10 Things to Do Instead of Watching TV

While we do have a computer and watch Netflix and YouTube....as well as a small selection of loved DVDs to watch from...we haven't had a TV in quite some time...and stopped getting cable even longer.

BUT even with that we can get caught up in watching our favorite shows...and rewatching them when we make it through all 7 seasons in a few days.

I noticed how unproductive I was on those days and started watching all I could do when I consciously did not turn on Netflix. I understand that people use watching television as a way to relax...but I feel like it robs us of time we could be spending positively contributing to our family, the community, and ultimately the earth.

So....10 Things to Do Instead of Watching TV

1) Read a Book

Kind of a no brainer but when you think about how a short show can zap up 20 minutes of time...that is 20 minutes of reading you could do. You can read fiction or non fiction (I prefer the latter myself) but either way you are working your brain differently. Opt out of digital reading as it doesn't work your brain the same was as a physical book does.

2) Read to your children

Just 20 minutes a day, the length of an average show, vastly exposes your child to new words and ideas. Not to mention the bonding time spent from reading to them.

3) Play solitaire

I suppose you could play any individual card game but I don't know any one other than solitaire....maybe its time I learn a new one!

4) Play cards with someone else

This is my favorite thing to do with my husband and our two older daughters. While games with my children are usually Uno or Phase 10 but husband and I get into cribbage, nertz (a family game) and Liverpool rummy (another family game).

5) Play ANY game

We are always on the lookout for new games for our family. Board games, card games, dice games....we love games. It is part of our homeschool because it teaches so many subjects. We even have cooperative games that teach working together and Wildcraft, which is both a cooperative game AND an herb game. My husband taught me backgammon shortly into our marriage and that quickly became a favorite.

6) Take a bath

While this may seem odd at certain times...I find that those afternoon baths do a lot for me. It gets me out of the mindset I typically am when wanting to retreat to Netflix. We use this for the children too when they are going stir crazy. Always is a nice break to the day. Add in some bath salts and you have a delightful nourishing bath.

7) Paint or Create

OK before you say something about how you aren't very good at painting....I feel ya. I don't really consider myself an artist but something about creating art really does the brain good. The first few times you may not be fully satisfied with your work but as you keep with it, you will find yourself enjoying it and your work a lot more. One of the biggest help for me was doing one of the wine and painting nights with the women in my husband's family. It was so much fun and that piece of work is hanging in my living room right now. While it may not seem like an art class, you will actually learn a few techniques that you can apply at home.

Try water colors, acrylics, pastels, charcoal... they all stimulate the creative side of your brain.

I like to knit and spin and I used to sew a lot more so if I can't paint, I LOVE to pull out my wool and needles (or wheel).

8) Try Cooking a New Dish

Whether its a meal for your family or a new recipes for preserving the harvest...you will learn so much by just getting in the kitchen and trying it out. I put off a few recipes from one of my programs because I didn't really know what the hell I was doing AND Netflix distracted me. I finally cooked and baked them and it was amazing. I even shared with my neighbors.

9) Be Musical

Whether you are a music maker or a listener, get in to what you are doing! Amazon has from great playlists and stations that time and time again have gotten us up and dancing...singing at the tops of our lungs.

I personally play piano, flute (plus recorder and tin whistle), and ukulele. I enjoy just sitting around playing...but also finding new sounds on the ukulele. I hope to add a violin soon! Even as I type this I am listing to a glockenspiel version of Sweet Child of Mine...which is actually really amazing.

10) Have sex

Yes, I just said that. Sex is an amazing gift and when you have someone to share it with it, it is insanely health for our physical body as well as our mental and spiritual health. It helps connect us with our partners. Be smart people...if not in a monogamous relationship, use protection!

So there you have it....10 Things to Do Instead of Watching TV. Doesn't it seem like fun! Here are a few other ideas:

  • Meal plan
  • Make herbal remedies
  • Rearrange your furniture
  • Clean your car
  • Clean out your fridge
  • Garden
  • Go for a walk
  • Call a friend
  • Visit a neighbor
  • Play catch or ball with your child or children

Hopefully you now get the idea. Imagine all the things you can do to be more productive, more active, and happier when you step away from the television/computer.

Then imagine how much money will be saved by not having cable or running a television/computer for hours at a time.