mental health and travel
Is it? Back to the basics – I’m not discussing social media and staring at phones because this has been done to death. I watch a lot of TV, well probably – about three hours a day. I guess some people sit on their arses for hours and hours but my excuse for my perceived inexcusable TV watching habits is that I have few friends and feel too self-conscious and vulnerable to go to pubs and clubs, because having had a long journey with panic attacks and anxiety I am a bit different to others.
And when I feel that I over watch TV I am comparing myself to smart people. Like my Dad who watches it sometimes - my brother, who has a family and a life (lucky fella) and my Grandparents barely watched it at all. I am a hoverer really, I’m not a slob, I’m not lazy. But I’m not smart enough to put the knowledge of old that ‘TV rots the brain’ into action and rid myself of it’s golden lure like geniuses do, and read a book instead. I do read, but not much. I will read anything and everything by Stephen Hawking and the American English travel writer Bill Bryson. But I just get bored by most everything else! It’s silly and self destructive really because I am a new author myself, trying to finish my first book and build the profile of my blog and one thing that writers should do is read a lot.
I sent my book off to The Faber Academy in London on Tuesday for my third professional manuscript assessment service and it’s very nearly there. I am excited to be starting the publication stage soon, I hope.
So I think I watch too much TV. But I am not lazy at all. When I’m not at work I go to the gym, I swim, I play snooker – but still I wonder if I watch too much TV. I am sure that I’d be cleverer if I curtailed the old box watching. I have a nice big TV, it’s quite glorious really, it makes me very happy and that’s the problem. It’s like a little bit of stimulation right there in my face at the touch of a button. I’m watching it right now as I write without even noticing… I tend to watch some sparsely intellectual stuff. Wild China, a nature programme, is presently dulling my imagination for me. I like a good film as well as pretending I’m smart. Psychological thrillers are my go to category. ‘Fracture’ starring Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling is one of my faves. He was pretty spectacular as Hannibal Lecter, simply immaculate – the best at playing our intellectual superior in his films. My favourite actor, alongside Leslie Nielsen possibly. Lieutenant Frank Drebin as played by Leslie was just the funniest thing, all he had to do was snort or say something silly and it would touch my funny bone in just the right way.
TV can waste the brain. You pick up a new skill with every intention of using and celebrating it, perhaps at work. Then you come home and turn on the TV and forget the joys, the sparkling connections of the new skill, and you forget the complex essence of it, and it fades away with every hour that passes into something less and less useful. In some cases.
I feel like TV gets a bad rap as well. It has made so many parents happy by giving them something to occupy the kids for a bit so they can tidy up or rest. Anything that offers a stressed parent a brief and sometimes desperate respite is OK in my book. TV taught my nieces how to sing ‘Let it Go’ from ‘Frozen’ (as if you needed clarification) and we have often belted out Elsa’s classic hit together, which is a beautiful and lasting memory we have made together.
Watching TV can of course be beneficial, but only in moderation and as part of a varied diet.
Thank you to TV, though please consider the cessation of the broadcast of political agenda and the general shit. Keep the Wild China nature programmes coming though. Good luck.
Thanks for reading.