Things to Do

15 Things To Do While Watching TV (That Don’t Involve Scrolling on Your Phone)


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As much as I frequent vegging out in front of a TV for hours, losing interest in what I’m watching, and turning to scroll on IG for a few hours, I’ll admit… mindlessly watching reruns of my favorite TV show (i.e. The Office) for hours on end while comparing myself to strangers on the internet doesn’t always leave me feeling as fulfilled as I’d like. Don’t get me wrong, I love my rest time. But I have a feeling that if I paired my mindless TV watching with a hobby that got me in a creative flow or a routine task that’ll help me feel ahead of the game, I’d feel a lot more satisfied with my said choices of rest.

If this sounds like you, we’ve got your back and have compiled a list of six things to do while watching TV that don’t include scrolling on your phone. Grab your remote and your productive side because these indoor tasks and hobbies are bound to bring any mindless TV marathon to the next level:


1. Doodling

Grab your favorite pens and a sketchbook ladies because doodling is the perfect way to get in touch with your inner artist and creative side while watching TV. Whether you want to draw geometric shapes, dabble in line art, or learn calligraphy, there are plenty of ways to get your pen to paper and activate your brain.

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Erin McManness
Art Starts With a Line Book
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Fine Line Colored Pens
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30-Piece Sketch Pencil Set
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Hand Lettering Pens
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Whitney Farnsworth
Pretty Simple Lettering: Modern Calligraphy & Hand Lettering for Beginners
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2. Folding laundry

You’ve had it piling up in your laundry room (or the chair in your bedroom) for a bit too long so you already knew this one was coming. Iron your clothes, fold your t-shirts, and pair your socks. And, while you’re at it, ditch the ones that have been missing their counterpart for the last year. Catch up on your favorite show while folding and sorting laundry and we promise, you’ll feel so much better afterward. 


3. Stretching or foam rolling

When I was a child, my dance coach always recommended that we stretch while watching TV. “You’re sitting there anyway, you might as well make use of the time,” she’d advise. Still to this day, I have my splits (an accomplishment that I put on my resume) from stretching while watching reruns of Hannah Montana. To me, stretching or foam rolling after the gym is something that I just don’t really have patience for (my brain gets wildly bored), but when paired with my favorite drama series, the chore becomes a lot less tasky.


4. Pottery

OK, I’ll admit, this one could get a bit messy and is not to be done with shows where you’re looking to touch your remote often (i.e., rewinding in case you missed what a character said), but if you’re looking for background noise while trying a new hobby, pottery is the during-TV activity that has your name all over it. Put some old sheets down, get your hands dirty, and get ready to make some beautiful (or beautiful-ish) ceramics to add to your home decor. 

Beginner Pottery Kit
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Pottery Wheel
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Stuart Care
From Clay to Kiln: A Beginner’s Guide to the Potter’s Wheel
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5. Meal prep

Especially when I’ve made a recipe before, the task of meal prepping is so autonomous which, for me and my brain, makes it almost unbearable. But lately, I’ve been turning on episodes of Shadow and Bone while chopping veggies which makes the time fly by and makes the chore a lot less boring. Plus, by the end of the episode, I am able to get my life together in some capacity which always feels so freakin’ good. 


6. Doing a 47-step skincare routine

Bring the skincare that you are always too tired to do to the living room and let’s finally get to that multiple-step routine you’ve always intended to do. I’m talking the whole nine yards, ladies: steaming, cleansing, toning, moisturizing, wearing a face mask, jade rolling, performing gua sha massage, and if you’re feeling fancy, bringing out the NuFace microcurrent tool that you never have time for.


7. Cleaning your makeup brushes

I think we can all agree: Cleaning our makeup brushes is a tedious task that we never do quite enough. But what if you incorporated it into your Sunday binge-watch? Not only will you figure out what happens past last week’s cliffhanger, but you’ll also be setting your skin up for a better, cleaner week ahead. 


8. Needlework

TBT to the days when my grandmother would try her damned hardest to get me to grasp the concept of knitting, I’d get bored, and run around doing cartwheels instead. Now that I’m older and a bit wiser, I understand the peaceful value of a simple hobby that allows your mind to wander while producing something beautiful, and I kick my five-year-old self for not taking it seriously. Thankfully, the time is right and I just ordered my first official set of knitting needles on Amazon. If this doesn’t secure my spot as my grandmother’s favorite grandchild, I just don’t know what will. 

Vogue® Knitting: The Ultimate Stitch Dictionary
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Modern Crochet: Patterns and Designs for the Minimalist Maker
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A Step-by-Step Guide to More than 200 Stitches
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9. Organizing your junk drawer 

Because we all have one and we’re tired of digging our way through facemasks, candle lighters, wedding invitations, scissors, and bills galore on our way to find one singular pen. I have a feeling that once I tackle my junk drawer, my life will be significantly better. Here’s to hoping!


10. Cleaning out your email inbox

And by organizing your email, I mostly mean unsubscribing from hundreds of emails you get a week from the times you sold your soul (email address) for a mere 10 percent off. Not only will you be clearing out space but you’ll make for a more streamlined experience the next time that you open your inbox. This way, you won’t miss an important email from your boss or that reminder to pay this month’s electric bill. 


11. Planning out your week

Whether you’re a planner person, a to-do list groupie, or a Google calendar stan is no matter. Use your next TV binge-watch session to figure out what meetings/assignments you have for the week ahead and be sure to schedule in self-care because it’s 2022 and we are prioritizing it. 


12. Painting

Step aside, Pablo Picasso, we’re here to paint some numbers and it’s over for you. Whether you opt for freehand on a canvas or paint by numbers for a guaranteed pretty portrait, you’re bound to get lost in the sauce (acrylic or watercolor paint) and add a little bit of art and character to your space.

Art Canvas Paint Set
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Paint by Numb3rs
DIY Painting By Numbers Kit
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Watercolor Brush Pens
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13. Giving yourself an at-home mani 

Why is it so hard for me to carve out time to save money and perform an at-home mani/pedi but so damn easy to find 14 hours to watch reruns of Parks and Rec? I used to break up mindless TV watching by doing my nails and, not only did they look fresh AF after, but it saved me a ton of money. What happened to those days anyway? I should probably return to that method STAT.


14. Plan your next (or dream) vacation

Taking trips is something a lot of us love to do but, as we may have forgotten thanks to the entire year of 2020, getting there takes budgeting and a lot of planning. Create a travel bucket list and pick out your next spot or zone in on a trip that you already have booked. Search the internet for the must-see, must-do, and must-eat parts of the place you’re visiting, arrange for transportation, and create semi-flexible itineraries to make sure that when you vacation next, you do it right.


15. Upcycling clothing

Grab your sewing kit (or your sewing machine if this isn’t your first rodeo) because we are repurposing our old clothing, team. A hobby that’s as good for you as it is for the environment? Say no more.

If you’re not into sewing (yet), start with these 11 no-sew upcycle clothing projects and then move on to some more advanced techniques when you’re ready to completely transform an item you’d otherwise get rid of. Whether you want to flip thrifted pieces, try out a new trend, or completely transform your wardrobe, upcycling your old clothes is a fun way to enter a creative flow, express yourself, and be a bit kinder to the planet.

Mini Sewing Kit
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Fabric Cutting Mat
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Fabric Shears
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