9 Tips to create a chronic illness friendly movie night at home

Do you miss going to the cinema?  It can be really frustrating when you have symptoms like fatigue and pain and don’t handle all the sensory stimulation of the movie theatre.  Going out to the cinema can be a long and tiring outing.  There is the car ride, the walk to the cinema, the ques for the tickets and candy bar, and lots of ads and trailers.  It is also expensive and when you are chronically ill you might be watching your spending.  You also have to deal with the weather when you leave your house, extreme heat or cold some days.

Instead of feeling disheartened that you can’t get to the cinema try re-creating the experience at home.  Enjoy the process of planning and organising, make it something to look forward to.

  1. What food and drink will you have?- grab it at the supermarket in preparation. Microwave popcorn? soft drink? single serve ice cream like Cornetto’s or Magnums? Frozen Pizza? Healthy snacks? Order food to be delivered?  Is it an opportunity to eat junk food, or will you try a healthy recipe you pinned on pinterest?
  2.  Have fun choosing what movie or movies.  There might be 10 you want to watch. Since you are going to effort to make it special night not just a regular night in front of the TV, really think about what you most want to watch.  Maybe watch some movie trailers or read some reviews.  You might even binge watch a TV series you’ve been looking forward to.
  3. Most people automatically think to stream a movie through whatever service they have like Netflix or Amazon Prime, or rent one on a pay per view site or cable service (read about options in Australia here).  Don’t overlook other options like borrowing an actual DVD.  There are kiosk vending machines in some shopping centers and petrol stations such as VideoEzy and Hoyts.  This is a way to get new movies without using up your internet data.  You could even buy a DVD online or borrow one from a friend or the library.
  4. You might find it fun to dress up in an outfit that you would wear if you were really going to the movies or you may prefer PJ’s or trackies and slippers.
  5. Have a look on IMDB.com for any entertaining information about the movie you have chosen e.g. trivia, goofs, filming locations, literature.  You could see if the movie soundtrack is on Spotify or iTunes.
  6. Invite a friend over, or you could have a virtual movie night where you both stay in your own homes and watch the same movie at the same time and chat over text.  It can feel less lonely when you know your friend is watching at their house too.
  7. Try and give the movie and the people you are watching with your attention instead of getting distracted scrolling on Facebook or surfing the web.
  8. Start watching at a time that suits you best, it could be in the afternoon or so it finishes in time for your regular bedtime.
  9. Keep an eye on your posture so you don’t get extra achy.  If you need to, stop and have a few intermissions where you get up and move about, stretch a bit.  You can always stop before the movie finishes and watch the rest another time.

I’d love to hear your other suggestions, or if you give any of these ideas a go.