Did Netflix recently add new seasons to your favorite TV show? Or maybe you’ve been told about this new TV show you just HAVE to watch? Your first reaction might be to shut yourself in your room for the weekend and binge watch every episode. But wait! Did you know that sitting and watching TV for long periods not only leaves you feeling sluggish, but can also have negative effects on your mental and physical well-being?
Yes, Netflix might possibly be the best thing invented since sliced bread, but there are so many other things you could be doing instead of spending countless hours staring at a screen. So, this weekend step away from “Friends” and “New Girl” and try one or all of these 6 engaging activities.
Read the book version of the show/movie:
This one takes a lot longer than simply watching the movie, but it’s worth it. You’ve heard time and time again that the book is always better than the movie — so put it to the test! Reading a book not only allows your imagination to run wild, but lets your brain actively participate in making connections with the plot, the characters, and all other aspects in a much deeper way. Can’t sit still for that long? Try downloading the e-book version and listen to it while you are on the go!
Learn a new skill:
The average movie lasts about an hour and a half to two hours. In that time, you could get a head start on studying for a final, start learning a new language, learn how to cook a new recipe, write a letter to a friend in another country, or learn to use a new program on your computer (such as Photoshop). Just imagine the things you could be doing with that small amount of time! Try one of our cooking courses like SFL 110: Food Preparation in the Home!
How do you feel after binge watching your favorite TV show for hours? Now compare that to how you feel after exercising for an hour. Not only does exercise increase your overall mood, it helps improve your brain health, quality of sleep, and stress levels! Start now! There are tons of different ideas. If you don’t like running, try an exercise video. If you can’t lift weights, try outdoor activities such as hiking and rock-climbing. The possibilities are endless, so get moving! Try one of our fitness courses like Fit 049: Fitness for Sports and Recreation or Aerob 045: Aerobics!
Catch up with a friend:
Studies have shown that our technology-drenched age group is quickly losing its social skills. Become the exception! Call up one of your friends and plan a time to hangout. Then, put away your phones and have a genuine conversation. You will be surprised at the new things you will learn about someone you thought you already knew.
Explore your hometown:
There is usually more going on than you might think. It’s as easy as googling “things to do in (insert your hometown)” and start branching out. Try a new restaurant, go to a theatrical performance, go on a tour, or join a club.
Do that thing that you have been avoiding:
Whether it is starting an essay, doing the dishes, or finally going through that email inbox, we all have that one task that we just don’t want to do. But as time passes, it just gets worse and worse. Imagine how much you could get done if you hadn’t spent the last 2 hours watching Netflix. Getting up and starting is sometimes just the motivation you need to get something checked off your to-do list and relieve stress. If you need more help in stress management try out EXSC 410: Stress Management course or if you need help understanding motivation and how to drive yourself take our Psych 365: Motivation course!
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Netflix is bad or something you should never watch. Sometimes we need to relax and spend some time enjoying our favorite show or watching new shows. But instead of watching Netflix all day, maybe this weekend just watch one or two episodes and spend the rest of the weekend doing productive things that will not only improve your life and mental well-being, but maybe even check some overdo things off your to do list. I promise you won’t regret it!