We all have bad habits we shove under the rug in the hopes that one day we’ll find a way to get rid of them. While most of the time, we look at bad habits such as eating junk food, smoking, or not exercising, we rarely pay attention to what these bad habits might do for our mental health. Here’s a list of twenty bad habits we all have – yes, including you – that are messing with your mental health.
1. You’re Not Working Out
We know exercise is a key element of keeping a healthy body. But, lack of exercise can mess with your mental health, too. Even if you’re not a fitness-loving person, you must admit working out makes you feel good. It’s a chemical response. Our body releases endorphins, which then suppress the chemicals linked to depression, anxiety, and stress. Do some soul searching to find the best fitness style for you and kickstart your workout routine.
2. You Keep Searching for Perfectionism
The pursuit of excellence is a healthy habit. However, when your search for perfectionism turns negative, it can exacerbate anxiety, stress, and tear down your healthy boundaries. When we’re focused solely on being perfect with no boundaries on how to get there, it’s easy to get lost. Try practicing mindfulness to steer your perfectionism to the positive side.
3. You Won’t Let Go of Guilt
To quote Elsa from Frozen, just let it go. When you hold on to guilt, you keep feeling remorseful about things that are already in the past. Guilt has a unique ability to keep holding you back. Let go of the pressure and find a place to forgive yourself. It’s time to move on, and before you say something, no, it won’t be easy.
4. You Don’t Pay Attention to Your Posture
Having poor posture does more than mess with your spine’s health and overall wellness. Adopting a healthy posture is linked to reduced symptoms of depression. The same study found that people with better posture have better self-image and mood. When your body is aligned, everything works as it’s supposed to reducing fatigue and giving you a more positive attitude.
5. You’re Literally Attached to Your Phone
I know it can be difficult to stay away from your phone. After all, your workplace, family, and relationships basically force you to keep it in your hands. But, when your use of your phone turns negative, you’re likely missing a lot from the real world. There’s no doubt social media affects how we see ourselves, so make sure you’re taking the time to do a digital detox every so often.
6. You Keep Letting Stress Get the Best of You
We all experience stress, there’s no way around it. Work, family, friends, and social pressure all affect how stress impacts us. Even with the best of intentions, we’re susceptible to the effects of stress. However, making sure you’re aware when your stress is hurting your health is key. It might be time to change your perspective on stress to find a better way to handle it.
7. You’re Not Sleeping
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, sleep is key for our mental health. As a solopreneur myself, I confess sleep was an optional activity for many months. However, sleep deprivation has its ways of showing you the importance of a good night’s sleep. Make sure you are getting at least seven hours of restorative sleep each night. Edit your bedroom to help you sleep better, have a sleep routine, and find sleeping tips that help you reach a calm state. Your body and mental health will thank you.
8. You Procrastinate
Call It whatever you want, procrastination, doing things later, or taking a break – procrastination is not your friend. It’s easy to blame it on stress, exhaustion, or any other event that happens. But, not tackling things when you need to only makes the stress and anxiety worse once the deadline hits you. Having poor time management skills has many downsides that can impact your personal and professional life. Find ways to incorporate good time management methods in your routine and kick procrastination to the curve.
9. You Keep Toxic Relationships
We don’t necessarily associate our relationships with our mental health, but they are. People who stay in toxic relationships tend to dismiss their mental health and focus solely on the other person. Most toxic relationships are filled with sabotage and abuse, whether you see it or not. When you’re ready, try forgiving toxic people so you can move on and start focusing on your mental health. Also, don’t think toxic relationships are face-to-face only, make sure you’re unfollowing toxic people from your social media as well.
10. You Let Anger Stay Around
If you’re holding onto guilt, odds are you’re also holding onto anger. When we don’t tackle anger, it can start eating us from the inside. If you hold resentment towards a partner, you’re sabotaging your relationship without noticing. If you can’t control your road rage episode every morning, you’re only making your morning more hectic. Find a way to control your anger and get rid of your negative thoughts.
11. You Live in Clutter
When you’re surrounded by clutter, you’re keeping your mind in clutter. There’s a reason why Monica Geller found so much joy in tidying up, it’s actually a huge stress reliever. You don’t have to be a full-blown minimalist to keep your home organized. Look for ways to find joy in the pieces you own, steal some inspiration from the Marie Kondo organization method.
12. You’re Codependent
When you can’t stop relying on someone else to keep going, odds are you’re codependent. Make sure you’re looking yourself in the mirror and find out if you’re codependent. If you are, know that sometimes codependency is something we learn from our family. Break the mold and focus on yourself breaking down the ties holding you to someone else.
13. You Don’t Practice Positive Self-Talk
You wouldn’t talk to someone else the way you talk to yourself sometimes. The truth is, we tend to be too harsh on ourselves, sometimes saying hurtful things to oneself. The worst part is that most of us are not aware of our negative self-talk. Don’t think about it as you’re talking alone, start practicing self-talk, and notice the difference.
14. You Rarely Ask for Help
Yes, you’re fully capable of doing everything you set your mind and heart to do. However, we’re not perfect, and we all need help throughout our journey. When we don’t seek help, we’re building a wall around us that prevents others from reaching us. You don’t have to ask for help about your mental health if you don’t feel ready, but seeking help for stress, anxiety, and other struggles is a step forward.
15. You Compare Yourself to Others
With everyone on social media sharing the highlights of their lives, it’s easy to compare yourself to others all the time. I’m guilty of doing so myself. Before you know it, you’re second-guessing every decision because you keep comparing yourself to someone else’s success. Forget about the highlights, remember that not many people are sharing the behind-the-scenes of their journeys. Beware of developing imposter syndrome, it can significantly impact your mental health and self-image.
16. You Keep Self-Sabotaging
We we do it all the time. We let fear stop us from achieving goals. We let others’ opinions stop us from trying something new. And we let our lack of motivation sabotage our journey. Keep an eye out for the signs you’re self-sabotaging, and make sure you stop yourself in your tracks. When we self-sabotage, we’re stealing our chance of making any progress and bringing ourselves down.
17. You’re a People Pleaser
We all want to feel accepted and appreciated by our friends and peers. However, part of practicing social self-care means we don’t do things to be a people pleaser. When we do this, it’s easy to lose our identity and start changing our personalities, actions, and even sets of beliefs to match someone else’s. Acknowledge that not everyone will like who you are, and that’s fine, because you do, and you respect who you are.
18. You Don’t Care
It’s easy to adopt an “F-This” mentality when it comes to mental health, self-care, and wellness. Sometimes the pressure of trying to keep up with everything brings us down, and we give up. However, #dontcare behavior is not a healthy one. At your own pace, find ways to care for yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally because you #docare.
19. You Don’t Listen to Your Body
Our bodies are always talking to us, the problem is we never listen. Every stress reaction we notice is our body screaming for help and assistance. Listen to your body and notice symptoms of burnout; your gut health is always sending messages. Make sure you’re paying attention to the subtle messages your body sends every day and stay in-tune with those signals to care for your body and mental health.
20. You’re Never Alone
Being surrounded by coworkers, friends, and family is always enjoyable. However, when we’re never alone, how are you supposed to listen to your body and stay in-tune with your emotions? It can be exhausting to be around people all the time. Our body and mind need alone time to reset, make sure you find a way to get some “me” time.
Keep an eye out for these bad habits interrupting your mental health efforts. While you can’t change these habits overnight, try to challenge yourself to a healthier you. Before you know it, you’ll be adopting new healthy habits every day. Keep going, you’re doing GR8!