We know the feeling: what starts as an episode of Mad Men on a rainy weekend quickly turns into a marathon Netflix session of all six seasons, followed by all four seasons of Walking Dead, nine hours of Bridezilla, and five days of calling in sick to work. We all love binge-watching, but when it reaches the point where you haven’t gotten off the couch in two weeks and the only living person you’ve interacted with during that time is the Papa John’s delivery guy, it’s time for an intervention. Here are 5 ways to help you pull the plug on your binge-watching addiction.
1. Admit that you have a problem: Recognize and take responsibility for your addiction. Everyone, including you should be able to acknowledge that it's weird that you've been speaking exclusively in quotes from Gilmore Girls for the last week.
2. Cut off your enablers: You watching all of Breaking Bad with your roommate Brian because he watched all of Sons of Anarchy with you isn’t reciprocity, it’s codependency. Tell Brian you need to take back the remote control of your life. Same goes for those friends with whom you’ve traded Amazon Prime and HBO Go passwords.
3. Take inventory of everyone your addiction has hurt and apologize: You haven’t returned your mom’s phone calls in weeks. You haven’t made eye contact with your significant other since you started Season One of Game of Thrones in September. When Matthew died in Season Three of Downton Abbey, you were so distraught that you forgot to feed the dog for two days. You owe them all apologies.
4. Remove temptation: Will power won’t help you when you have a ninety minute bus commute, an unlimited data plan on your phone, and three episodes of House of Cards left to find out if Frank Underwood can scheme his way into the presidency. Cancel your Netflix and Hulu Plus subscriptions.
5. Find a new hobby: Now that you’ve kicked your addiction, you’ll have countless extra hours to spend doing something more constructive like yoga, learning to knit, or publishing a blog on your attempt to cook every recipe in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Or, if none of those ideas suit you, there’s still that Collector’s Edition box set of all seven Harry Potter books that Aunt Gretchen got you for your birthday in 2009, waiting to be read.