Press Pause: 5 Reasons To Quit Binge-Watching

Binge-watching. It’s something that we do in 2019 + it’s definitely here to stay. Now that summer is sweltering + the couch is definitely tempting, it might be worthwhile for your mental health to not press play on that next episode of Friends [even if Netflix did pay $200 million to keep it on there ; )]. 

February brought us the first CHAARG Body Positivity Challenge, where we focused on our overall wellness + wellbeing. With May came Mental Health Awareness Month + CHAARG leading its first Mental Health Panel. Now, following the CHAARG Bootycamp, it’s only fitting we should stay moving!

July is near over [summer is flying], so here’s a few reasons to move + get out of that mid-summer slump you might be feeling!

Our brains can literally become addicted to binge-watching. For example, a few studies have shown that when we binge-watch + stay up into the wee hours of the night, it’s similar to eating sugar all at once. Our brains are in love with the rush of dopamine it gets when it watches our favorite shows, just like when we eat our favorite candy. Our brains become addicted to dopamine, + you feel happy when you watch which can explain why it can feel like a drug-like high. 

But what do we do when we’ve finished with our new favorite show? We either press play again or we get hit with a wave of sadness. Your dopamine levels will drop, + those post binge-watching blues become very real, very quickly. 

CHAARG girls almost always feel better after a workout [just like this one!]. When we move + get our heart rates up ++ sweat a little, we produce dopamine levels that taper off slowly. This is why we usually feel great after a tough workout, regardless of what that is. We don’t crash [usually], but with binge-watching, we do! This is because watching TV makes our dopamine levels stay high for the entirety of however long we are watching for. This is why we get sad after the show ends, but not usually sad after a workout. 

Studies have shown that those post-show blues are real! Perhaps binge-watching is a way to feel relief from feeling anxious or sad, or it can stimulate these emotions + emotional distress. The scientists aren’t quite sure. 

What we do know is that after binge-watching, it can be hard to fall asleep. Restless nights like these can impact anxiety + depression symptoms. If we are on anxiety or depression medications, binge-watching can influence these + what we feel afterwards. 

We’ve all promised our friends we wouldn’t watch the next episode without them, but often times it can be difficult to keep that promise + can definitely lead to some hurt feelings! We also often binge-watch from our beds or our couches + don’t even bother to get up to turn a light on when the world gets dark outside. Sitting in the dark makes us feel alone + isolates us from any social interaction that we actually need!

Binge-watching can really influence us. But, there are healthier ways to binge-watch [since we aren’t stopping anytime soon!].

  • Eat healthier snacks with controlled portion sizes during the show [try one parfait or a bowl filled with sweet potato chips]. 
  • Move around between episodes — or during! There’s lovely Grey’s Anatomy + Gilmore Girls workouts you can find! 
  • Press pause + get some sleep! It can wait until tomorrow. 

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