5 Reasons a Television Fast Is Good For Your Marriage
Do you ever wish you had more time for your husband? Family? When I wrote about this popular marriage secret, did you think to yourself, “Yeah right! With what time?”
Years ago, I found myself short on time each and every day. Keith and I were both working 10-12 hour days and would crash on the couch and veg out in front of the television until bedtime.
Then something magical happened. We moved to a new place, and decided, for the first few months we wouldn’t call the cable company. We drew the curtains on what had become the greatest suck of our free time.
Those first few months were eye-opening. All of a sudden, we had more time to take walks together, exercise together, enjoy coffee and talk in the mornings without the sound of news anchors in the background.
What we thought would be just a few months ended up leading to two years without TV (well, our TV stayed on the wall but we didn’t connect the cable).
If you wish you had more time for regular date nights or to simply spend more time together daily, there are two things you can likely do immediately to create more free time.
The first is limiting the amount of time you spend on the computer or your handheld devices. Seriously.
I can’t even begin to tell you how much time I got back by limiting myself to 15-30 minutes a day on Facebook. Looking at all my friends and family’s photos and status updates was great…except once I realized how much time I spent on it. Ditto the time I lose when I go off on online rabbit trails.
Do you do that too? I’ll go to an online news article and then see another interesting article on the right-hand side. So I’ll click that story, which will lead to another story, and so on and so on (this just happened to me 5 minutes ago, by the way). If you’re like me, and can get sucked into this online world quickly, putting yourself on a clock (literally, a timer you can set on your smart phone or any other way you’d like that allows you to limit yourself to 15-30 minutes).
The second thing you can do is go on a (minimum of) 21-day television fast. The reason for that length of time is research has shown it takes 21 days of doing something with consistency to create a new habit. Even if you decide to return to watching TV after your fast, chances are you will spend far less time in front of the tube. Why? Because now you are consciously aware of how much time you are losing by sitting in front of the TV and have discovered far more productive things you can do with that time.
There are 5 reasons a television fast is good for your marriage:
1. You have more time for each other. Even if you usually only watch 1-2 shows each day, that is now 30 min-2 hours you’ve freed up for each other. You’ve created a window of opportunity for a daily ritual, date night or whatever else floats your boat.
2. You’ll have more energy. There is something about crashing on the couch and vegging in front of the TV that is a real energy suck. Not sure why. But if you think about it, has watching TV ever given you energy? But engaging in things you love, things that breathe life into yours -hobbies, dreaming together, etcetera- will naturally give you more energy.
3. You’ll be better rested. For so many, the simple act of not watching TV prior to bedtime will provide the most restful sleep you’ve ever had. About 8 years ago, I participated in a sleep study because I couldn’t seem to sleep through the night. I would toss and turn and wake up often. One of the top suggestions they gave me was to turn off the TV (and all electronic devices) no less than 30 minutes prior to bedtime. Not watching TV at night will allow your body to shut down when it’s ready and you won’t have crazy dreams starring people you just saw on your tube.
4. More time for foreplay. Hmmm…does this one really need further explanation?
5. Reduce stress, ward off anxiety, improve your mood. Okay, so maybe these things don’t come just from you turning off the TV. But they are things that happen naturally when endorphins are released into your body. And the two most popular endorphin boosters are: sex and exercise (or sexercise if you want to combine the two). Once you turn off the TV, you’ll create more time to do both of these things. Exercise isn’t just for looking good, it’s good for your overall health, life- and even your marriage.
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