For many Christians, right now is Lent, the season of fasting from unhealthy foods, habits, and activities. But you don’t have to be Catholic to give up a few things for a healthier life! Doing good things for your body and life is always a good decision; check out this list of the bad habits a lot of us deal with that we should try to give up.
1. Excessive Mirror Time
Let’s face it: our society is getting increasingly narcissistic. In some ways, this has been good for us; there’s more promotion of self-love and body positivity. However, staring at yourself in the mirror, taking selfies, and looking at photos of yourself makes you more self-absorbed and less focused on good things you could be doing. Plus, excessive mirror time can result in harsher criticism of yourself. You THOUGHT you looked good, until you realized you need to wax your eyebrows, your skin is uneven, your nose is too big, etc. So try to focus less on yourself—both the good and bad—and more on others for the sake of your mental health.
2. Non-moderate Eating
Moderation is the key to a healthy diet. Undereating can be a major problem and lead to issues ranging from headaches to malnourishment. On the other side, overeating has a host of consequences, too, from stomach aches to diabetes. If you respect your body and want to show your love to it, you should eat everything in moderation.
Even exercise can become an unhealthy addiction if things get out of hand. You may wind up spending more time at the gym than you do with your family, as well as overworking your body to the point of exhaustion. It’s important to set goals and honor your body with exercise, but remember that exercising isn’t your life (unless you’re a fitness instructor!) Make a workout schedule that doesn’t consume too much of your time, then stick to it!
4. Too Much TV
Part of me wishes I had been born in the 1800s just so TV wasn’t such a huge distraction! Because that’s what it is, essentially, a technicolor, mind-numbing, time-consuming distraction! Think of all the books and articles you could have read, all the work you could have finished early, and all the errands you could have run if TV wasn’t there to distract you! To save yourself from periodic TV comas, limit yourself to 2 hours of TV a day. You’ll be amazed by how much you can get done when you’re not binge-watching Scandal or House of Cards every weekend!
5. Texting and Driving
This one should be obvious, but we still all have trouble convincing ourselves that the text can wait. It may not sound like texting and driving is unhealthy per se, but think about what we consider unhealthy: avoidable things that lead to an early death, right? Well, that’s exactly what texting and driving is, so remember to put your phone in your purse and leave it in the back seat during your entire drive!
Our whole world is full of gossip now, just look at any reality show! But just because TV says it’s okay doesn’t mean you should go ahead and do it. Gossip can lead to botched reputations, ruined friendships, and an overall feeling of guilt on your conscience. So for a healthier life, say no to gossip!
7. Tanning Beds
I can’t say I have any personal experience with tanning beds, but, based on my friends who use them, I think it’s a pretty unhealthy habit that’s extremely difficult to quit! Once you get used to seeing your skin a certain way, it’s difficult to return to its original color. But honestly, it isn’t worth it. The more you go to a tanning salon, the greater chance you have of getting skin cancer later in life. This unhealthy habit certainly isn’t worth the risk!
I know there are plenty more bad habits people struggle to quit—smoking, drinking, cursing, etc.— but these are just a few that might be easier to forfeit than the others. What other things do you suggest giving up for a healthier life? What bad habits on this list will you try to quit?