Since the coronavirus pandemic began, many of us have found ourselves in a similar situation: binge-watching every TV show that comes our way. Of course, there’s no judgment here. Given how difficult and uncertain the last few months have been, it’s easy to find distraction in TV. Plus, with many of us staying home to practice social distancing, we need something to do to pass the time.
That said, binge-watching habits can lead to deteriorating health. Excessive binge-watching is strongly linked to poor sleep, over-eating and an overall sedentary lifestyle—not to mention mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
If you feel like binge-watching has taken over your life, here are three strategies that can help you break the habit (or at least make it healthier) once and for all.
1. Combine with a good habit
One of the reasons why continuous TV watching is considered bad for your health is because you stay in one position without much movement. A great way to overcome this barrier is by pairing it with something healthy. For instance, the next time you feel like watching something, hop on a treadmill while streaming your favorite show. That’s one of the great benefits that comes with in-house exercise equipment.
Also read: 5 Best Treadmills For Weight Loss
2. Add friction
Most of the time, habits form because they’re easy. One easy click and you’ve got a wide selection of shows just waiting to be watched. By making it harder to access a bad habit, there’s a better chance that you’ll avoid it altogether. The 20-Second Rule is a good place to start: Delay bad habits for 20 seconds by making them longer to start. So, the next time you switch off your TV, unplug it from the back and remove the batteries from the remote.
3. Substitute for Good Habits
Many bad habits are born out of boredom. Most of us fall into the habit of excessive TV watching simply because there’s nothing else to do. A good way to break the habit is by lining up more positive things to do in your schedule. Join an online well-practiced yoga and meditation class, take a free course, or try a new recipe with the free time that you’ve got. It’s even better if you get a friend to join with you—it’s more likely to keep you motivated.
Breaking a bad habit isn’t easy. For long-term success, it’s important to understand that slip-ups will occur and that you need to be patient with yourself. If you stick to the program and follow these strategies for a better lifestyle, you’ll notice gradual improvements in your health.