Everyone has a habit they wish they could break. Certain habits can affect your health more negatively than others. Some habits may even have underlying health concerns that you may not be aware of. It is important to recognize these habits and learn about how you can change them before it’s too late.
Here are some of the most common habits that are hurting your heath, and ways to proactively address them:
Not Applying Sunscreen
We all know how dangerous it can be to not apply sunscreen, yet many people still forget to make this part of their regiment before heading outside. Burning your skin destroys the elastic fibers that keep skin looking smooth and firm, and can significantly increase your risk of cancer.
Did you know, it’s important to wear sunscreen or makeup with SPF everyday, not only on days when you’re going to be lying out at the beach out or sitting in direct sunlight? It’s also important to remember to reapply throughout the day.
Aside from the obvious fix of applying sunscreen, it is also important to schedule an annual skin check with a dermatologist. They will inspect your skin for any unusual changes and keep a detailed record to refer back to year after year.
Make sure to keep an eye on your skin and call your doctor if your notice anything that doesn’t look right. If you simply have to have that golden color all year round, use a moisturizing self-tanner and say "no" to the tanning beds.
Sitting All Day
Many people have jobs that require them to be in a seated position for a majority of the day. That in addition to daily commutes to and from work as well as plopping onto the couch at the end of the day, many people find themselves sitting for 13 hours a day!
Numerous studies show that too much time sitting can lead to cancer, diabetes, blood clots, and decreased mental focus and concentration. According to the Mayo Clinic, too much sitting increases your risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, but 60 to 75 minutes of activity can help counteract the negative effects. It’s important that you get up and get your blood flowing throughout the day and there are plenty of ways to do so.
During your workday, you should stand every hour and stretch your body. If you can, try to step away from your desk during lunch and take a walk. Even a short walk can help increase your productivity, get your blood flowing, and make you feel more energized for the rest of your day.
ANTI-SIT TIP: Play The Commercial Game
At home, try playing the commercial game. While relaxing at home with the TV on, stand up and do some easy exercises during all commercial breaks. Some people even decide to set a rule for themselves where they can only watch their "guilty pleasure" TV shows if they are working out during them. Think of all the squats and bicep curls you can get in during one episode of The Real Housewives .
Another great way to get your exercise in at home is investing in a MYX Fitness system (launching November 2019). Sessions range from 5 minutes to 45 minutes so even the busiest people can fit a little fitness into their lives. It’s true what they say that even a little activity is better than none!
Splurging on a new closet full of clothing can certainly lead to short-term happiness, but if you begin treating yourself too often, it could lead to financial stress and even health consequences.
Depression and overspending can turn into a vicious cycle. The temporary high that people get from spending money is just that, temporary. When the credit card bills coming piling in again, so does the depression. Mental Health Matters has thankfully made a list of 5 ways to Avoid Overspending While Depressed.
Stress from financial trouble can also affect your appetite, mood, energy, and even increase your blood pressure. This makes you at a higher risk of heart attack, heart disease, or stroke.
Overspending can lead to substantial debt and it can be difficult to regain control of your finances, but if you do find yourself in that position there are a few things you can do to make strides towards becoming debt-free.
CASH-CONSCIOUS TIP: Educate Yourself
Begin by educating yourself on the basic rules and methods of personal finance, then create a budget to keep track of what you are spending on needs and wants versus what you are making. If you have the option, automate the payment on your bills so you are not tempted to put them off. For more tips on how to keep your finances on track, check out this article on Reader’s Digest, 17 Habits of People Who Are Great at Saving Money.
Spending Too Much Time on Social Media
Constantly being on social media can lead to feelings of isolation, which can be bad for your mental and physical well-being. Social media often only shows the happy parts of people’s lives, which can cause you to feel like your life doesn’t compare to that of your friends, celebrities, or influencers you follow.
Research shows that envying other people’s lives can lead to feelings of depression. If you aren’t quite ready to unplug altogether, try a day without social media or only logging on only during certain hours of the day.
Take the time that you are not scrolling to have lunch with a friend, call a family member, or reconnect with someone you have been meaning to get in touch with. Face-to-face interactions can substantially increase your mood.
Skimping on Sleep
Aside from the obvious issue of being tired and groggy throughout the day, not getting enough sleep can have many other negative side effects. Without adequate sleep, your brain's ability to function decreases, which is why you may find yourself having a lack of focus throughout your day.
To ensure you get the best sleep possible, you should try to stick to the same sleep schedule, even on the weekends. You can also take a bath before bed to relax, read a book, or attempt to cut out alcohol and caffeine in the night. You can even try to begin a meditation practice. It is easier than you may think! Your mind and body need time to calm down before you sleep, so stay away from your phone or television right before bed.
Any habit can be difficult to break, but once you do you will begin to see an increase in your overall health and wellness. Pick a habit you want to break and focus on it this week. Chances are you will end the week feeling better than when it started.