Turn off the tube and try something new!
Have you heard of a “show-hole?” It’s where you finish a TV series that sucked you in days, weeks, or months ago and now you find yourself mindless scrolling through Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and the like looking for another show to watch. Stop right there. Put the remote down. Climb out of the “show hole” and try one or more of these alternate activities.
After you complete your evening workout, give your brain one too! Maybe you think you have worked your brain hard enough at work today. So think of reading as more of a massage for your brain. Rather than watching TV and tuning out, reading helps you reduce your stress levels and relax as your book absorbs you into a new life. It sparks your imagination and boosts your brain power, all while you enjoy the adventures of a fiction or the bite-sized bits of non-fiction you are perusing. If you need a couple ideas of what to read, here are three of my current favorite reads!
Once a week, schedule a special dinner night in. Let your spouse or significant other in on your plans and make a pact to be home at a certain time to cook dinner together. And then, you can sit down together and eat and talk. No TV on in the background, tuning you in and leaving your loved one out. You can also plan on scheduling a special dinner night out with one or more friends. Taco Tuesday, anyone? Think of how long it has been since you have had time to schedule intentional dinner dates with your close friends. Make it happen by reducing your TV time and planning for a fun night out.
Why do game nights have to be cliche? For the extraverts, host a game night where all your friends can come over for some healthy competition and many hearty laughs. For those who enjoy quieter nights, break out a two-player game, a couple glasses of wine, and a few appetizers. Whether you are a strategy player or you enjoy the roller coaster ride of luck-based games, you can find a game that helps you unwind, let go of the day’s stressors, and win. I like to win.
Instead of escaping into the next show, mindfully pull out your journal and process through the day. It might feel awkward at first, but your brain will begin to flow as you put pen to paper. You will end up feeling far more rewarded after shutting your journal than finishing a show.