We’re about to put up new calendars again, ladies, and we’re hoping that the incoming year would give is more things to be hopeful about. Before we get into it, however, it’s important to leave things that are holding you back in 2020, so that you can step into the new year fresh and empowered. Here are a five bad habits to finally get rid of:
1. Not waking up the first time your alarm goes off
Yes, we know that it’s very tempting to ask for 10 more minutes of sleep in the morning, but it’s high time to end that. According to a feature on The Independent, hitting the snooze button will only disrupt your sleep pattern, which can cause sleep inertia, or “the feeling of grogginess that many people have when they get up in the morning.” Trust us, this kind of heaviness isn’t the way you want to start the day.
2. Skipping exercise
This is something that you’ll constantly read about at the end and the beginning of the year—because “new year, new me,” right? The thing about exercise is that you'll want to start slow so that you can keep on doing it, because the more you do it, the more it gets addicting (endorphins, ladies!).
The trick is to have a goal that you can be honest about, or a goal that actually answers important and specific personal needs. For example: ask yourself exactly why you want to healthily lose or gain weight and make that your main goal. Is it because of your health? Is it because you want to feel stronger? Is it because you want to feel better about your body? Remember, the end result of looking fit and gorgeous is only a welcome bonus.
3. Indulging in toxic positivity
Being positive amidst a lot of negative can be productive, but if you do this all the time so much so that valid negative feelings aren’t being acknowledged, then you may by unconsciously practicing toxic positivity—something that you shouldn’t indulge in. According to an article by Konstantin Lukin Ph.D. on Psychology Today, “When you deny or avoid unpleasant emotions, you make them bigger.” In short, you don’t resolve them.
It’s important to always acknowledge positivity and negativity. As Dr. Lukin continues, “Think of them as guidance: Emotions help us make sense of things.” Accepting your feelings won’t only help you process them, but can also cue in others to your current status, allowing them to offer you the support you may need.
4. Feeling guilty about eating
Let’s get it out there: food guilt is not healthy. Obsessing over the pizza you ate or feeling bad about your calorie count won’t make you any healthier, and it might even be an avenue for building up food-related mental issues. Health.com highlights the explanation of a New York dietitian and intuitive-eating counselor Christy Harrison, RD. “Even if it never gets bad enough to be clinically diagnosable, it’s still a problem when your thoughts about food take up so much mental space that other parts of your life begin to suffer.”
The key is simple—eat when you’re truly hungry. “Feeding your body what it wants and needs instead of restricting yourself is associated with lower rates of disordered eating, depression, and other mental issues, says Harrison.” In fact, once the guilt in your head falls silent and you find yourself relaxing around food, you may even find yourself being more mindful with what you eat—half the guilt (and the thrill) of eating “sinful” food is the fact that you’ve considered them personally illegal or too much of an indulgence, but when that slice of cake is nothing more than a cake, it doesn’t become a big deal. You know you can eat it any time, and because of that you’ll find yourself enjoying other (healthier) options.
5. Making yourself feel small.
Girl, don’t be afraid to take up space. Put your foot down and allow your voice to be heard, whether it’s at home or at work. Stop taking less than what you know you deserve. It’s not easy, but do it often—say “no” to things that you know you can’t do or commit to, speak up during meetings, and practice saying what you mean without beating around the bush. The more often you do this, the more you’ll realize your own power, and it’s one of the best things you can do for yourself.