Rethinking Passive TV Time

My husband Darin is in the entertainment business, so we’re definitely a household that enjoys certain television shows and movies. But it wasn’t until pretty much my maternity leave that I realized just how little TV we watch compared to a lot of my friends – and how much I appreciate that we don’t. I’ve had a lot of fellow mamas ask about the shows I’ve been binging while spending so much time at home, and the truth is, not many!

Back in college and the surrounding years – especially once reality TV became so addictive, I’d watch TV just to pass the time. It was an auto-pilot habit that usually involved hanging with friends, eating whatever, and zoning out, and honestly, one that didn’t feel really good. I’m grateful to say that I’ve grown out of that phase, and I can’t remember the last time I spent hours upon hours in front of the TV.

No judgements at all, because I definitely used to clock a lot more TV hours, but have you ever stopped to think about whether you really enjoy what you’re watching, or if you’re just tuning in because it’s a habit? Or worse, spending your savored downtime flipping through shitty show after shitty show, letting the whole night or day go by?

We’re a TV-culture, I get it, but as the experts are saying, sitting is the new smoking, and I don’t know about you, but hours of brainless TV watching just doesn’t add to a life that feels good. And more sedentary time isn’t healthy for our bodies.

Sure, there are some amazinggg shows that I can’t wait to watch (or binge), and that’s fine! Entertainment is supposed to entertain! But, what if you stopped and assessed whether your nightly habit of being a couch potato is actually making you happy, or if it’s straight out of habit? Would reading feel better? Going on a family or solo walk with a podcast? Doing a face mask and taking a bath? Learning a new skill or doing a puzzle to boost your brain? Would those positive practices feel a bit better?

If so, I urge you to consider swapping a few hours of TV each week to doing something productive or soothing instead. Save your TV moments for the shows you cannot wait to watch, and forget about the ones that are just background noise or aren’t that great to begin with. I’m pretty sure you won’t miss them, and the relaxation and self-love vibes you’ll get from other practices will definitely impact your life in a more positive way.

P.S. I have a friend who got rid of cable and now only subscribes to Netflix and she mentioned this has really decreased the amount of “passive TV” time in her home. Might be a thought?!

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  1. Last time I spent time watching bad tv – when I could not move my head for 4 hours today after botox (does not feel good but its the only down side of it). I agree that netflix only helps a lot with the optimization of tv time, since you have to search for a given show and engage, not only turn the tv on and the brains off.

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