I wanted to share an interesting experience that I have had recently. It started when I realized I was watching too much TV, finals were approaching, and stress levels were rising. So I decided that I was going to go 20 days with no television. This included everything from netflix, TV shows, and movies (although I did allow the occasional short youtube video). This was really just to get me through finals, but as every day past I was amazed at the changes in my life.
Some of you don't know but sometimes I struggle with what I have diagnosed as seasonal depression. It hasn't been terrible this winter, but it does occasionally sneak up on me. I had no idea how much my television watching was affecting my mood. After I stopped watching TV, my emotions became calmer and easy to deal with. I actually had control over how I felt. I pinpointed this to the fact that I would watch a range of shows from exciting comedies to tense dramas. My "real-life" emotions did not stand a chance when I was bombarding myself with this roller-coaster so frequently.
I also believe my mood was better because I had time to do other things. I read an entire book during this time (Lamb by Chris Moore. It was fantaaastic, but I wouldn't recommend it for my Mormon friends), and Kevin and I played games and talked more. I listened to music for hours every day, usually while doing school work, and I've gotten into instrumental and more mellow music. I had time to do some cleaning too.
When it came to school work, I was so shocked because procrastination became almost nonexistent. I would get on facebook for a few minutes, get bored, and start doing school work. I completed projects faster than I thought possible and I felt good about the effort I put into them. Because of this my stress was so mild compared to other semesters. Stress is the worst for my depression so it was such a relief to not have to cope with that during finals. When I get stressed I can become claustrophobic and staying home for an entire day can become painful. This never happened during the 20 days. It was fun to stay home.
I even lost a little weight.