Morning news, basketball games, reality TV, Friends reruns- can you imagine life without cable? I couldn’t, until two of my best friends and I settled into a small but cozy townhouse after college. We decided to start out without cable until we had a little more money saved up, but soon realized that we didn’t even miss it. So what can you do instead of watching TV, and more importantly, how can you benefit from it?
Enjoy your hobbies
When you can’t zone out in front of the TV for hours, you realize you have a lot of time on your hands for other things you enjoy. Think of the things that make you feel relaxed and happy and spend time doing those. Whether it’s cooking, reading, scrapbooking, biking, or fishing, allow yourself to get lost in the moment.
Try something new
Without TV, you have enough time to find some new hobbies. Have you always wanted to try Zumba classes but never gotten around to it? Do your friends meet up for racquetball every week but you’ve never had the time for it? Does your roommate try new recipes every week that you wish you could copy? Work something new into your schedule. You won’t miss the TV.
Think about something you’re interested in or always wanted to learn. Car maintenance? Self-defense? French? Research everything you can find about it. Google it, check out library books, sign up for a class. You can gain a new hobby this way or even become an expert and be able to make some money on the side from your new skill.
Being outside does good for the soul. It can make you feel better, relieve your mind of stress, give you a new perspective. Go for a walk, a run, a bike, a hike, or just sit on your porch and enjoy the day.
Invest in your friendships
The most important thing I’ve learned from not having cable is that friendships matter. When stuff happens – a breakup, a flat tire, a new job to celebrate – you need friends. If you’re not there for them now, how can you expect them to be there for you then? Maintaining friendships takes work, but it is totally worth having friends you can rely on when you need a hand. Plan a night out or a day by the pool- anything fun and easy. Next time you’ll be the one with the invitation.
Watch with friends
Sometimes there’s that playoff game or show finale you just have to see. This is when the friends come in. Bring some snacks or drinks to your friends’ place and make a night of it. You’re not just sitting on your couch watching TV; you’re investing in your friendships and having a good time together.