Whether it’s a new day or a new year, learning to break toxic habits is a huge accomplishment!
But sometimes it can be difficult to narrow down the behaviors that are holding us back.
Other times, denial – a bad habit of its own – can play a major part.
This list of 10 bad habits to break includes:
- how these behaviors are affecting your life
- strategies for how to break them
- ways you’ll be empowered when you do
Let’s get started with a habit that way too many women in their 20’s and 30’s guilty of doing.
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10 Toxic Habits to Quit Right Now (+ How to Deal with Them)
Breaking bad habits is hard, there’s no doubt about it.
But the first step is admitting to yourself that there’s an issue.
Use this list of 10 negative habits to discover what you’re struggling with plus learn how to kick those bad traits to the curb!
1. Spending too much time on social media
The average person spends over 2 and a half hours – or 10% of their day – on social media.
That works out to 74 hours or 3 days of your month!
And yet, just 5% of American adults take 30 minutes a day to exercise – 2% of the day.
Social media usage has also been linked to:
- low self-esteem
- and poor sleep-quality
whereas research shows that exercise has the opposite effects.
Something’s wrong with this picture.
How to deal with your social media addiction
As someone who started off as a micro-influencer, I can tell you from first-hand experience that the time you spend on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter adds up quickly.
Content creation, engagement, seeking out new similar accounts, and simply scrolling through your home-feed can eat hours of your time every single day if you let it.
So, set limits and get screen time for your iPhone to monitor your usage.
This neat little feature tracks your daily screen time and shows you an average for the week.
You can even set limits for App categories to prevent yourself from going overboard.
Learning to spend less time on social media – and quite possibly your phone in general – might feel like a challenge for some but you’ll get hours of your life back when you ditch this toxic habit.
2. Comparing yourself to others
Comparing yourself to anyone who doesn’t walk in your shoes is unrealistic and no good for your self-esteem.
We all live very different lives and it’s unfair to have the same expectations for everyone.
There are also the things you don’t see – their painful past, how hard they had to work to get to where they are, underlying health issues, broken relationships, etc.
You really have no idea what someone else is going through and making assumptions about how perfect another person’s life may seem based on their highlight reel is unfair to both you and them!
How to stop comparing yourself to others
Ask yourself why you’re making these comparisons in the first place – is it because you’re unhappy with something in yourself?
If so, make a change! You have the power to do that!
You can’t trade places with someone else but you can control your mindset and the decisions you make.
Think about your ideal-self and describe that person in detail.
Then make a plan for how you’ll get there – you can do it!
YOU are special and all of the little things that make you who you are make YOU great!
Related: 120 Self-Care Ideas for Busy Moms
3. Worrying about what other people think
This was me for the longest time!
Then one day, it hit me – why does an irrelevant person’s opinion matter?
Whether they’re a stranger or a family member, you don’t need someone else’s approval to enjoy the life you’re creating for yourself.
So, choose the career of your dreams, breastfeed or formula feed your babies, and make any other decision you feel positively impacts your life.
How to let go of what people think
Ask yourself why those people’s opinions matter – chances are, they don’t!
One of my favorite quotes goes like this:
“People are going to judge you anyway, so you might as well do what you want”
Your life is your own and you need to be 100% accountable for the decisions you make – so be sure those choices are the ones that make you truly happy.
4. Negative self-talk
It can be hard to turn that voice of doubt off sometimes – especially on a bad day.
But learning to shut it down when it starts is a very powerful thing.
After all, our own biggest critic is usually ourselves.
How to quit negative self-talk
Instead of criticizing or calling yourself names, replace those words with “I tried my best”.
If you’re in the middle of a task that doesn’t seem to be working out, take a break and try again later!
There’s no reason to keep beating yourself up – it’s not doing you any good.
Keep going until these habits stick!
5. Bringing your phone to bed with you
I think most of us normally intend on getting some rest when we crawl into bed!
But bringing your phone with you can keep you awake for much longer than you intended and distant from your partner.
Instead of getting some quality shuteye or having a conversation with the one you love, you’ll spend time scrolling through your Facebook or Instagram feed or aimlessly browsing Amazon.
Keeping your phone next to you while you sleep also exposes you to unnecessary electromagnetic radiation – check out this study on the effects of mobile phone radiation on plants to see some dramatic results.
How to spend less time on your phone in the evenings
When a family member once told me and my husband about how switching her phone to airplane mode at night helped her sleep better, I knew I had to try it.
And I’ve done it EVERY night since with great results – seriously, I’ve never slept better!
I also sleep with my phone in a different room now – my alarm is loud enough that I can hear it but my phone is far away enough that it doesn’t affect my sleep or my relationship with my husband.
If your work isn’t on call and if nothing more than a fear of missing out prevents you from doing it, try putting your phone on airplane mode at bedtime for a few night and/or charge it at least a few meters away from where you sleep.
6. Buying things you don’t need
Excessive shopping is one of the toxic habits on this list with a number of severe consequences like:
- cluttering your home
- financial problems like debt
- effects on personal relationships
But learning to curb the addiction can lessen the weight on your heart and mind.
Shopaholics Anonymous identifies six different types of shopping addicts:
- compulsive shopaholics that shop when they feel emotional distress
- trophy shopaholics that are constantly searching for the perfect treasure
- shoppers that love flashy things and want to look like big spenders
- bargain hunters who purchase items simply because they’re on sale
- those who get trapped in a circle of buying and returning items – known as “bulimic shoppers”
- shoppers that don’t feel complete unless they’ve accumulated every piece of a collection or an item in each available color
How to stop buying things you don’t need
Before you purchase anything, ask yourself if you really need it!
Will it improve the quality of your life? Are you replacing something essential?
If not, think twice about spending money on it and bringing it home with you!
7. Binge-watching videos or series online
Once you go down that rabbit hole, it’s tough to get out!
And whether you’re watching political videos or makeup tutorials on YouTube or a new Netflix series, all of these videos can waste a huge amount of time.
In 2019, the average Netflix user watched approximately 2 hours of video content daily and in 2020, that number skyrocketed to 3.2 hours a day.
How to stop wasting time watching videos
Once again, set limits for yourself – turn on screen time on your mobile device and set a limit for that app category.
Turning on Netflix? Tell yourself that you’re only going to watch one episode or film and stick to your word!
Alternatively, you could replace your binge-watching habit with a more productive hobby like reading, starting a blog, or learning how to do something new.
8. Telling yourself you’re busy all the time
This was me in University – I didn’t manage my time as well as I could have, I didn’t take breaks, and constantly burnt myself out before every exam!
I had this insane idea that if I spent every waking hour studying, I’d be that A+ student with an enviable GPA. But instead I averaged high B’s, was left fatigued, lonely, and frustrated.
Chances are you’re also not as busy as you think you are.
Trust me, being a parent, small business owner, etc. is challenging but if you look hard enough, you’ll always find the time.
How to stop feeling busy all the time
Start tracking your hours, planning your days, and keeping an agenda – and in case I haven’t mentioned it enough times already, get the screen time feature for your phone!
See exactly where your hours are going and find things that you can cut back on or manage more efficiently.
If you’re like I was in University, start looking for ways to bring more balance to your life – learn to step away from things if they’re not working out and be sure to make time for the things and people you love!
You, your friends, and your family will all notice the difference.
9. Choosing the more impersonal approach
How often do we choose to send multiple text messages or emails when you could easily make a phone call?
According to TextMagic, 3 out of 10 cell phone users would give up phone calls to use messaging and send five times as many texts as they make or receive phone calls a day.
Make the call
These days, it’s more important than ever to stay connected with the ones you love and choosing to make a phone or video call is a much more personal approach.
You can hear the warmth and tone in a person’s voice but you can’t feel it in a text message.
So, make Skype dates and call the people you love instead of sending texts or DM’s!
Here’s 17 reasons why talking on the phone is better for romantic relationships.
10. Spending time on your phone when you’re with others
It’s hard to have a conversation with someone who’s always on their phone!
So, show the people you’re with that you value them and their time by putting your device away when you’re together.
Put your phone away
Use the vibrate and silent features on your mobile device and/or put it away in your purse when you’re in the presence of others – text messages, DM’s, and app notifications can wait!
Don’t bring your phone to the dinner table and if you are on call, make your mobile device accessible but not distracting.
Breaking toxic habits is no easy feat but learning to replace them with healthy ones will change your life for the better.
You’ll be happier, healthier, and feel more connected to the ones you love.
Start by alleviating the following:
- Spending too much time on social media
- Comparing yourself to others
- Worrying about what other people think
- Negative self-talk
- Bringing your phone to bed with you
- Buying things you don’t need
- Binge-watching videos for hours online
- Telling yourself (and others!) that you’re too busy all the time
- Choosing to text instead of making phone calls
- Spending time on your phone when you’re with others
What bad habits have you broken in the past? What’s something you’re currently working on improving? Share your accomplishments and/or goals in the comments below!
Blessed mama of two beautiful little girls. I’m a full-time blogger and social media content creator who teaches moms and boss babes how to start an online business. Follow me on social for clever ideas to make money using the platforms you already love!