15 Little Ways to Make Yourself a Better Person While Watching TV Tonight

By Kentin Waits on 23 September 2014 0 comments

In the middle of channel surfing, fighting over the remote, or rolling your eyes at the latest unreal reality show premise, is it possible to become a better person? Maybe so. (See also: 25 Fun, Frugal Things to Do Tonight Besides Watch TV)

If you'd like to flex your multitasking muscles and turn TV time into personal development time, here are 15 ways to get started tonight.

1. Pen a Personal Thank-You

Ahh… the lost art of the hand-written thank-you note — let's revive it tonight. Surely you have someone to thank for something. Take five minutes and 49 cents to show how much you appreciate a kind act or thoughtful gesture. Or, explore other ways to creatively say thanks.

2. Walk

Watching TV doesn't have to be a sedentary act. If you're feeling a little lethargic (like you and the couch are dangerously close to melding into a single cushiony entity), get up and move. Walk in place or position the treadmill so you don't miss a single crying jag on The Biggest Loser. Then, walk at a comfortable pace; don't worry about breaking a sweat. When you're done, you've recharged your batteries a little and burned a few calories.

3. Stretch

Besides promoting relaxation, simple yoga stretches can improve posture and circulation. It's easy to combine slow stretching with TV watching without missing a plot twist. Who knows, you may enjoy it so much that you find other ways to fit stretching into your day.

4. Remember a Birthday

Use a commercial break (and let's face it, there are quite a few) to pull up the calendar on your smartphone. Are there any birthdays on the horizon that you should take note of? Make someone smile by remembering their special day this year.

5. Give Yourself a Mud-Mask Facial

Why not turn TV time into spa time? Before you settle in to watch your favorite program, take a long warm shower and apply a pore-cleansing mud mask. Then just relax and revel in the self-indulgent moment. Or, explore other ways to make your home feel like a spa.

6. Fuss Over Fido

Okay, this might not make you a better person, but it will make your dog or cat love you just a little bit more (if that's possible). Get grooming — and while you're at it, throw in some play time, some belly rubs, and a treat or two.

7. Plan an Event With Your Kids, Parents, or Partner

Since everyone congregates around the TV anyway, take advantage of the togetherness. Coordinate a weekend getaway, a family vacation, or an on-the-cheap staycation. You may even get so caught up in the planning that you forget all about Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

8. Flirt

Love still makes the world go 'round. Making time for our partners is a great way to acknowledge what's most important in our lives. Sure, watching TV may not be the sexiest pursuit, but it can still be playful. Surprise your significant other with some innocent (or not-so-innocent) flirting and see if you make it to the end of Conan O'Brien.

9. Take a News Diet

Sometimes no news really is good news. While it's important to stay informed, consuming a constant stream of bad news can be anxiety-producing and leave us feeling powerless. If the state of the world is getting you down, limit your news exposure. Instead, immerse yourself in an uplifting story, absurd comedy, or interesting educational program.

10. Be Thankful

Another commercial break? Okay, this time think of three or four significant things you're thankful for. If you're alone, say them out loud to yourself. If you're with friends or family, do a quick round-robin and have everyone share. The point is to interrupt a relatively mindless act with a mindful one and take a moment to appreciate our good fortune.

11. Repeat the Mantra, "Little Things Enlarge Others"

In our busy lives, it's easy to lose focus on the people around us. Reserve a bit of TV time to consider the mantra, "Little things enlarge others." In other words, what little things could you do tomorrow to make others feel a bit bigger? Offering a sincere compliment to a spouse, bringing a warm muffin to an over-worked colleague, or paying it forward in the coffee shop are all small but wonderful ways to get started.

12. Restyle Your Smile

Research the best teeth whiteners and start improving your smile and your confidence immediately. Since you'll be lounging and not engaged in heavy conversation, apply strips or other teeth whitening treatments while you watch TV. And when it's time for a snack break, don't jeopardize your efforts. Choose foods that help whiten teeth.

13. Donate a Buck or Two

Worthy charities need donations of time and money to survive. If your schedule is tight, use TV time to make an online contribution or send in check to a cause that's near and dear to your heart. Want to help, but not sure where to start? Visit Charity Navigator to research charities by category and review rankings of their financial health, accountability, and transparency.

14. Get Wordy

With so much technology at our fingertips, this one is easy. Vocabulary-building app Vocabology delivers a word of the day — even in different languages — and includes an audible pronunciation feature. Or, expand your linguistic horizons the old-fashioned way by thumbing through the dictionary. Pull out a word you don't know and use commercial breaks to spell it, learn it, and use it in a sentence.

15. Message a Memory

Our minds are filled with volumes of wonderful memories that usually include dear friends and family. Why not take five minutes and relive a favorite memory via a text message to the cast of characters involved? It's sure to put a smile on the faces of college friends, parents and grandparents, and siblings alike.

There you have it — 15 ways to blossom while watching Blossom, 15 ways to improve yourself while watching TV (even if you're not a Jeopardy! fan). So, the next time you kick back for a little tube time, ask yourself, what else could I be doing?

Do you pursue other activities while watching TV? How has TV time made you a better person?

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