December 7, 2010

TV and Movie Diet

I just finished a one month TV and movie diet. Originally I was going to do a fast (as in no TV or movies for one month) but that seemed unrealistic, so I set some conditions - it's OK to watch TV or movies with other people (so if it has some sort of social component) or if I am feeling sick. I took advantage of these exceptions a few times, going out to the movies with friends once, and watching a few TV episodes and a movie with friends on 3 or 4 occasions. I also had two days during which I was not feeling well and allowed myself carte blanche to watch whatever junk I wanted.

Overall it felt really good. The idea was not that all TV or movies are bad, just that I tend to get sucked in and watch more than I want to once I get started. Sometimes they are a good way to decompress and when I am watching them I am entertained, but often when they end I feel a little crappy - sometimes headachey, not energetic but also not sleepy, not inspired, and unsure what to do next. Other things I do to decompress - reading, writing, doodling, knitting, going outside, physical activity, dancing, hanging out with friends - engage me more and make me feel better not just during, but at the completion of the activity. I feel like my time was well spent, which is not usually a feeling I have after watching TV or movies. So I wanted to create more of those feelings in my life, and also make more space and time for engaged and potentially creative time.

The other piece of it is that I am a fairly busy person and I wanted to make more time in my life for certain things, especially creative pursuits. While I want to make sure I allow myself time to veg out and decompress when needed, there are several activities that fill that need while still bringing out my creative side.

Overall, I feel like this "diet" was a success. I stayed within my guidelines and felt better about the way I spent my time. I still felt like I was taking care of myself, but had more time for reading, writing, knitting, and other things I enjoy. I intend to continue this diet with occasional exceptions or "treats" and am thinking about imposing some sort of restrictions on my computer/internet usage as well.

My mom does something similar by going "computer-free" one day per week. There are a number of bloggers out there that have similar computer or electronics policies (check out here and here).

Do you impose any restrictions on your technology usage?

1 comment:

  1. Dan Livingston12/09/2010 8:29 PM

    I don't answer work calls (for the most part) on Saturdays, and I also don't check my work e-mails or do any computer workey things on Saturdays.