Daily habits can be so ingrained that you may not be aware you’re partaking in unhealthy behaviors. Whether it’s too much time spent scrolling on your phone or not making time to get some sunshine, it can be easy to fall into routines that negatively affect your health.
Here, five common habits that are counterproductive and how to fix them:
Our inner dialogue can directly impact our success and happiness. Maybe you find yourself wishing and telling yourself you “should” do something, which can lead to inactivity. Moreover, shame never motivates positive behavior change.
Fix: Examine your daily mantra and find ways to interject positivity. Accept where you’re at currently and speak kindly to yourself and you’ll notice it will help motivate you more.
SPENDING TOO MUCH TIME ON SOCIAL MEDIA
The average person spends almost two hours per day on social media. While apps like Instagram and Facebook can be a positive point of connection, it’s easy to fall into the comparison trap, which can make you feel sad, frustrated and isolated. Aside from messages that could affect mood and motivation, the sheer hours spent plugged in squanders precious time available to take action on health goals such meal prepping and exercising.
Fix: Schedule a set amount of time, and maybe even time of day, to check your social media networks, then shut it down.
STAYING INDOORS ALL DAY
When you spend 8+ hours at an office (often sitting behind a computer screen) and then rush home to cook dinner, clean and get the kids in bed, it doesn’t leave much time for getting outside. Getting a little fresh air daily is important because sunshine boosts vitamin D levels and serotonin, a hormone that helps improve mood.
Fix: Go for a walk and aim to spend at least 15–30 minutes outside to reap nature’s calming effects.
WAITING TO START UNTIL TOMORROW
Continually telling yourself you’ll start eating better and actually go to that exercise class tomorrow is an unproductive mentality that can lead to procrastination. There will never be a perfect time to make a change.
Fix: Try setting a timer to tackle some of your goals. Just 15 minutes of walking or cooking can go a long way. Eventually, those 15 minutes can extend to 20 or 30 minutes. Small changes add up and can help ensure success long-term.
FORGETTING TO CARVE OUT TIME FOR YOURSELF
Between family, work, friends and life, it can be hard to remember (or figure out how) to take time for self-care.
Fix: Start by setting reminders on your phone to take a walk break, grab a sip of water, have a healthy snack or call the doctor to schedule an appointment. At least once a week, make a plan to do the things you enjoy — head to the park with family, meet a friend for an exercise class or book a spa day.