Curb The TV Habit In 3 Easy Steps

Carrie Lauth

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So you're not quite ready to throw the TV away, but you're limiting the time spent viewing television in your home? Here are some easy tips that have worked for me.

1) Identify when and why you watch and change your habits

Do you usually turn the tube on when you get home from work? Why? Do you turn it on in the late afternoon when the kids get home? Why?

Sometimes the TV goes on when we're tired or bored. If you're tired, you either need to: get more sleep or get more exercise. So instead of automatically flipping on the television, why not go for a 10 minute walk to refresh yourself? Or, take a nap!

If you're turning on the TV to “zone out" and decompress after a busy day, try developing a new, healthier habit. Some examples:

Brew a nice cup of hot tea and drink it slowly. Write in a journal. Put your feet up on the couch and listen to music. Do crossword puzzles (a recent study showed that people who do crosswords on a regular basis are less likely to get Alzheimer's disease. )

2) Make TV watching inconvenient.

A TV does not belong in the bedroom! Keeping one there is bad for a marriage and bad for your love life! It also contributes to insomnia. Put the television in an inconvenient place like the basement. Unplug it. Cover it with a blanket. Put the remote somewhere. . . remote!

3) Give up cable.

I decided a long time ago that I would never have cable. I can think of about a thousand other ways to spend $50 a month (Starbucks, anyone?) plus my husband would probably spend all his time watching the Discovery channel instead of talking to me!

If you live in a semi-rural area, you might not even get any channels if you cancel your cable service. But that would be a good thing if you're trying to limit TV! You can use the TV as a “movie machine" and rent DVDs so that you can at least control the content better.

Here's to turning off the TV and turning on life! is a valuable resource for families wanting to kick the TV habit. Sign up for your free “101 Things To Do Instead of TV" at

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