When Brett and I moved into our house just over 3 months ago, we came with very few house furnishings. This included the lack of a tv. While we never really watched a lot of it, Brett used to like to come home and switch it on to relax after a hard day’s work, and I will admit I would find myself flicking it on when I got bored. We went and priced a few big ones for the big empty space on our lounge room wall. As they were quite dear and things such as a fridge and washing machine rated as our higher immediate needs, we left it for the time being.
3 months down the track and it may be one of the best decisions we ever made. Here’s why;
- Our sleep improved 10 fold. Did you know that most appliances (eg TV’s and computers) emanate blue light? –What does this mean?? “Blue light regulates our secretion of melatonin, the sleep hormone. Exposed to blue light, we limit the production of melatonin, and we stay alert and awake; in the absence of blue light, melatonin production ramps up, and we get sleepy.” The other thing I have found, is I used to have weird dreams every night and have very disturbed sleep. I think this was in part to the content of the shows I was watching on TV as they always played a part in my dreams. I have the heaviest uninterrupted sleep now!
- We get more sleep. When you don’t have a TV, you go to bed when you’re tired. There’s no waiting up for the next show, hanging out to see the end of the one you’re watching or falling asleep on the couch. When your body says it’s tired, you tend to listen to it and take it off to bed for a deep sweet night’s sleep.
- We get more done. Rather than parking our tushes on the couch for the rest of the evening, we get outside and work in the garden. We have more time to make yummy home cooked meals. The dogs get walked and go to the dog park. All the walls in the house have been painted.
- We have time to read.
- Stronger relationship. Since we’ve had no TV our communication between each other has improved heaps. Have you ever noticed that when you come home and park yourself in front of the TV to “switch off,” you’re usually pretty switched off to your loved ones too? There’s no time for conversation when the TV is on, and the conversation that happens in the ad breaks is usually pretty menial.
- We do more things together. Like cooking dinner, cleaning up, planning adventures, re-arranging and discussing possible home improvements.
- We always have time for friends. Every night is a good night to have friends over! There are no TV shows that we “have” to watch, that restrict and determine our social calendar.
- No negative news. have you ever noticed that 95% of stuff on the news is bad news? When you’re putting negative stuff into your head daily, it changes the way you start to see the world. I can’t remember the last time I watched the news. I don’t look it up on the internet either. If it’s a big and important enough story, you will hear about it!
- Living in the real world. How many people do you know that watch trashy fictional TV series’, that become a standard or reality in their own live’s? Fictional television series are exactly that- fictional, make believe, not real. Again when you’re pumping all of that into your head, it’s easy to start comparing your life to the life of a fictional character in a TV series, and believing it and living it. Real life is not grey’s anatomy or winner’s and losers, its not big brother or neighbours.
- Our lounge room is completely re-arrangeable. Nearly every lounge room I have ever been in, has all it’s chairs and furniture focusing and centring on one thing. The TV. Our’s can be moved to face any wall or space. We can sit in there and read or talk to people, without feeling like all our energy should be focussed on the direction we are facing.
Even when I was growing up, my Dad would have the TV in the shed, under lock and chain for a “TV free month”. So really I have never been a big fan of TV. However I do know how easy it is to fall into a trap of being dependant on it and certain TV shows. I’m sure sometime in the future we will get a TV, but I am certain it won’t get as much use as it has in the past.
Why don’t YOU have a TV free month? Now would be a great time to start – it is Christmas after all. A time to be celebrated and shared with family and friends. Focus on quality time, conversations, outdoors stuff with your parents, children, partner’s, grand-parents, siblings, friends… get creative! Go on a picnic, go to the beach, have a picnic or BBQ in your back yard. Go to the park, walk the dogs, go on an adventure to nowhere in particular. Bake, paint, swim, bike, read, camp, write, play!
Do a TV DETOX! – It’s good for you :)