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6 Alternatives to Paying for Cable

6 Alternatives to Paying for Cable

“Over 500 channels and nothing’s on.” How many times have you echoed that sentiment in the past couple years?

Realistically, most cable network packages come with at least 200 channels nowadays. But who really watches all of them? I’m pretty sure if someone snuck into my apartment and blocked 95% of the channels I get, the only way I would notice is if I couldn’t watch reruns of Seinfeld while I eat dinner.

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Regardless of the fact that most of us probably only really watch five to ten of the hundreds of channels at our disposal, we’re still charged the full amount for the package by the cable company. There has to be a better way, right? Well, there is. Maybe it’s time you cut the cord, and check out some of the following options.

1. YouTube

Okay, so you’re not going to get full-length movies or TV shows on YouTube. But the popular streaming site does have more than just ridiculous cat videos. There are documentaries, educational resources, and recreational activities for people of all interests. You might have to tweak your idea of what “watching TV” really means, but you can get just as much out of the free services YouTube provides as you would with cable.

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2. Sling TV

Like I said before, you probably pay for hundreds of channels, but only watch a handful of them. For $20 a month, you can use Sling TV to stream some of the most-watched channels around, while leaving the ones you don’t care about behind. ESPN, AMC, Cartoon Network, and TNT are just some of the channels included in the main package. You can also purchase additional packages (including sports and kids-based shows) for $5 extra per month. No more paying for Lifetime just because you have to!

3. Netflix

You probably don’t need me to tell you that Netflix is a pretty sweet alternative to cable TV. While it’s movie selection is usually fairly lacking (oddly enough, considering it’s what the service was initially built around in the first place), the collection of quality TV shows makes Netflix completely worth the $8 a month subscription. How else can you watch 12 episodes of a single show in one sitting without having to go through one commercial break?

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4. Hulu

Hulu is pretty similar to Netflix, but there are a few differences between the two. With Hulu, you’ll unfortunately be stuck watching the same commercials every ten to fifteen minutes – even if you pay for the premium service. However, unlike Netflix, Hulu offers much more recent episodes of popular shows almost immediately. Think of it like this: You can either wait months and months for a new season of a show to be released on Netflix, or you can sit through two minutes of commercials on Hulu. Pick your poison!

5. Libraries

I remember my old town library used to have a small section of outdated VHS tapes collecting dust in some backroom. But that was during the Blockbuster days of the 90s. Nowadays, many libraries have a pretty up-to-date selection of DVDs to choose from. And they’re usually pretty lax on due dates, so you won’t end up getting slammed by late fees if you can’t get around to watching a movie til the weekend.

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6. Live Streaming Sites

The Internet offers plenty of sites to watch free live tv on that don’t require payment or a subscription of any sort. Many of these sites offer regionally-based programming, whether by city, state, or even country. If you’ve moved across the country but want to follow your hometown sports team, there are sites that can help you out without having to pay the extraordinary price your cable company will charge for a single extra channel. The same goes for locally-based news and other programming. If you’re feeling homesick and you know some hometown TV will help out, there are many places you can go on the Internet to find what you need.

Featured photo credit: Watching TV 2 / Jinho Jung / Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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