Have you seen this lovely image? I love it. Simply brilliant.
*Okay, I can't provide the source for that, because someone emailed it to me. I think it's going around Facebook, and if you happen to know who created it, please let me know, so I can give them credit for it.On a separate (yet very much related) note, did you know this week is Screen-Free Week? Yesterday marked the first day of an entire week in which kids (in particular, but everyone, really) unplug. No TV, no video games, no DVDs/NetFlix/[insert entertainment media of choice here]. It's intended primarily for children, many of whom watch over 30 hours of TV a week (an average of 32 hours per week for preschool children, and it goes up from there--that's more than four hours a day for 3 and 4-year-olds!) source.
That's a whole lot of screen time, which has been shown to increase obesity and other health problems, not to mention stifle creativity (source). So this week is all about unplugging.
What to do instead?
Get outside! It's spring, go enjoy it. Not only will it allow your brain to process something ... you know ... real, it will also reduce stress, improve your attention span (really!), and help you find a solution to that problem you've been wrestling. Check out more on the benefits of nature in this post.
Go read a book! Recent studies have shown that fiction can have extensive benefits, in particular by stimulating empathy and thereby reducing social friction. If you haven't seen this article in the Boston Globe, go check it out--it's fascinating.
Do both at the same time! You can't lose, it's like earning bonus points for your life: improved social functioning, less stress, and improved cognitive functioning all wrapped into one delicious, engaging novel read in the out-of-doors.
So, in honor of all those fallen books, let's go screenless (not completely--I know we all have work to do). Maybe our collective outpouring of empathy can ease the social friction cause by *ahem* certain television shows.
What will you read this week?