How to Minimize the Impact of Those Little Bad Habits
posted on November 26, 2018 | by Sanhita Mukherjee
Bad habits – we all have our fair share of them, we all talk about getting rid of them, and then we never get around to it! If you think of one little bad habit that you have, and do a quick Google search, I’m sure you will find hundreds of websites giving you tips on how to quit them. Today, I want to talk about a different approach to tackling your bad habits – by planning around them so that they don’t have quite such a big impact on your life.
I am not, of course, referring to habits that are dangerous, affect your health or have severe repercussions on your well-being. This is more about those day-to-day patterns that you keep meaning to break, but cannot seem to be able to. Here are 4 of mine and how I minimize their impact.
Too much coffee
If you are a complete coffee addict like me, you’ll know exactly why it is so difficult to cut down on it! But you’ll also know the jittery feeling you get when you’ve had one cup too many, often accompanied by heartburn, queasiness or headaches.
Fortunately, there are some easy ways to sidestep these effects. Coffee on an empty stomach irritates your system and makes you feel uncomfortably bloated, so try delaying your first cup until after you’ve had something to eat. Switching to cold brew has made a huge difference for me, personally. Much less acidic than heat-brewed coffee, cold brews are lighter on the stomach, and causes no heartburn or jitteriness. Coffee also has a diuretic effect, so don’t forget to drink lots of water through the day to avoid getting dehydrated.
Hitting snooze one too many times
I am someone who needs to set 4 or 5 alarms and sometimes, I just sleep through them all! Or I reach out and hit snooze without even fully waking up. I tried everything to break this cycle, but nothing has worked so far. Thanks to a sleep tracker, I discovered that this is because I get most of my REM sleep in the early hours of the morning.
If you are in the same boat, try fool-proofing your morning routine by shifting all the decisions and time-consuming tasks to the night before.
Set out your outfit ahead of time – and I mean your entire outfit, down to your shoes, socks, accessories, and even undergarments! Keep your lunch prepared and ready to go in the fridge, and have your bag packed with everything you need. If you wear makeup, have a signature look that you can perfect even in your sleep (or when you’re half asleep!). When you don’t have to hunt for a matching pair of socks, or worry about ironing that blouse real quick, you have a relaxed start to the day – even if you did not rise and shine with the first alarm.
Skipping a scheduled workout
Ever missed a workout because a meeting ran longer than expected, or because you went for a post-work drink with your colleagues instead? This used to happen to me all the time, even though I set myself a strict workout schedule. Until I realized that my rigid schedule was actually creating a mental block.
Just because you didn’t work out in the slot you set aside for it in your day, doesn’t mean that you ‘missed your chance’ and cannot work out at all that day. Try some quick crunches and squats or fit in a long walk after dinner. Utilize small pockets of free time when you can. We are often held back by the idea that we need at least an hour for a ‘serious’ workout – but a 20-minute HIIT session can be just as effective.
Any time I’m unwinding with a good book, a movie or a spooky new show on Netflix, I find myself reaching out for something to snack on. While it’s definitely not a good idea to go overboard with the ice cream, I do tend to get hungry between meals, and I don’t want to ban myself from snacking altogether.
Stocking up on healthier versions of your favorite snacks is a great way to minimize their impact. But let’s face it – no one wants to munch on kale when they’re feeling snacky, so make sure that the alternatives you’re stocking are delicious, too! Trade in those potato chips for baked soy sticks, sugary candies for dark chocolate-coated cranberries and cookies for roasted nuts. That way, you still get to satiate your cravings without feeling too guilty about it.
Do you have any tips to add to my list?