I’m doing ‘No TV Tuesday’
I started doing No TV Tuesdays because I’ve been binging a lot more TV thanks to COVID. Watching television started as a great way to stay calm and relaxed during these stressful times, but I discovered you can have too much of a good thing.
Last year in 2020, I saw the extra time at home as an opportunity. I wrote a ton, trained for and then ran a marathon, and had a steady schedule of video calls with friends.
But now in 2021, I’ve lost that motivation. Maybe it was the family-less holidays, or the bleak months of Canadian winter, or the stress of so many new COVID variants, but the end result was that I was spending hours every evening numbed out in front of the TV.
I decided it was time for a change, even if it was one day per week.
No TV Tuesday was a struggle at first
So much of a struggle that I just ended up replacing one screen with another — instead of watching a TV show on the TV in our living room, I watched YouTube videos on my laptop in the bedroom.
When my husband walked in, I blurted out, “It’s not TV!” And as we all know, a sure sign of innocence is to proclaim it in a sudden, defensive manner. “Mhmmm,” he said, raising his hands and backing away slowly.
The next Tuesday, I was super tired after work. All I wanted was to kick up my feet and watch The Mentalist. Instead, I did something I almost never do — have a bath. And wouldn’t you know, it was more relaxing than watching TV. It filled my cup, so to speak, because as easy and convenient as watching TV is, for me it’s often accompanied by a niggly guilty feeling: “I could’ve spent my time being productive, but instead I just watched TV.” Having a bath felt like a real treat, and it didn’t come with the uncomfortably guilty feeling.
After the bath, I jumped into bed with a book, read until I fell asleep at 9:30, and enjoyed a great night’s rest. Overall, much better than watching TV until midnight and waking up blear-eyed the next day.
One of the other ways I’ve spent Tuesday evenings is by planning gifts! It sounds random, I know, but it’s fun. I enjoy brainstorming, scrolling through corners of the internet to find gifts that friends and family will genuinely love. Birthdays and holidays always snuck up on me, and I had to do a mad dash to send a card or buy a good gift — but now I feel ahead of the game.
No TV Tuesday has also allowed me to invest time in other hobbies: cross-stitching. Drawing. Reading. Yoga. MasterClass. Budgeting. Gaming. Chats with friends. Even some tentative self-reflection, which I’m basically allergic to.
No TV Tuesday has basically meant that I’ve found an extra few hours every week, to dedicate to whatever I feel like. I’ve consciously tried to avoid booking up these hours with something concrete, like a virtual class or a commitment to clean the house. I was tempted, as I’m definitely an A-type personality — but part of my goal was flexibility. I was curious to see what would happen if I left the time intentionally unscheduled, and have been pleasantly surprised by the results.
Another unexpected benefit was it actually reduced the time I spent in front of the TV on other days. Sometimes I’ll just watch one episode of a show, other times I won’t watch anything. No TV Tuesday opened the door for better evening habits in general for me.
I started No TV Tuesday because I was in a bit of a rut — days had become more or less indistinguishable, bleeding into one another in a routine of work, chores, TV, bed, repeat.
No TV Tuesday forced me out of that routine for one day per week, which slowly became more days per week. I take each evening as it comes, and figure out what I want to do on a day-by-day basis. Effectively, it’s helped me cultivate more self-awareness and allowed me to tailor a routine to my specific needs.
COVID means I have to deal with a constant low-level hum of anxiety, which I’m sure many of you can relate to. I’m going to keep doing No TV Tuesday, while I wait for brighter days. Maybe I’ll continue, even when brighter days arrive! COVID sucks, but some of these coping mechanisms are positive, even for post-pandemic life.
Hope you’re staying healthy and happy.