Why I Gave Up TV…During the Week

Watching TV vs. Reading

These days I begin my day around 6:30am after getting woken up in the middle of the night at least once by either the dog or one of the kids. I spend my days doing the work-kid-try to stay sane juggle that they never taught you in college. After both kids are in their respective rooms by 8:00pm, I am ready to give the juggling game a rest. At that moment, there is nothing more I want but to slump down on the couch, turn the television on, and turn my brain off. This is why it pains me to tell you about why I gave up TV…during the week.

The Nightly TV Routine

After running around all day, we all need some time to relax and have some “me time” before bed. It’s relaxing to turn a show on and get lost in another world on the screen and let go of the stress of the day. Television entertains us, teaches us new ideas, and exposes us to worlds unlike our own. Even though the blue light of the TV is supposed to wake you up, personally, the TV allows my brain to calm down before bed. In these ways, TV is the perfect way to remove yourself from the grind.

The Problem

The problem is when you have so little time to do something for yourself. If you use up all your me time by watching TV, it starts to become a part of the groundhog grind. We end up living our grind for the TV, and even though TV is enjoyable, TV in itself is not what we are living for. Well…unless you are someone who says, yes, I go to work, to get paid, just so I can go home and watch TV. However, I am going to assume most of us do not have watching TV as our life goal. Like most things, TV has a place, but letting it consume all of our free time is not beneficial to us.

Brain reading vs watching TV

According to studies by the America Heart Association, in early to mid-adulthood, moderate to high TV watching causes a greater cognitive function decline compared to those who never or seldom watch TV. That translates to a decreased ability to think, communicate, and solve problems. It also means TV watching can contribute to poor memory.

On the other hand, according to Healthline, reading helps your brain and strengthens your cognitive function. I don’t know about you, but I would prefer it if my brain started working better, not worse. With that said, I will be the first to say there are far worse things we can do to our bodies and mind than watching TV.

The TV Experiment

On January 1, I did the unthinkable and declared no TV during the week. After 8:00 pm bedtime stories with the kids concluded, I peeled myself off the bed and headed upstairs to my computer. Not for work, but for me. I wrote and I researched and after enough of that, I read a book. I did what I thought was not possible…I used my brain after 8:00 pm. After a long day, somehow, I managed to make my 3-pound 35-year-old organ in my head work after hours. And I did it every weekday through January.

Finally, after 3 and a half years of seemingly nonstop work–kid–try to stay sane juggle, instead of just giving up the juggle for the night and reaching for the channel changer (yes, I call it that), I consistently reached for myself instead. I found a way out of my groundhog grind. Simply by giving myself quality me time.

To those of you who already had the self-discipline to use your brain after 8:00 pm, I commend you. To those of you who don’t have any free time to negotiate during the week, I hope you vacation often. But to those of you who are in the daily TV routine, if you enjoy it and works for you, by all means, watch away. However, if you are feeling stuck in the groundhog grind, consider a TV vacation. I am not saying that it’s all fun, but I am saying you are worth it.

Why Are We Talking About This?

Why are we talking about why I gave up TV? If you are feeling overwhelmed with the limited amount of time you have and all you need to accomplish, look at your schedule. Find those pockets of time you can use for yourself. Are you making the best use of that time? Are you doing the things you really want? Or are you settling for old habits that don’t work?

I assure you that you are not getting any younger. Your life is happening now. So make it work for you. Is your free time just part of your groundhog grind routine? Or are you using it in a way to get yourself out of it?

This past February, I worked to find a balance of how to use my free time in the evening. Instead of having no TV during the week, and bathing in it on the weekend, I choose what’s right for me each day. When it’s been a challenging day, sometimes the TV is what I need to decompress. And then on those exceptionally challenging days when it feels like gravity is demanding I stay on the couch, I know it’s time to do something I love more, such as writing. Instead of spending my me time to quiet my brain, I can use my me time to feel inspired.

Thank You for Reading Why I Gave Up TV

Thank you for reading Why I Gave Up TV…During the Week. Now I want to hear from you! Are you a daily TV watcher? Is it the perfect way to relax after a long day or is it contributing to your groundhog grind? What are your favorite ways to use your free time during the week? Or do you have to wait for the weekend to get any free time?

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2 responses to “Why I Gave Up TV…During the Week”

  1. Richard McGrath Avatar
    Richard McGrath

    I use the TV as my source of news and business updates . I don’t watch sitcoms or “made for TV” dramas.

  2. Shannon Z Sawyer Avatar
    Shannon Z Sawyer

    Got it, reading tonight for me!!

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