Some people spend their #selfcaresunday doing mud masks in fluffy white robes and soaking in a hot bath full of foamy bath bombs and essential oils. But, not all self care practices look as glamorous. For some of us, it’s more like baggy, old—let’s call them vintage—college sweats, a bowl of mac and cheese, and the latest Netflix binge.
I know I’m not the only one who likes to indulge in a little TV time to decompress. There’s something about getting lost in the stories of fictional characters and getting invested in plots that have a resolution that brings me a sense of calm. No matter how chaotic my current emotions, there are some TV shows that get me to unwind.
Mostly, I won’t lie, it’s reality TV that does the trick. Who isn't guilty of enjoying other people’s drama and feeling thankful it’s not your own? But in an effort to make sure this doesn’t turn into a list of the best worst reality TV shows, I asked the rest of team Mend to share their favorite self care TV shows.
"My self care show is most DEFINITELY 'Terrace House.' It’s a reality show sans the highly produced antics. If you’ve never watched it before, read this to know exactly why it’s my go-to, and soon to be yours too!"
-Elle, Founder & CEO
"'Friends.' I’ve always been able to rely on this show for an easy laugh when trying to make it through a tough day. I mean, who can’t relate to six 30-somethings playing 20-somethings, living in massive rent-controlled apartments in NYC and spending the bulk of their workdays in a coffee shop?"
"Anytime I need a pick-me-up, I will binge watch 'The Office.' It’s hilarious, and you pick up on new little nuances every time you rewatch it. There’s also so much to relate to, like unrequited love, with different perspectives too so you feel less alone. Or in Michael Scott’s words, 'It is delicious. It’s good for me. It’s the perfect way to start the day.'"
-Candice, Head of Acquisition & Brand
"'The West Wing.' I first binged the series about 5 years ago when living in NYC. I finished all seven season, 154 episodes [+ 2 special episodes] in record time. And then started it from the beginning and binged the whole thing again immediately. When I’m stressed, sad, or in need of comfort I put on the WW. I even have specific episodes for different moods."
-Courtney, Head of Partnerships & Community
"This is going to sound absolutely ridiculous, but watching 'The Bachelor' franchise is my Monday night self care ritual. It's such mindless TV with a little bit of drama, yet it still makes you hopeful for love. It also helps you kind of visualize that whole "plenty of fish in the sea" thing because you get to know all of these different people (read: characters) that are out there. Something about it just makes me so happy and relaxed.
Also, I’m convinced the sole purpose of 'Queer Eye' is for my Sunday self care practice. Watching them help someone transform their life serves as ALL the inspiration needed to do right by others and help make the world better (tastier, more beautiful and fashionable) using your special skills and talent."
"Netflix's 'Nailed It!' is a surprise favorite of mine because I don't love reality TV or baking shows, but this truly saved my junior year. Comedian Nicole Byer hosts this amazing show about people who are horrible bakers. They attempt to create Pinterest food with the goal to fail miserably. It's hilarious and the chemistry between Byer and her co-host Jacques Torres gets me in my best mood. There are 12 episodes and they're only 30 minutes long so this is easily digestible!
A second favorite is 'Making It,' a crafting show hosted by Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman of 'Parks and Recreation' fame. This show is so underrated because it's about professional crafters, woodworkers, and makers who create beautiful things I would buy on Etsy. The show's tone is light and cheery, but the best part is how encouraging and helpful the contestants are with each other. They're not competitive and they celebrate each other's wins together as a family."
-Candice, Content Intern