I loved TV.
I loved trashy TV.
I could sit on the couch for days on end and marathon show after show.
I followed reality TV stars on Social Media.
I commented on their lives as if they know me to other people who watched these shows.
I lost sleep when I needed to know what is happening in the next episode of a show.
I used TV as therapy when I didn't like what was going on in my own life.
I used TV to calm me down when I was feeling stressed.
I looked up who is in relationships in Hollywood and read about their divorces and dark secrets.
I got bizarre pleasure out of Hollywood scandal.
I identified with characters style and clothing and began to think I need what they are wearing.
My life was deeply negatively affected by TV.
So I quit TV.
I stopped watching it constantly.
My anxiety level dropped almost instantly.
My sleep deepened immediately.
I wasn't constantly distracted by the screen.
I took that time back to spend with my people.
I took that time back to be with the Lord.
I took that time back to learn to be quiet.
I have no regrets.
It feels right.
I am more connected and present.
Bill and I decided that we weren't going to get rid of our television because we will still watch an occasional movie together or follow a big sporting event (and we definitely enjoyed watching Christmas movies during the holiday season). However, the practice of turning the TV off has been huge for us. We both feel like removing that noise and stimulation has made us more present and relaxed people. I can only speak for myself when I say the health benefits alone were worthwhile to me. My deeper sleep, my anxiety decrease and my grasp on reality (to be perfectly frank) have changed so drastically I feel there is no turning back. To be honest though, like really honest, it was incredibly hard for me. Way harder than it should have been. I still fight urges I have to pick up the remote and watch nothing... for hours. It's incredible how much time I spent parked on the couch just staring at the flashing screen.
I wanted to share this part of my life because I want people to know that television (and overall stimulation) can be effecting your health. Here is a link to an article that scratches the surface of the damage that excessive screen time is doing. I am choosing to limit television because I feel it is what is right for me and my family. I am not crazy about this or legalistic. If television is on at someone's house I will not ask them to turn it off. I am not going to avoid bars with sports playing. It's kind of like that 90/10 rule. If you eat really healthy 90% of the time, when you indulge you will not feel as guilty, but also your body will be able to process it better... I am operating on a similar wave length in regard to this.
Next up? Social Media, Stress eating, and all my other unhealthy habits that need to be addressed.
I am tired of numbing instead of dealing.
I need to clear out space to be present and focused.
I need to make time for what matters most to me.
I need to get comfortable with quiet and stillness.
As always, do your own research! Don't take my word for it, but do make an effort if you are feeling pulled toward this. I should have done this a long time ago.
Maybe this is a part of being in your 30s? Re-evaluating the bad habits of your "youth". But what if we teach our kids better habits by example? Will their lives be fuller as a result? Only one way to find out :)