A year or two ago I considered removing the tv from my bedroom. It was a scary thought, honestly. The privilege and luxury of being able to pick up a remote and flick through channels to find something entertaining, all while lying in bed (with the possibility of eating a whole meal) is a comforting feeling. So comforting in fact that I found myself doing just that almost every night of the week. On weekends it was even better because then I'd "splurge" on my entertainment session by purposely finding a show to fall asleep to then setting the sleep timer to cut off the tv an hour later or commit to a huge binge fest that I knew would keep me up until the week hours of the next morning. Those were the days!!
I noticed something though: I wasn't my best self the next day and I wasn't getting much "me" time in. The tv had become a huge source of distraction. An excuse to just watch "one more episode" knowing full well the bags under my eyes would soon turn to luggage. Naturally, with more tv to watch I would also multitask in my bedroom by idly scrolling social media and emails, or even having full on phone conversations. Because, duh! I had to talk to my bestie about how Rick and Michonne were giving us all the life while it was happening. I wasn't dialed into myself, nor did I realize that my bedroom wasn't a quiet haven of rest.
I hemmed and hawed for a while but eventually told myself that I'd try living in my room without the tv. If I didn't like the experience of no tv, I'd just put it back! That day I picked up my flatscreen and placed it in my closet. Eventually it ended up in my daughters room but that's a whole 'nother story. The room felt...oddly quiet and a bit empty. I didn't realize how much space (physically and mentally) it took up, so there was definitely a small adjustment period. I didn't regret the decision. It just felt different. One immediate benefit? My bedroom felt larger and more open. I really loved that.
As time progressed I realized that I didn't miss the tv. If I wanted to watch something I could go into the living room and watch it there. But my bedroom evolved into something greater in the tv's absence. It became a place of rest, quiet time, reflection and writing. Getting in the bed now meant exactly that - Going to bed! I was resting better, my mind didn't wander to what was happening on episodes of shows I watched. Actually, the amount of tv I watched declined so much that I could go a few days without turning it on. With Covid-19 running ramping that has definitely changed, but I know that I can always turn the tv off as needed.
You may be wondering how you can make your bedroom feel like a place a rest. Here are some things to try that you may find helpful:
If moving the tv out of your bedroom is too drastic, consider placing a sheet on it so that it's not so visible.
In place of the tv add more plants to your space
Make your bed every day so that when you come home your bedroom feels more inviting
Try not to bring work to bed. Work instead at a desk, nook or table so that you can create that boundary.
Give this a shot for a week
and see how it feels. Again, you can always place your tv back especially if it's just sitting on a tv stand. If it's mounted on a wall you may not be able to easily do this so perhaps you instead make a commitment to not turn on the tv in your bedroom. You may find this exercise super easy and never look back or you may find it very challenging to break up with your tv. I encourage you to give it a shot either way. You never know how this small tweak can step up your self-care or make you more mindful about other changes you might want to make.