We are half a month away from the end of the year. It’s the perfect time for reflections. What have you learned this year, what are you grateful for and what would you change in the new year?
New Year’s resolutions are a bit overrated if you ask us. What might be better to do is what Tim Ferriss refers to as a ‘Past Year Review’. Check in with yourself. What were your biggest achievements? Even if all you’ve learned is how to pick up, dust off, and keep moving forward, that’s something to be proud of!
Let’s talk about habits
Humans are creatures of habit. Most of what we do on a day-to-day basis is because we’ve trained ourselves to do it over and over again. It’s efficient and automatic. Good habits such as walking, exercising, flossing or saying positive affirmations drive us forward.
However, there are other, less helpful habits that are detrimental to our wellbeing, health, growth and happiness.
Bad health-related habits
1. Neglecting your wellbeing – physical and mental
When you’re too busy, it might be too tempting to focus on what’s most urgent forgetting about doing what makes you feel good.
When you stop looking after yourself – your emotional state, your appearance, your need to slow down – in the effort to get things down, you just go with the flow and end up feeling incomplete because you haven’t met your own needs.
Remind yourself that you are the most important person in your life. Make sure you look after this person on a daily basis. Maintain your good appearance (hair, outfit, skin routine, make up), have a healthy self-care routine, exercise on a regular basis and eat nutritious meals. Being healthy inside and out goes hand in hand.
2. Not looking after your physical health
If you have aches and pains, don’t ignore them. Have a toothache? Go see a dentist! Stomach ache? Analyse what you’ve eaten that your stomach doesn’t agree with and don’t eat it again. Have a skin rash that won’t go away? Consult a skin specialist. Feeling bloated and gassy? Limit the amount of fast food, gluten and dairy. Feeling stiff in your shoulders, back or hips? Go to a yoga class or book yourself a massage. The quicker you tackle your discomforts, the less likely it is that the symptoms will build up and lead to a serious health condition.
Feeling less radiant and energetic? Add more food, veggies and supplements to your diet. If you’re too busy, try something like Meno Blend which is vanilla-flavoured and includes active ingredients such as calcium, Vitamin D, C, Complex B and more, which consumed daily will replenish any vitamins you might be low in, and you’ll end up feeling vibrant and healthy.
3. Drinking too much alcohol
There is nothing wrong with having an occasional glass of wine here and there, but making excess drinking a habit can lead to sleep disruption, heart disease, cancer, bone-mass loss and depression. Heavy drinking (more than 14 units of alcohol per week according to the NHS) during perimenopause can worsen your symptoms – especially hot flushes. And you know how uncomfortable these can be!
So, pace yourself. Drink plenty of water when you’re consuming alcohol and don’t have more than 2-3 glasses of anything in one go. You can still have a jolly time and a good laugh without getting drunk.
4. Neglecting your sexual health
Losing your libido is normal during menopause. You might feel generally down or physically uncomfortable. A decrease in oestrogen levels can also lead to vaginal dryness and tightness, which can cause pain during sex.
Sexual health is important for a fulfilling sex life. It involves making efforts to prevent sexually transmitted infections, communicating with your sexual partner and looking after your intimate health.
To have a satisfying and safe sex life, it’s important to address your vaginal dryness, which is a common menopausal symptom, by using vaginal moisturisers such as Blossom Balm or vaginal lubricants such as the water-based Motion Lotion. Managing your vaginal dryness can transform your sexual life.
5. Spending your time in front of the TV
We all need an occasional evening spent binge watching a favourite TV show after a long day of working or house chores. It’s a quick way to distract yourself by focussing your attention on something fun, thought-provoking, sad or scary. Especially when it’s gloomy outside, it’s so comforting to cook something delicious, find a good spot on the couch and spend hours glued to the screen.
There is nothing wrong with that, as long as it doesn’t become a daily routine. It’s not great for your eyes or posture when you overdo watching Netflix. Try to include other fun activities in your evenings and weekends – books, sports, hobbies and walks to give your eyes and back a break.
We’ve covered the habits that can sabotage your physical health. Now, let’s talk about those that can affect your mental wellbeing.
6. Fear of rejection
If they’ve broken your heart in the past, you might be afraid of entering a new romantic relationship. Or you might feel less attractive, which could stop you from going on dates if you’re single. Fear of rejection can also be related to asking for a promotion or pay rise at work. You might avoid applying for jobs that you believe are beyond your skill set. You could also be afraid to ask your friends or partner for more time or attention.
In any of these scenarios, you are letting your unhelpful habit prevent you from being fully happy. You deprive yourself of a lot of love, achievements and a general sense of life satisfaction. Just be brave, face your fears and ask for what you want. The more courageous steps you take, the less fearful you’ll be that someone will say no to you. Eventually, asking for what you deserve will become second nature!
7. Feeling sorry for yourself
This one is a real waste of time and totally unhelpful when it comes to your self-confidence.
Nothing wrong with occasional wallowing – eating chocolate and crying after you didn’t get what you wanted. However, self-pity won’t help you go far in life. It will only make things worse. When you enter victim mode, you stop fighting for your dreams, instead, you become angry, depressed and not very nice to be around.
Next time you catch yourself feeling sorry for yourself, stop that thought. Be tough and force yourself to find a solution. Take the first step which can include blocking a phone number or quitting a job. Then continue focussing on the changes you want to see as opposed to the things that went wrong.
When you take matters into your own hands and follow your dreams, you become unbeatable.
8. Hiding your true feelings
Your manager makes you angry or embarrasses you in front of your colleagues, but you don’t say anything. Your partner behaves disrespectfully, but you keep it quiet. Your friend cancels your plans last-minute, and you just say: “No worries, it happens” while you’re upset that they ruined your Friday evening.
You don’t need to snap at people when they frustrate you. However, unless you call them out, their behaviours will never change. Don’t keep quiet when you get upset or disappointed. Say something as uncomfortable and unusual it might feel at first. You might be afraid of being perceived as too needy or bitter, but stating how something makes you feel will make people respect you more. Next time, they’ll think twice before cancelling on you or calling you names. And your self-esteem will grow the more you stand for yourself.
9. Trying to please everyone
If you’re a habitual people pleaser, you probably never ask people to reschedule things when you’re unwell, you change your personality depending on who’s around you, and you shift your behaviour to match that of a group. People pleasers are kind and helpful but they take it to the extreme.
If your worth depends on how others see you, or you get validation from others when they say thank you, then you have a problem. If you’re constantly going out of your way to please others, this means you’re taking your own valuable time and resources away from you. Deep down you want to be seen as sweet and lovable out of insecurity and a lack of self-esteem.
The person you should be striving to please is you! Invest all this effort into your own glorious self. Trying to be liked by others is exhausting. Put that energy back on yourself and you’ll see how much better you’ll feel. Others will respect you more when they see you’re prioritising yourself because you know your value.
10. Being afraid of change
Fear of any kind wastes our time like nothing else. You feel that you’re not progressing in your career, but you are trying to be patient and keep the same job for years. It’s because deep down you’re afraid of change. For the same reason, you might stay in the wrong relationship or marriage for years long after the love has disappeared.
Being afraid of change might even prevent you from starting the hobby you would really like – because you’re worried that you’ll look clumsy or weird.
You’re doing yourself a disservice and you’re wasting your time. Take a deep breath and just take the actions you know you should be taking. Don’t be afraid of change because life happens when we take risks. Only when we go against our fears are we truly alive.
The Bottom Line
These were 10 common bad habits and their consequences on your mind and body. We hope you realise that they are all changeable!
Start by recognising your own bad habits and take the first step towards quitting them. Then you’ll find your life has become a lot healthier and happier!