Taking a Mental Break

How binge-watching may help to recharge our batteries.

Posted Dec 21, 2017

It’s not uncommon to feel overstressed and overworked this time of year. Many of us cannot wait until the holidays to recharge our spiritual, emotional, and physical batteries. Interestingly, binge watching a TV series might help.

Benefits of a Mental Break

Binge watching a TV series once in a while might serve as an individual’s necessary reprieve from everyday stressors. It’s a chance to escape into another world and immerse ourselves in the lives of the series’ characters.

We take a mental break when we immerse ourselves in a TV show, much like the way that we feel when we are binge reading a good novel. There is something fulfilling and gratifying when we follow the lives of characters, and escape from our everyday lives and stressors.

When binge watching a show, it is not uncommon to minimize outside interactions. Some sequester themselves on the couch, only getting up for food and personal needs and responsibilities. When interacting with someone in-person, it is not uncommon to liken that person to a character or to compare a situation to what is happening in the show.

How Much is Too Much?

Binge watching once in a while provides us with a mental break. But, if you are one who jumps from binge watching one series to binge watching another, then it may be appropriate to slow down your TV viewing. Aim to incorporate physical activity or another hobby into your day, too.

Pexels
Source: Pexels

For instance, binge watching a series for one weekend each month might be a nice treat for you, and may offer you a good way to disconnect from everyday stressors. But, if you jump from one show to another, without stepping away from your couch and restaurant takeout food, then you are binge watching a bit too much. It’s healthy to disconnect socially and emotionally once in a while, but if your TV is your new best friend, then you need to make plans to socialize with others devoid of electronics.

So, if you find yourself turning down coffee with a friend or a phone call with a family member because you want to finish your latest episode, then you may have a problem. Obviously, if you shirk work related responsibilities because you must find out what happened on the next episode, then you may need to break up with your TV (or at least take a short reprieve).

How to Benefit from Binge Watching

Consistent binge watching is an addictive behavior. But, occasional binge watching is just a chance to take a mental and emotional break from the world around us and is not necessarily addictive. Sometimes, people wait to watch a show in its entirety for convenience purposes. It’s easy to follow the storyline when you go from one episode to another. It’s also a fun activity for couples or friends to do together.

Choose one show to binge watch each month. Limit your binge watching to one weekend a month, or, even to one evening a week. Make sure to alternate binge watching with other forms of recreation that involve leaving your home for some fresh air and human interaction.

© 2017 Amy Cooper Hakim