
- Listen to music. Have you ever just listened to music without doing anything else. When I say listen, really listen to your favorite music. Try to find something new. Something old or something you’d never thought of before.
- Exercise. Take a few minutes to pound out some push-up, squats or sit-ups. Take a trip to the gym or a nice run/walk down the street. Anything to get your body out of that chair. When I wasn’t in zombie mode in front of the TV I found time to practice some yoga.
- Clean and organize your house. This was one of the unexpected side effects of the first week of no TV. Without the distraction, I resorted to cleaning and organizing my room. Suddenly I had the time to tackle the unorganized desk and messy closets. And it felt good.
- Learn something new – Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn another language. Maybe some Korean…This year I move to Italy and I can’t wait to start cranking out some Italian. But learning a new language or instrument or skills makes you far more interesting of a person than hours of TV time could
- Take a shower – I’ve gain an appreciation for therapeutic nature of hot and cold water from spending a lot of times in Korean spas. Sometimes I just enjoy the feel of a nice warm shower to put me at ease.
- Talk to people – In person, on the phone, email, Facebook. Find out what their up to. How is their day going? What’s new in their life?
- Travel somewhere new – Probably one of my favorites. Traveling doesn’t have to be long distances either. Check out a new bookstore in town, find some new hiking trails (Koreans love hiking by the way), go to the beach or just down the street. I bet you’ll have an interesting story to tell. Far more interesting than what you see on TV.
- Create something new – Use your creativity. Write, paint, build, design. Make a gift for someone. Share a thought. Do something to inspire others. Again, you’ll probably be ten times more interesting then everyone else.
Don’t get me wrong. Television isn’t all evil. It just needs to be moderated like everything else. The problem for most people, including myself, is television is the default option for relaxation. Try just a few things on this list and you’ll find that you’re life becomes infinitely more interesting. I started with #1 on this list and ended up producing #10. I hope you enjoyed the byproduct of my TV-less time. Can you do the same?
Photo Credits (Flickr)