5 Tips for Balanced Binge-Watching

With easy access to full seasons of fave shows and blockbuster hits at our fingertips, it’s no wonder the binge-watching trend is in full force…

For some of us, crawling under the sheets with a laptop or touchscreen tablet has become a modern bedtime ritual. Clearly, this can have a deep impact on our overall health, well-being, and pillow firmness.

Despite the downsides of being glued to a screen, some rainy weekends and dark stormy nights call for complex plot lines and good old-fashioned escapism. Netflix is looking out for us too – check out their recent April Fools’ PSA release.

path to fresh air

‘go play outside’

On that note, here are a few simple ways to “binge responsibly”…

1. Take a breather at regular intervals.

After each episode, make a point of refilling a glass of water, rinsing your windowsill sprouts, letting in some fresh air, taking a cold shower, or walking around the block to restore mental clarity and support circulation.

2. Stock up with healthy snacks.

Binge-watching need not go hand-in-hand with mindless binge-eating. The body’s metabolism kicks into low gear in sedentary positions, so we could probably forego eating that entire bag of chips and dip.

When a snack attack strikes, try healthier options like fresh veggie sticks with hummus, stove-top popcorn with cayenne pepper and nooch, apple slices with cinnamon and nut butter, homemade energy bars, and raw or home-roasted trail mix. Avoid venturing into the dark pantry zone by prepping nutritious munchies ahead of time.

3. Check yourself.

Alas, the trials of binge-watching with type 1 diabetes. While we may be enthralled with a political plot twist in House of Cards, our body’s insulin requirements don’t let us press pause. Break a bad spike in blood sugar by keeping track of snack carbs and dosing insulin accordingly.

With or without a serious chronic condition, the small act of mindfully checking in with yourself can bring you back to reality (and taking out the trash).

4. Brace for potential setbacks.

Unforeseen interruptions like a power outage, internet failure, insulin pump ‘low reservoir’ alert or neighborly knock on the door can wrench us out of our digital streaming daze. Deep breaths will help alleviate any stress this may cause.

5. Save the last episode.

Suspense isn’t fatal, so why not build anticipation and keep the spirit alive by postponing the last half of a season? The end result could still be sheer disappointment or a nail-biting cliffhanger, but at least we’ve gained an hour or two of restful slumber. Nobody wants to look like The Walking Dead in the morning.

Enjoy a healthy dose of casual binge-watching!

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