7 things to do instead of watching Netflix

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What’s a girl’s best friend? I’ll give you a hint—it’s not Spot. It’s streaming.

Everyone I know loves Netflix, from my sister, who’s a die-hard Scandal fan, to my best friends, who break their hearts over Breaking Bad, to my mailman, who keeps me up-to-date on his Lost progress.

But with the induction of “binge-watch” into our lexicon and the creation of endless Buzzfeed quizzes with titles like, “What to Watch Next on Netflix,” it seems like our obsession with instant entertainment is becoming excessive. Here are seven things to do instead of watching House of Cards…(seriously, it’s not going anywhere…)

Meditate

Just as relaxing, but way better for your brain and body. Plus, telling people you meditate makes you seem really cool and “in touch” with yourself–perfect ingredients for a super-annoying Instagram post!

Just don’t pull out any healing crystals — too far in the other direction.

Cook

Not something quotidian and mundane. Make something that you’ll work off at the gym later, like baked brie apple pie or peanut butter crack brownies.

Sure, you could whip up a kale smoothie, but you already get to feel virtuous by skipping TV, so why not have a little fun in the food department?

Take a mini road-trip

If you have time for a binge watching sesh, you have time for a drive. Grab a friend and go somewhere that’s close enough you won’t need to max out a credit card for gas yet far enough that you’re not intimately familiar with all of the shops, restaurants and parks.

Play the tourist: walk around, get some food, see a movie. Again, at the very least, you’ll have a couple of Instagram-worthy moments.

Read the book versions of your Netflix faves

You knew this one was coming. Seriously, though, since a ton of the great shows and movies online were books first (Game of Thrones, Bridget Jones’ Diary and Orange is the New Black, to name a few), you really have no excuse.

Take a bath

More specifically, light some candles, put on some music, get in the tub, and use up all those expensive Lush products you splurged on. Cheesy and cliché as it may be, the candle-lit bath is the type of thing you thought was the pinnacle of luxury in your youth. Or was that just me? Either way, time to live out those fantasies.

PS: choosing to add some Ferrero Rochers to the scene? Totally valid.

Call someone who loves you

They’ll appreciate it, and you’ll get to bask in the knowledge that you’re a thoughtful, caring person. Or at the very least that you did a thoughtful, caring thing. Good enough.

Move

No, I’m not going to tell you to go to the gym — who wants to do that as a replacement for watching TV?!?

There are plenty of fun workout videos you can access online, from the over 2,000 classes on YogaGlo, to “ballet inspired fitness” on Ballet Beautiful, to the barre-Pilates-yoga fusion from Barre3. Think of this as the type of Netflix that won’t make you feel guilty when you’re done.

So next time you’re at work, pretending to listen to your colleague but really planning your bed, Bachelor, and Ben n’ Jerry’s combo, mentally backspace and indulge in one of these seven pleasures instead.

The future you will love the present you for breaking the Netflix cycle.

Image via We Heart It

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Aja Frost is an English major at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where she divides her time between her three favorite activities: reading, writing, and eating. Sometimes, to balance these out, she'll go for a run. Follow her on Twitter at @ajavuu.