4 Things You Can Do While Watching Netflix, In Case You Want To Feel A Little Productive

Let me be honest: There's not much I'd rather do than spend the night snuggled up on the couch watching Netflix as long as my heart desires. I don't usually feel too guilty about this, besides the fact that, whenever I feel like watching The Great British Bake Off or The Office, whatever I had on my to-do list for the night tends to go right out the window. Relaxation time is definitely important, but if you're trying to decide whether to be productive or just chill, why not tackle some things you can do while watching Netflix? That way, you won't have to choose just one way to spend your time.

Whether you decide to harness the nervous energy you have from watching Making a Murderer to fit in a couch workout, or you simply prefer to opt for a relaxing drawing session while you enjoy a peaceful nature documentary, you'll be able to enjoy your TV time without having to worry about wasting your night away.

Of course, if you're really set on not doing anything with your hands during your Netflix time, invite a friend to come over and watch with you so that you can catch up and bond over a show that you both love. But if it's just you, here are a few ways to feel just a little more productive while you watch your favorite shows.

Get your heart rate up

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I'd choose a TV date with Dwight Schrute over my date with the gym pretty much any day. But, according to physical therapist Matt Huey, there are plenty of exercises you can do from your living room floor, or even from your couch, that will help you combine your fitness goals with your Netflix marathon.

If you feel like you just can't get off the couch, opt for an arm workout: "Take some hand weights, bands, cans, or a water bottle and press overhead," Huey suggests. Then, he says, take whatever you're using for a weight and raise your arms straight up, either in front or to the side, making sure your hand doesn't get above shoulder height.

For those nights when you feel like you can stand up while you watch your favorite show, try doing three to four sets of 10 to 15 repetitions of squats or butt kicks, Huey tells Elite Daily.

Meal prep for the week ahead

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On Sunday nights, I'm usually clinging to the last few moments of the weekend, so I generally have little (if any) motivation to meal prep for the week ahead. But if you just have to find out what happens on the next episode of Riverdale, try streaming from your phone or laptop in the kitchen while you cook. Although you might not be able to see every second of the show while you're, say, chopping veggies, you'll be able to catch everything that's happening during the more low-key moments of your meal prep, like while you're waiting for rice to cook or roasting sweet potatoes.

Soothe your brain with some coloring time

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When I first saw adult coloring books popping up on Amazon and on the book table at Urban Outfitters, I was pretty skeptical. But after I bought one with intricate floral designs to try out for myself, I was hooked. The simple act of adding color to a pre-drawn sketch was incredibly soothing to me, and apparently the activity has been beneficial for many other people, too.

"Coloring definitely has therapeutic potential to reduce anxiety, create focus or bring [about] more mindfulness," Marygrace Berberian, a certified art therapist and clinical assistant professor and program coordinator for the Graduate Art Therapy Program at NYU, told CNN.

Knit a scarf for your BFF's birthday

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If it seems like all of your friends are having birthdays right now and you want to save a little money on presents this year, try making some homemade gifts for some of the people on your list. It's just starting to get cooler outside, so now's the time to get started on making a handcrafted scarf for your BFF's birthday (or for your mom for the holidays, if you're a bit of a slow knitter).

Besides creating something your loved one will hold onto forever, picking up knitting could also have huge benefits for your own mental health. A study published in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy surveyed over 3,500 knitters and found a strong relationship between regular knitting and the respondents' happiness levels. The researchers even suggested that this type of crafting could have therapeutic benefits for overall health and well-being. So just unwind, and knit away while you stream, my friend.