How much TV do you watch each week? How about each day? Although TV isn’t bad in itself and can actually be an ideal way to relax and unwind, watching too much can be unhealthy – you’re not moving around very much, and you might be snacking while you watch your shows, for example.
If you feel you want to watch a little – perhaps even a lot – less TV, it might be hard to get out of the habit; it’s definitely a go-to activity, and you might not even realize you’ve switched the thing on until you’re settling down to pick something to watch. However, it’s not impossible, and when you have plenty of things to replace at least some of your TV watching with, it’ll become a lot easier. With that in mind, here are some great ways to watch less TV.
Set A Limit
Going cold turkey on your TV watching isn’t ideal – just like any habit that you stop altogether all at once, you’ll soon start to crave the screen, and in the end, you might just break and binge for hours, making up for lost time.
The best thing to do if you really have a big TV habit is to set yourself a limit. In that way, you can still watch an episode or two of your favorite show, but then you can switch off. You’ll have had your ‘fix’ and feel satisfied, and then move on to something else. That could be cooking dinner, playing a game, going for a walk, or even getting to bed early, which could be great for your mental and phyiscal health. With limits in place, it all becomes about self-discipline, so it’s still not the easiest thing to do, but it’s a great start, and over time, you can increase those limits so you’re watching less and less TV and doing other things instead.
Find A Hobby
Why do you watch TV? Is it because it’s relaxing and you get a chance to unwind after a long day? That’s why a lot of people choose TV, and it does work – it can be a fantastic way to reduce your stress levels and feel more calm and peaceful. However, as we mentioned above, there are issues, mainly due to your health, so it’s certainly something to limit where you can.
That’s where having a hobby comes in useful. When you have a hobby, you’ll have something to replace TV with, and because it’s something you enjoy and you’ve chosen, you won’t miss TV as much as if you were doing chores or running errands and wishing you were watching the box.
Hobbies come in all shapes and sizes, but if you’re switching from TV, it’s a good idea to pick something that uses your brain a little more, like online games such as Freecell, or that involve physical activity like a sport. In that way, you’re not just replacing one sedentary activity for another, and you’re actually making a positive difference in your life.
Reduce Your Streaming Services
In the past, there were just a handful of channels to choose from, and if there was nothing to watch, it was easy to go and do other things. Then things like cable came along, and suddenly there were hundreds of channels, which meant it was more likely you’d find something you wanted to watch, plus there was just more of it, meaning you were probably now watching more TV than ever before.
What do we have today? We have streaming services and a lot of them. There are dozens of different services you can subscribe to, and the positive and negative – it can amount to the same thing – about that is all the shows you want are ready and waiting for you on demand. In other words, you can watch anything you want whenever you want; gone are the days of waiting for a specific time for a show to start.
So of course, along with all that choice comes the fact that you – and a lot of other people – are probably watching TV more now than you ever did in the past. If you want to reduce how much TV you watch, you can reduce how many streaming services you’re subscribed to. You’ll immediately have less choice, and that can help make TV less interesting; you’ll actively look for other things to do rather than watch something that doesn’t interest you.
As an added benefit, you’ll also save a lot of money when you cancel some of your streaming services. It’s easy to think that they’re not costing you a lot when you look at the individual monthly fees, but when they’re all added up, it can be a large amount – reduce your subscriptions and save money.
Have TV Free Zones
A lot of people have more than one TV in their homes, not to mention the fact that you can log in to your subscription services on your phone, tablet, or laptop, so you essentially have a mobile TV with you at all times. That makes reducing how much TV you watch much more difficult because the temptation to use one of those screens or a second TV (which could be in the bedroom or kitchen, for example) will always be there, even if you’re not in the living room (or wherever your main TV might be).
If that’s the case for you, you can set up TV free zones in your home. To begin with, you only need one TV – the main one that everyone watches – and all the others can be sold or packed away. That instantly reduces your temptation. Then there’s the smaller screens to deal with. One way to do that is to have rooms or areas in the home where those small screens don’t go. The bathroom is a great example, and so is the kitchen. Or why not create a cozy reading nook or meditation zone where phones and tablets don’t play a part? It might sound extreme, but literally limiting your ability to watch TV around the home could be just what you need to get started and reassess your current viewing habits.