I wasn’t expecting to write another Dear kfangurl post for a while, but..
Dear kfangirl, is it normal that I am so so addicted to kdramas that real life seems dull and I can’t focus on studying because all I want to do is just click for the next episode?
..And since the new year seems like a perfect time to recalibrate our drama habits a little bit, for the sake of real life, as we also consider our other new year resolutions and goals, here we are. Let’s see how we can balance our drama lives with our real lives, shall we?
The short answer is, your drama addiction is very normal, but uh, it may not be.. healthy. And if we want to keep enjoying dramas for a long time, I think a healthy balance is what we want to work towards.
Why is drama addiction normal?
Like diti points out, real life can seem dull and unexciting in comparison to our drama worlds. That’s coz dramas are full of all of the feels, spice and excitement that give us that emotional buzz, without any of the stress, problems, routine or discipline that real life requires of us. It’s like how most of us associate ice cream with all the sweetness and excitement that gives us a high, while we think of salad and brown rice as way less exciting items, more to do with discipline and good choices. Much more boring than the thrill of ice cream, to be sure.
But, just like we can’t live on ice cream without losing our health, we can’t simply live on dramas, or we also risk losing a healthy and balanced real life. Does that mean that we can’t have ice cream in our lives? Certainly not. We just need to find a way to have a healthy lifestyle and diet, where ice cream is a treat we look forward to, rather than a staple diet.
Same thing with dramas.
If all we do is binge on dramas while shoving all our real life responsibilities to the side, our real lives are going to suffer, and that’s not what we want.
Some drama fans might feed your addiction by encouraging you to ditch real life responsibilities in favor of dramas, and might even share their own stories of the irresponsible things they’ve done in the name of drama love.
Uh, I can’t in good conscience support that kind of thinking, to be honest. We drama fans want to help one another, and not hurt one another, and ruining our real lives in favor of dramas is so not helpful.
How can I achieve a healthy balance?
I can’t say I have all the answers, and we all are motivated differently, but here are some ideas that I hope will help.
1. Create a structure
How about creating a structure where drama-watching has its own place? As a reward for checking off items on your to-do list, for example. Maybe you could “earn” drama hours against your checklist (an episode of drama for every 5 items?), as a fun way of getting things done, while giving yourself occasional prizes of drama hours. This might even help you become more determined and organized than before, which would be pretty great, I think.
Another way you could potentially fit drama-watching into your schedule is perhaps as something you can multitask to. Maybe an hour of drama while you work out on the treadmill or exercise bike? Or an hour of drama while you have dinner. Or a serving of drama while you’re on the train on the way home from school.
2. Find a buddy
It’s worth considering an accountability buddy. Importantly, this is someone that you can be honest with. Maybe a fellow drama lover with a similar desire to get organized? This way, you can report your progress to each other, and help keep each other in check. It might also be good to put a penalty system in place. For example, a fine system, where if either of you cheats, you have to put money in a common pool. The more disciplined one between you (who was penalized less) then gets to spend the money on whatever they wish to, after exams are over. This will help keep both of you on your toes.
Another way of going about this, is getting a drama buddy with whom you can watch dramas – but you won’t watch unless it’s together. So when you’re not together, you can’t watch, which then frees you to focus on your own work.
3. Make a list
Make dramas something to look forward to. Since you can’t possibly watch everything during your busy periods, make a list of all the dramas you’ll watch, during the holidays. One benefit of being late to the party is that by then, you’ll know if a drama is worth your time, coz you’ll gain the hindsight of others who’ve managed to check out the shows early.
This way, you’ll end up having a blast during the holidays, watching only the best, most cracky dramas, while avoiding all the duds. That’s not a bad deal at all, I think!
I want to say, be kind to yourself, but not too kind. Without effort and discipline on your part, this is a problem that won’t go away. But I’m sure that with consistency, determination and some good ol’ fashioned support from the people who care about you, you’ll do great at balancing real life demands with your love for dramas.
I hope that helps!
1. If you feel that I missed anything, or if you have your own experiences that you’d like to share with the rest of us, do tell us about it in the comments!
2. Do you have a question of your own? Drop me a comment here or on the Dear kfangurl page, or send me an email!