The Ultimate Binge-Watching Survival Guide

Woman binge-watching TV

Feel a couch potato weekend coming on? Here’s how to master the wonderful world of binge-watching.

You’ve survived Christmas – barely – and now it’s time to recover… you know, just in time for your annual New Year’s bender. Now that you finally have some time to yourself, your recovery can be spent exactly how you’ve always dreamed: In the form of a weekend binge-watching extravaganza. Swoon.

Here’s how to barrel through that show you’ve been putting off because of… well, living, like a total champ:

1. Pick your poison

Which show will you binge-watch, and how much time will you need? Check out the infographics here and here from Neilsen to help you calculate. Even if the show you’ve decided on isn’t on the list, you can compare it to a listed show that’s punched out a similar number of episodes.

That being said, I recommend binge-watching a show that’s no longer on the air for two reasons: One, spoilers. Two, once you’ve annihilated all 30 episodes that have aired so far, waiting until the next episode – or season – is complete torture. Trust.

2. Have a shower

Like, one of those amazing showers where you don’t miss a nook or cranny. Snuggle into your favorite jammies since you’re going to be in them for a while. Chronic binge-watchers are two times as likely as casual bingers to skip showering because of their binge-watching – but a pro such as yourself plans accordingly.

3. Map out your territory

What will you need to make your binge-watching space as luxurious as possible? Make sure you have enough pillows and blankets to see you through – you don’t want to finish your bingey binge feeling like the Robaxacet puppet. You also want to make sure your laptop/tablet charger, remote, and modem user’s manual are within arm’s reach (that way, if an Internet kerfuffle occurs, you can MacGyver that shit stat).

4. Stock up on your essentials

The only times you want to get up are for bathroom breaks and post-episode stretches. Make sure you have all of your favorite snack foods on hand (since you never know which craving will strike), water (to stay hydrated) and Kleenex (for those particularly gut-wrenching scenes). And if something terrible happens to one of your characters, you’re going to want to keep takeout menus on hand for a serious case of the stress eats.

5. Silence your phone


6. Press play

It’s going to be a long haul, but you’ve got this.

7. Between episodes…

Throw in some stretches and a potty chair break. Also, an occasional cat nap to keep your stamina in check never hurts. Binge-watching is a sport that can only be mastered through perseverance.

8. Cross the finish line

Of course, “finish line” is subjective – if your show is seven seasons long, you’re not going to get through the entire show in one weekend obvi. Stop where it makes sense to stop, such as at the end of a season, and pick up where you left off during your next binge-watching date. Just check with your couch to make sure it’s free that weekend.

What shows are you currently binge-watching?

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Image: Keirsten Marie

Krissy Brady

Krissy Brady is a women’s health + lifestyle writer who’s so out of shape, it’s like she has the innards of an 80-year-old. Instead of learning how to crochet, she decided to turn her emotional baggage into a writing career (genius, no?). You can follow her shenanigans on Twitter (you know, if you want).