To Netflix or Not to Netflix? That is the Question...

When I ask people (especially teenagers) how they like to relax, or what they do to decrease stress, Netflix (or other forms ot TV and movies) almost always makes it on the list. Sometimes... it IS the list. So the question is... is watching Netflix actually relaxing?

The answer is... kinda yes, kinda no. 

After a long day at work, I come home wanting to shut off the brain, talk to no one, check out, so to speak. I want to catch up with all my online bffs (lets be honest, sometimes I think of who I'd be friends with on Downton Abbey--Anna and Sybil all the way!). But after a nice, long, Netflix binge, I know that I personally don't feel relaxed and I certainly don't feel less stressed. In fact, feelings and tasks tend to catch up with me when I come back to the real world. Old feelings that I forgot about temporarily are back, and often times I feel "out of it" or tired. So no, Netflix does not "relax" me.

But what it does is provide for a good distraction every now and then. So when teenagers try to add this one to the list, I ask them the same question I just reflected on above, "is is actually relaxing--or does it prove as a distraction?" Sometimes distractions are needed. Especially for people with BIG feelings that need a quick mental shift, but it must come with the understanding that eventually you will have to face your feelings or tasks or whatever you're distracting yourself from. And since we can't watch TV or movies or whatever forever and ever amen... we might want to develop some skills that don't rely on technology. You know, just incase we're in the woods and need to not be stressed.

Here are a few things to try to distress after you come out of your Netflix cave... 
1. color
2. breathe (breathe in, hold, exhale fully, repeat)
3. call a friend
4. take a walk
5. hang out with your pets

And don't worry, there will still be plenty of times where you really just need a distraction from the real world. Netflix will be there waiting for you. 


**Note: there is gobs of research on this. I do not claim that this is a research blog, simply an opinion of what I've fond to be useful with teens (and um... myself!)

Blog Thumbnail Photo credit: http://www.vitamin-ha.com/the-best-of-netflix-memes/

Emmy Clausen