By Maria Gerbic
1. Weigh the options of whether you would rather spend time (1) with others getting things done and improving your social skills or (2) with yourself, food and the TV. This requires the power of introspection and analytical skills. Choosing between the two will greatly improve your problem-solving strategies!
2. Choose the second option.
3. Take a shower. That is one of the most productive things you can do. Not only will it make you smell good, but it will release a bunch of happy hormones because who doesn’t like feeling clean?
4. Open the blinds. It creates the effect that you are experiencing some quality time outdoors, even if its just through UV blocking float-glass windows. The brightness ensures a sunnier day! (literally and emotionally)
5. Put on socks. Socks are what people who have their life together wear.
6. Watch an intellectually stimulating documentary ( ESPN 30 for 30 The Price of Gold or I Hate Christian Laettner or The Pixar Story are all sufficient options) followed by a 7-hour marathon of your guilty-pleasure TV show. The two will cancel each other out.
7. Take a 15 minute break every couple of episodes. Especially if you start to get a headache from straining your eyes by staring at the screen for too long. Go downstairs, grab a healthy snack like a bowl of low-fat vanilla ice cream/maybe some kale and take a lap around the kitchen. Spritz water on your face. Stretch a few times.There’s your exercise for the day!
8. Remind your mom/dad that the reason why you don’t come downstairs anymore is because you are so over-scheduled with “homework” and “extracurriculars” during the week that you need a good 12 hours to reboot and recharge. “No, Mother, I am not wasting my teenage years away. And I do have friends but they aren’t in my grade. Their names are Michael Scott, Michael Scofield, Dr. Derek Shepherd, and Leslie Knope.”
9. Talk to your siblings. Remind them kindly that there are too many people on the Netflix account and that there is no way that Gossip Girl is more important than criminal agents solving murders or inmates breaking out of prison.
10. Sleep. Sleeping improves memory, curbs inflammation, spurs creativity, improves grades, and sharpens attention. Sleeping while listening to music is even better. It can enhance brain power!
11. Optional recommended step: balance productive activities and social activities with TV watching. While TV is a great way to turn off the stressed-out mind, it should be done so in moderation. While I’m not an expert, I’d say that moderation is at the most 1 or 2 seasons a day. Read a book instead!
Photos of Harold are courtesy of Shutter Stock.