TV

Self-care for screen lovers with Flog It, Love Island and Antiques Road Trip

Self-care advisors often overlook how useful a tool television is for looking after yourself. Luckily Lucy Sweet is on hand to prescribe some feelgood bad TV.

Social media is a fickle mistress. One minute its cast of millions are telling us that we’re fat and pointless if we don’t do a 21-day yoga shred followed by a cleansing detox and a bowl of bone broth, the next it’s all about how you can only love others if you love yourself. Look! All these other people love themselves so why don’t you, you complete IDIOT?

The idea of self-love and self-care is currently rampant on the internet, and of course, like most online health fads, it’s popular because almost anyone can proclaim themselves a self-expert.

The great thing about self-care is that it can be conveniently attached to almost anything a human being can do, from brushing your teeth or wearing a hat to eating an entire Meat Lover’s pizza with your fists.

What self-care advisors often overlook, though, is that TV is a very important tool for looking after yourself.

Yes, there’s nothing like the soothing linear majesty of crap TV shows to help ease anxiety and depression. They are indeed a form of meditation, and watching them should be practised daily to alleviate the pressures of modern life. Here are some common examples, but feel free to add your favourites to your own self-care routine. Namaste.

Problem: Low self-esteem

Antidote: Flog It (BBC2)

Theory: You might feel an unshakeable sense that you are not living your best life, or indeed ticking anything off that bucket list. However, simply spend half an hour with the boring, ruddy cheeked fleece wearers on Flog It as they buy worthless nests of tables, and you will feel really good about yourself.

Problem: Stress at work, imposter syndrome

Antidote: Love Island (ITV)

Theory: You may have failed a few GCSEs, and your boss might put you on projects that you feel are beneath you, like rearranging the stationery cupboard, but compared to the Bonobo apes of Love Island, who rub their oversized genitalia against each other as a form of communication, you are René Descartes.

Problem: Anxiety, impending doom

Antidote: Antiques Road Trip (BBC1)

Theory: If you’ve been glued to rolling news, worrying about the state of the world, then unhook your bra, put your feet up on a pouffe and surrender yourself to watching two antique dealers going on a circuitous route around Britain in a vintage jalopy (not to be confused with Flog It).

Problem: Negative comparison

Antidote: Dinner Date (ITV2)

Theory: It’s OK. Instagram might be full of tawny-limbed, loved-up types laughing and eating vegan food from pretty bowls, but in reality, most people are crushingly lonely, have tiny, awkward kitchens and think a fancy dinner involves a squashed meringue nest from Asda.

Problem: Insomnia, neurosis

Antidote: Penelope Keith’s Hidden Villages (Channel 4)

Theory: You are very, very, VERY sleepy.

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