Here we go again — saying goodbye to another year of lessons, life-altering events, milestones, and transformations. Whether you planned it or otherwise, you’ve probably noticed that you’re no longer the same person you were before the pandemic happened. We’ve developed good and bad habits, which I believe is our coping mechanism. As much as we try to deny it, we cannot hide the fact that the pandemic brought out the best and worst in us.
Now is the time to do a quick reality check of which habits are worth keeping and which ones should take an exit already.
Bad habits you need to stop ASAP
1. Comparing yourself to others
You may see your friends starting their own businesses, buying a car or a house, getting married and having kids; all these will leave you questioning every choice you’ve made and cause you to feel inadequate. It’s totally normal to feel that way. But somehow, you need to let go of those feelings and turn those bad habits into something positive. Believe me, once you get used to comparing your life to others, you’ll just end up hurting and bumping into yourself every time. It’s a poisonous and vicious cycle!
As the poem Desiderata goes, “If you compare yourself to others, you may become vain and bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.”
2. Spending more than you can afford
Time to learn self-control and discipline! It’s good to reward yourself from time to time. But sometimes, we go overboard and become irresponsible. When that happens, it’s no longer self-love. Instead, it becomes an addition to the list of all our bad habits.
We tend to be futuristic (too futuristic) because though we know we cannot afford something yet, we jump on right away simply because it’s on sale or someone we know already bought it. Always set your priorities (food, bills, savings, and insurance) and make sure that purchasing what you want won’t bury you in debt later on.
Because how can you not? Adulting in this pandemic brought extraordinary challenges, that’s for sure. Everything we knew changed in just a snap, and they don’t teach Pandemic 101 in school. It will take a lot of time to get used to, but put it in mind that everything will be okay eventually.
Overthinking can also cause stress, which can result in mental and physical issues. So, breathe in and exhale. Things will get better. Just wait.
4. Making up excuses
One of life’s painful realities is learning that tomorrow is never promised. We only have today, so why don’t we make it count? It’s time to start doing and quit the lousy habit of looking for reasons not to do something. If you mess up, own up to it. If there’s something out there you badly want to accomplish, you need to chase it.
We’re done with making excuses because this time, we’ll be stepping out of our comfort zone. It hurts and it’s uncomfortable at first. But get this: the best experiences you’ll have are still out there!
5. Spreading negativity on social media
“In a world where you can be anything, be kind.” Gone are the days when people used social media to reconnect. Today, social media has become an avenue for bullying, hatred, and fake news. Its purpose of bringing people closer has been defeated. Can we break bad habits by starting with ourselves? If you have nothing nice to say, just keep on scrolling!
6. Taking yourself for granted
Self-care is so much more than skincare and online shopping. It is knowing when to hit the brakes and stop. Looking after yourself means understanding and respecting your limitations. To think that you don’t deserve a break is 100% one of the bad habits you need to eliminate ASAP!
Understand that to take care of others, you must take care of yourself first. You can’t pour from an empty cup.
7. Living just to please others
It’s your life. What an injustice it is to spend every waking moment trying to live by the standards of others. Do yourself a favour and follow your bliss! To be truly happy, acknowledge that this life is yours and stop trying to pretend to like something just because everyone else wants it. Life is short. As cliché as that sounds, we only realise how true that is when it’s already too late.
Getting rid of bad habits does not happen overnight; but no one expects us to wake up as a different person the next day. Take it one step at a time — and most importantly, you have to sincerely want it.
Featured image credit: EnryKun via Canva Pro