I love a Netflix Binge just as much as the next person, I can watch a series into the early hours of the morning and never have I felt any guilt. Well not until a few weeks ago.
I had finished another series; I think it was Bridgerton. I finished the series in less than two days and as I finished it, I sat in bed wondering what to do next. I felt like a cartoon character with hypnotised eyes. My brain felt empty.
Once again, I had become so engrossed in the lives of fictional characters that as I finished yet another series, I felt sad and lost and immediately began searching for the next. This worried me a lot, in fact it scared me. I was feeling down for a few days and even writing about it now feels weird, but it is not uncommon. These characters become a part of your daily lives, you discuss them with friends, family, and colleagues. You question the storyline; you identify similarities with your own life, and you decide whether you would recommend the series to others.
I think the last time I waited a week for the next episode was back in the days of Ugly Betty. I loved that show! And now having to wait even a few days for the next episode feels criminal! Binge watching has become the norm for most of us especially during this pandemic. It has become widely accepted to spend hours on end watching a series which is fair considering the predicament we now find ourselves in. Streaming services have made this easier, with whole series available at the click of a button, it is addictive.
I for one have had to reign it in. Too much of anything can be damaging and I cannot ignore the effects the Netflix Binge has had on me. I sleep less or I stay awake all night, my brain feels foggy and I feel lazy. My lifestyle becomes sedentary, I binge on the snacks and the weight piles on. It is a vicious cycle. I find that I lose the motivation to do things and all my little life goals are put on hold because of my inability to self-discipline myself when watching a series.
A healthy lifestyle and self-care are important now more than ever and I will always support putting yourself and your mental health first. However, I have taken some time to recognise what self-care means for me. Watching hours on end of tv shows is not self-care, in fact it only makes me feel worse. I worked out I was spending six hours a day binge watching. Which for me is too much, a waste of several hours whilst I escape reality and lose myself in another fictional drama.
I made the decision to cut out Netflix for a week, it turned into three weeks which was great but honestly it was quite difficult to begin with. Here are 5 things I learned from cutting out Netflix
1. It takes self-discipline
The first few days were hard. I installed and uninstalled the app several times. I was bored and being in lockdown did not help. It was really a mind game. Every time I installed the app, I reminded myself of how rubbish I had felt after finishing a series and how this mini experiment was for my own good. After a few days I felt fine, better than fine.
2. I have so much free time
I now had all this free time in the day and no idea how to spend it. I made a list of all the things I wanted to do and slowly I am getting through them. I have written more blogs in this period than ever before! The creative juices are flowing and the more I write, the more I want to write!
3. Feeling energised
Had a lot more energy. I was going to sleep on time and waking up feeling fresh. There was more routine to my day and weirdly I was eating better, more conscious, and not stuffing my face with snacks whilst I was watching something. I was moving a lot more, keeping active and looking after myself.
4. Social Media
Whilst I did have more time, the first week I found myself spending quite a lot of going through my social media accounts. I think this was to fill in the gap of those fictional characters I was missing. Instead, I was scrolling through reels for hours which was hardly any better! I placed time limits on my accounts which helped the aimless scrolling a lot! Even now I continue to have limits on my accounts as it is so easy to spend hours on there!
I found that I had more awareness of what was going on around the world, and that which I did not, I was now researching and educating myself. I began blocking out an hour of my day to educate myself, bought a project book and I am learning.
So there you have it, my experiment with cutting out Netflix. It lasted three weeks and even though I do still use the service, I am now more conscious of how much time I am spending on it, I spend a lot less time on it. I limit myself and the self-discipline I learned in them three weeks has helped a lot. I have seen the benefits first hand. My health has improved, my mental health has improved, I have more time to write, I am using the time to practice proper self-care! All in all, it was what I expected if not better. As I said earlier, too much of anything can be damaging. Everything has to be in moderation.
For anyone who does not believe me, try it for yourself. Cut out Netflix or other streaming services for a week or two and if you do not notice any positive changes I will be surprised.
Next time on my blog I will be redefining Productivity
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Thanks for reading
Sundas the Midwife x