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One of my best pieces of advice I have for anyone wanting to create balance and wellness in their life is to change your habits. Habits are powerful. If you can discipline yourself to get the right habits in place, everything becomes easier.
But we have to be aware of our bad habits too. Bad habits can unknowingly hurt us— by making us miserable or by pulling us further from our goals. When we ditch the bad habits, we give ourselves room to start new, healthy ones.
Here are some common bad habits you should ditch starting TODAY:
1. Sleeping with the TV on
This is a terrible habit of mine. I love to fall asleep with the TV on. If you do too, don’t let it play all night. Sleeping with the television on inhibits your sleep and has recently been linked to weight gain in women.
Set a sleep timer if you can’t fall asleep without the TV on. That way, you won’t have it playing all night and interrupting your rest. If you need some noise, try a white noise machine.
2. Hitting snooze
Hitting the snooze button on our alarms is another awful habit most of us share. I love sleep, so I used to push the snooze button every morning to try to delay the inevitable. But the sleep you get after hitting snooze isn’t restorative, so it’s basically useless. Usually, you’ll only feel worse after sleeping “just another 10 minutes.” And if you’re like me, you’re probably setting yourself up for a rushed morning. As a mom of 3 with a home business and a part-time job, I need all the time I can get in the morning.
To break this habit, set your phone or alarm clock across the room so that you’re forced to get out of bed to turn it off. Once you’re up, immediately brush your teeth and drink a glass of water.
3. Checking your phone first thing in the morning
Do you check your phone before you’re even out of bed? If so, you’re not alone. The majority of us are somewhat addicted to our phones and driven to check it regularly, including the moment we first open our eyes. You probably know this isn’t the best way to start your day, but did you know that checking notifications/email regularly is linked to higher levels of stress and unhappiness?
By checking your phone first thing, you’re setting yourself up for a bad start to your day. How many times do you see something on social media that makes you feel crappy? You never know what’s coming next when you’re mindlessly scrolling, so you risk starting your day off negatively when you start by looking at your phone. Instead, keep your phone in its place and don’t check it until you’ve done your morning routine.
Check out this related post: Tips to Help You Break Your Cell Phone Addiction
4. Filling your schedule to the brim
Our culture sees busyness as a status symbol. Moms talk constantly about how busy life is. If we fill up every second of our schedule with activities and obligations, when do we rest? When do we take care of ourselves? When do we find time to spend with the people who mean the most to us?
You may be in a season of life that feels suffocating, but do your very best to maintain some margin in your life. That might mean saying “no” more often than you’d like. You may even have to say “no” to some good things. But you can’t do it all. And you deserve time to just BE. Your children deserve a well-rested mom. We aren’t meant to be busy, busy, busy.
Even it’s just a few hours, give yourself some unscheduled breathing room every week.
5. Checking up on other peoples’ lives
What I mean by this is that we should give up the desire to know what’s going on with other people. It’s a waste of our time to be scrolling Facebook or Instagram just to know what’s going on with others. Let’s include gossip and celebrity news in this category too. Neither add value to our lives or help anyone else. In fact, the incessant need to know what others are doing is likely only hurting you.
If you’re checking up on others because you’re jealous— not good. If you’re trying to distract yourself from your own life– not good (you need to deal with what’s going on in your life, not avoid it). If you’re comparing yourself to what you see on social media— not good either. (Check out my post “How to Quit Comparing Yourself to Others” for more on this.)
My point: Unless you’re checking up out of genuine care and love, knock it off. There are about a million better ways you could use that time.
You might have some other bad habits you need to ditch. When you find yourself doing something automatically, ask yourself “Is this habit helpful or hurtful?” If you decide that it’s hurtful, get rid of it! Remember, the first three weeks of change will be the most painful. After that, things get easier. Don’t give up! Get rid of the bad habits and replace them with some good ones— and then see how much your life changes!
For ideas of some good habits to implement, check out these posts: 10 Habits That Keep Me Well and Balanced as a Mom and 10 MORE Habits That Keep Me Well and Balanced as a Mom.
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