Today’s guest post is written by Forest Parks the author of Frugal Zeitgeist
A lot of people complain that they watch too much television because they are bored. TV has become our easy quick fix and it’s actually generally a very cheap form of entertainment. Even if you shell out on an expensive television, divide that by the amount of hours you watch the thing for and it’s often an extremely cheap per hour cost…. This is why many parents use the TV as the babysitter!
I do own a television but I don’t watch TV. My TV is solely for my xbox360 and no that isn’t one of the tips to replace TV in this post! Playing the Xbox is just as bad as watching too much TV, as is watching movies and shows on DVD.
We all know too much television is bad for us and the kids. It can make your eyes bad and contribute to dwindling health and fitness. If you watch too much trash it’s thought that your brain could also start to rot (Ok I have no scientific base for that statement 😉 ). Getting away from the TV does not have to involve much costs and in today’s post I am going to throw out some easy and cheap ideas for things to replace this habit!
1. Play a board game
I really feel like boardgames are a dying pastime. When I was a child it was a family thing to do that involved direct interaction, building of knowledge and lots of laughs. Even chess can raise a smile and the healthy competition gets certain brain waves flowing. Cheap games can be picked up from thrift stores (just check for missing pieces) and it’s no doubt you have some stashed away in the basement or garage!
2. Go for a run in a busy area
I love running so this is easy for me to recommend. But seriously running through a busy area is entertaining. Weaving through people and just generally seeing what’s going on also occupies your mind and you may often find yourself running much further than you planned. If you really can’t face a run, then try walking…. Just leave the wallet at home just in case you are tempted to go spending out of boredom.
3. Draw something
When was the last time you picked up some paper and a pencil and sat down to do some drawing? For many it was highschool. Drawing can be really challenging and fun. If you are alone, just draw an object or what you see out of your window, even draw your TV if you like! If you are with the family then get everyone to draw a pic of each other, this truly can be hilarious!
4. Plant some vegetables
You may or may not have a vegetable patch but there is always somewhere else to plant a new vegetable plant. Pop down to the gardening store, pick up some seeds and get this project underway instead of vegging out in-front ot the TV. Even though it may cost a little for the equipment and seeds at least you will have something to show for it.
5. Call an old friend
Even if you talk to all of your friends via email it’s worth spending the time talking every now and then. So pick up the phone and call someone. Even better, call someone you have not talked to for years. They will likely be very surprised and happy to hear from you and you will have loads of catching up.
6. Read a classic
How many classics have you wanted to read but have never had time? How many hours a week, do you watch TV? Well use these TV hours to start reading through all the books you always wanted to read. I still have Wuthering Heights, Moby Dick and War & Peace on my list to read!
7. Start your memoir, on paper!
I don’t keep a journal and I rarely write specifics about my own life, so this idea is for me too! One evening just sit down with a pad and pen and start writing the story of your life. This could grow and grow and replace many nights of TV. I recommend doing it on paper as writing flows more naturally and your eyes are under less stress than on the computer.
These are just a few ideas to get your brain thinking about all the other things that you could be doing instead of rotting your brain. I would love to know what other alternatives you have.