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Hints From Heloise: Binge-watching TV can lead to addiction and health problems

Dear Readers: You’ve been at home for over a year now; have you been binge-watching your favorite TV shows? You might want to scale back a bit.

Every so often, vegging out in front of the TV is fine — it can help you relax and take your mind off things for a while. However, watching hour after hour of TV can lead to chronic exhaustion, loneliness and depression; not to mention the sedentary nature of sitting can lead to its own cache of health problems.

Another blight on the binge? Watching a weekly drama, one episode per week, back in the day would build up excitement and conversation (the so-called cliffhangers) — reasons to tune in each week. Binge-watching ended that.

Do you feel you’re addicted? Have a plan to watch X number of hours of TV per week. Get your friends to keep you on track. Go outside and walk the dog, turn on some music and dance, and perhaps, most important, cut the TV off one hour before bedtime.

Dear Heloise: I have a lot of tree branches — some small, some big — to pick up. Not wanting to keep bending over to pick up each one, I'm able to get most of them into the wheelbarrow using a "grabber" tool. Now I have one not only in the house but also in the shed.

— June, Derry, N.H.

Dear Heloise: I have a hint about painting. When I'm at the paint store, I take the paint swatch home.

It's impossible to judge a color away from its intended wall. Lighting, texture, the finish (flat, matte, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, high-gloss) will all appear different.

— Rodney G. in California

Dear Heloise: After the dishwasher is finished, I open the door and put a towel over the door. The towel helps to absorb all that extra moisture that the dishwasher's drying cycle doesn't necessarily absorb.

— Nancy T. in Pennsylvania

Dear Heloise: I am French and read your column. And, yes, a charcuterie board (March 18) is something great IF you have the right sausage.

In France we do not serve dips, fruits, dried items or nuts. We focus on the meat, sausage, terrine, pates, pickles and different breads, and, of course, the wine!

— Hubert M., via email

Hubert: Merci! À votre santé!

Dear Heloise: I have a hiding place for cash, jewelry and other small items. I place a bathroom tissue roller inside a glass jar and put the valuable items inside the roller.

I fill the jar with rice, beans, flour, sand, anything of small measure, to cover the roller. Then I put the jar in a secure area. Of course, I remember where I put it so the jar doesn't accidentally get thrown away.

— Mark T. in New York

Dear Heloise: Television ads for feminine hygiene products are horribly embarrassing, and I wish they would stop them on TV, especially where they pour blue or red liquid onto a pad. I hope you will print this.

— Cathie, K. via email

Heloise’s column appears six days a week at Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or email it to

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