Read this before cozying up for a television marathon
Binge-watching TV shows and movies can be a fun and relaxing activity, but it’s important to do so in a way that doesn’t harm your health. According to a recent survey, 67% of Singaporeans admitted to binge-watching regularly, with 40% stating that they binge-watch at least once a week.
While it’s important to enjoy your favorite shows, it’s equally important to ensure that you’re not sacrificing your physical and mental health in the process.
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Here are seven tips to help you binge-watch TV without any negative consequences.
1. Set Limits
Streaming services are designed to keep you hooked, with each episode flowing seamlessly into the next. This can make it difficult to stop watching, even if you know you should. Therefore, it’s important to set limits before you start watching.
Decide how many episodes you will watch and what time you will stop, no matter how enticing the cliffhanger is. You can use a timer to remind yourself to stop or ask a friend to text you to encourage you to take a break.
2. Watch Together
Watching TV shows with friends and family can enhance your viewing experience and boost your mental health.
Rather than isolating yourself, watching with others can turn the show into a shared experience that you can discuss and enjoy together. This can help you feel connected and engaged with your loved ones.
3. Take Breaks
Watching TV for long periods of time can lead to eye strain, headaches, and back pain. It can also cause you to lose track of time and neglect important responsibilities. To avoid these negative consequences, take frequent breaks.
Every few episodes, pause the show and stretch your legs, grab a glass of water, or take a quick bathroom break. This can help you stay present and mindful of how much time you are spending in front of the screen.
4. Watch Mindfully
To truly enjoy your favorite shows, it’s important to give them your full attention. If you are multitasking or scrolling through social media while watching, you are not truly engaging with the content.
This can make the experience less enjoyable and fulfilling. If you find yourself getting bored or distracted, consider whether the show is worth your time or if there is something else you would rather be doing.
5. Protect Your Sleep
Watching TV late at night can interfere with your sleep, which can have negative consequences for your physical and mental health.
The blue light emitted by screens can suppress melatonin production, making it harder to fall asleep and reducing the quality of your sleep. To protect your sleep, avoid watching TV in the hours leading up to bedtime. Instead, wind down with a relaxing activity such as reading or meditation.
6. Combine Good Habits
Watching TV doesn’t have to be a sedentary activity. You can combine it with other healthy habits, such as exercising or eating nutritious snacks. If you have a treadmill or stationary bike, you can watch your favorite shows while you work out.
Alternatively, you can snack on fruits and vegetables rather than unhealthy snacks while you watch. This can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle while still indulging in your favorite shows.
7. Be Honest with Yourself
If you find yourself binge-watching TV shows on a regular basis, it’s important to be honest with yourself about your habits. Are you using TV to avoid important responsibilities or to numb your emotions? If so, it may be time to reevaluate your relationship with TV.
On the other hand, if you are enjoying your shows in moderation and not neglecting other areas of your life, there’s no need to feel guilty about it.
Binge-watching TV shows can be a fun and relaxing way to unwind, but it’s important to do so in a way that doesn’t harm your physical or mental health.
No matter the streaming platform you use, from Netflix and Paramount+ to Discovery+ and BBC iPlayer, make sure to retain a balance to avoid impacting your mental well-being.
By setting limits, watching with others, taking breaks, watching mindfully, protecting your sleep, combining good habits, and being honest with yourself, you can enjoy your favorite shows without any negative consequences.
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