13 Things To Do With Your Time That Are 100% More Valuable Than Watching Netflix

13 Things To Do With Your Time That Are 100% More Valuable Than Watching Netflix

What do you like to do with your time?
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As I've had the opportunity to spend some quality time with friends this week, I've appreciated yet again how crucial friendship is. I felt a great sense of community, and have recently heard quite a few talks on the importance of connection and communication through church and conference sessions. These experiences have led me to reflect on the way I choose to spend my time.

In the hustle and bustle of our lives, it's easy to want to relax and watch a Netflix show - and we should take that time. While I love a good Netflix show as much as the next person, but I think there are many other ways we can prioritize our time to do some good in the world. By all means, keep watching and enjoying Netflix. I always enjoy my alone time (#introvert). Still, here are some ways you can use your time in more valuable ways than watching Netflix.

1. Pray

Jamie Scott

Prayer has the power to impact your daily life, even if it's just your perspective. Prayer can express your thoughts and give you a clear head. It's comforting to know that you don't have to bear the burden of your struggles.

2. Read

Beauty and the Beast

Reading can take you to another place and time, giving you a fresh escape for a while. It can also keep you updated on what's currently going and teach you something you didn't know.

3. Get coffee with a friend

Amy Poehler

Honestly, this can be so much better than Netflix. Human interaction makes us feels connected and helps us better understand one another. Reading helps you become a better contributing member of society.

4. Start a conversation with someone you don't know

Lana Del Ray

You never know what you'll learn.

5. Plan a trip.

Aubrey Plaza Planning a trip is almost as fun as actually going and gives you something to look forward to.

6. Call a politician to express your viewpoint on an issue you care about

Mitt Romney

Do you have a few minutes? Do you want to express your view on gun control? Call your politicians - it's one way to positively make an impact in this country when it is so needed.

7. Write a letter or thank you note to a friend

Letter

Writing a letter is a brilliant way to make a connection with someone and express your thoughts.

8. Call or video chat a friend you haven't talked to in a while

Kid President

Talking on the phone is a great way to reconnect with someone and catch up.

9. Plan a surprise for someone

Parks and Recreation

10. Start a GoFundMe for a cause you believe in

Money

A great way to make a positive impact is by raising money for a cause you believe in.

11. Be vulnerable and honest with someone about where you're at and what you're struggling with

Amy Poehler

It's OK not to have it together all the time. There's no need to feel shame for the way you feel. Mental health and emotional health need to be nurtured, too.

12. Make a list of things you love about yourself

I Love Me

One way we can be better humans toward one another is by valuing who we are. Who better to start valuing yourself than you?

13. Plan a self-care day where you also treat a friend

Mean Girls

Rejuvenation is the best medicine. Treating a friend lets you give love and make a connection with someone in your life. There are creative things you can do that don't require a ton of money being spent.

Hopefully, these ideas help you connect with people a little better. These ideas are pretty typical, but I have to remind myself of important ways to spend my time. I don't pretend to be an expert on productivity and don't want to judge the way people spend their time. I do know that it's important to seek to understand people.

It's vital that we take time to intentionally see the way people are struggling and let people know they're not alone. It's important to be life-giving to each other. I do know that if we take the time to understand and communicate just slightly more intentionally, it can make all the world of difference.

Cover Image Credit: @theswirlblog

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50 Things To Be Happy About

It's the little things in life.
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It is always easier to pick out the negatives in life. We tend to dwell on them and drown out the happy moments. I asked a friend to tell me something that made them happy. They sarcastically laughed at my question then thought about it for a minute. Nothing. But they could easily come up with things that made them unhappy. Then I read them my list, and they were smiling and laughing in agreement the whole time. There are so many more things to be happy and laugh about than we realize. After all- it's the little things in life that can mean the most! Here are 50 things that make me happy. What are your 50?

  1. The first warm day of the year
  2. Laughing so hard your abs ache
  3. Freshly washed sheets
  4. Looking through old pictures
  5. The smell of a coffee shop
  6. Eating cookie dough
  7. Reading a bible verse that perfectly fits your current situation
  8. Seeing someone open a gift you got them
  9. Eating birthday cake
  10. A shower after a long day
  11. Marking something off your to-do list
  12. Drinking ice cold water on a really hot day
  13. Dressing up for no reason
  14. Breakfast food
  15. Being able to lay in bed in the morning
  16. Finding something you love at the store
  17. And it’s on sale
  18. Cute elderly couples
  19. When a stranger compliments you
  20. Getting butterflies in your stomach
  21. Taking a nap
  22. Cooking something delicious
  23. Being lost for words
  24. Receiving a birthday card in the mail
  25. And there's money in it
  26. Finally cleaning your room
  27. Realizing how fortunate you are
  28. Waking up from a nightmare and realizing it wasn't real
  29. Fresh fruit
  30. Walking barefoot in the grass
  31. Singing along to a song in the car
  32. Sunrises
  33. Sunsets
  34. Freshly baked cookies with a glass of milk
  35. Summertime cookouts
  36. Feeling pretty
  37. Looking forward to something
  38. Lemonade
  39. Comfortable silences
  40. Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing you have more time to sleep
  41. Surviving another school year
  42. The cold side of the pillow
  43. The smell of popcorn
  44. Remembering something funny that happened
  45. Laughing to yourself about it
  46. Feeling weird about laughing to yourself
  47. Printed photographs
  48. Wearing a new outfit
  49. The sound of an ice cream truck
  50. Feeling confident
Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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When Should I Eat?

You should typically eat when your body tells you to, not your craving or friend.

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Do you find that you are not hungry for dinner when you sit down at the usual time? How about lunch? Or breakfast? Or even when you snack? For me, it is usually dinner time when I feel this way. Perhaps after the first dish, you work up an appetite and go up for seconds. Later, you think, "why did I do that?"

We have been trained to eat three square meals at certain times of the day, at least I was. It is something our parents did and their parents. But here is something I have learned, not everyone should have the same eating patterns. Digestive systems differ per person and each individual requires differing amounts of calories for every day. For me, I have a sensitive digestive system. I have learned the hard way when I decided to eat seconds or eat when my body said it wasn't hungry.

Recently I have changed my eating pattern after reading Mark Divine's "The Way of the SEAL." To those who don't know, this book has heavily influenced my life and I wrote an article about it. In one section of the book, he gave a quick suggestion on eating habits. He said that the three square meals a day comes from the Industrial Revolution days when people had specific schedules. He said that the body should be fueled as needed through eating. Not only did it benefit his health, it freed up his breaks at work to focus on other things. At the same time, he states that it is okay to break the rule once in a while to enjoy life.

Even though his book didn't focus on nutrition or eating habits, this small section caused me to analyze my patterns. I realized that I was having calorie-rich meals when I wasn't hungry and that it usually caused indigestion. Plus his advice just sounded like common sense, eat when you're hungry. So I decided to start doing this. The result: I felt healthier and experienced less indigestion. And something seemed right about it.

If you consider it, our body sends us many messages on what to do. When to go to the bathroom, when you're cold, etc. People typically listen to their body in those situations, but not so much with food. The obesity epidemic in society is evidence of that. Obviously, there are other factors that have caused the obesity problem, but self-control with eating is not encouraged enough. Therefore, I believe people should check for a hungry message from their body before eating. As much as it will cause some odd schedules for meals or quick snacks, it will be beneficial for health. And checking the quantity you eat is important as well.

Another important part of eating is what you eat, which is one we hear about frequently. Another personal observation I have made is that when I eat healthier foods, especially fruit, my mood can get more positive. Probably because healthy fruits and vegetables don't give me the sick feeling after eating a sugar-filled brownie. Believe it or not, a healthier diet can improve mental health according to a study in New Zealand. So why not eat healthier to be in a better mood during the week?

I am not a health nut nor am I against enjoying life with a piece of cake once in a while. But I feel strongly about eating the right foods at the right time. I have gotten weird reactions from some people when I don't eat lunch for a long time or I talk about my eating patterns. I don't care since I know it is good for me and others. For some people, they need three square meals a day at certain times because that is when they are hungry. Like I said before, everyone has different eating patterns. Yet most of our eating should occur to satisfy hunger, not just for the sake of taste or socializing. If every person decided to eat healthy foods in the right quantities based on hunger, I think the health of the nation would improve.

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