Do you feel exhausted and worn out? Do you feel this way even after lying on the couch for the whole day? If you answered yes, then you should seriously consider revising your daily routine. Trivial things like frequently checking social media and pulling all-nighters to binge-watch a web series might be sapping your energy. We barely realize that such casual activities can quickly transition into bad habits and ultimately affect our health.
Today, we’ll uncover some common unhealthy habits that may be making you more lethargic and what you can do to change them into healthy ones.
1. Lack of Proper Sleep
Lack of sleep is perhaps your biggest energy stealer and a pretty obvious one, too. While it might be tempting to have sleepovers with your friends (where you end up talking the whole night rather than sleeping), it can have negative impacts on your health. Not to mention, the consequences are not limited merely to general discomfort and headaches. Lack of sleep can also cause a lengthy list of severe health issues in the future.
Not getting a good night’s sleep on a regular basis can result in the complete and utter feeling of exhaustion consistently, whether or not you have a jam-packed schedule. This can also affect your productivity, and you will have to catch up by working overtime, which will, again, eat up your sleep time. This can easily get you caught up in a vicious cycle that is difficult to break.
The only way out is prevention; ensure you’re getting a good 6 to 8 hours of sleep consistently to save yourself from the negative repercussions of sleep deprivation. Occasional sleepovers and all-nighters are acceptable, though; as long as they don’t become a regular habit.
2. Living in the Past
There are an estimated 60,000 to 80,000 thoughts that cross our minds daily. Woah! Isn’t that a huge number? And, to top it off, some studies reveal that the majority of these thoughts are negative. These negative thoughts are mostly about the past and can act like a dark shadow that follows you around and drains your energy every day. Can you beat it?
Okay, when we say energy, we aren’t only talking about physical strength but also mental alertness. Living in the past is one of the bad habits that can negatively affect mental health. We tend to stay unmotivated and tired when we continue to ponder on troublesome happenings of the past as they bring regret, anger, and sadness.
What we tend to forget is that this exercise is futile and overthinking about it is not going to change even an iota of what has already happened. What is the solution, you ask? Learn to let things go. Yes, it is that simple! Writing and journaling can be quite effective in letting go and living your life without an excess of dead weight.
3. Spending Time with Toxic People
Despite wholeheartedly helping your friends all the time, do you still get to receive complaints and see disappointed faces? Perhaps you’re surrounded by toxic company. Maybe it feels like all of your efforts will never be good enough for them, and this can have you eternally struggling to please them. In other words, being around toxic people can easily suck the energy right out of you.
We believe that spending time with loved ones should never make you feel depressed, anxious, or angry. And if you are the only one doing the hard work to keep a relationship from falling apart, then you’re bound to feel drained.
If you find yourself stuck in such a situation, you should start socializing with positive people who make you feel positive and energized. Set boundaries for yourself and don’t allow others to take advantage of your friendship. Remember, your friendship is like tango, and it takes an equal amount of effort from each of you to keep the rhythm.
4. Unhealthy Eating Habits
Food is fuel; it is what you need to keep your energy tank full. However, eating anything and everything—especially unhealthy foods—will not help you maintain high energy levels. Regularly eating junk food with little or no nutrient value will make you feel weary, apart from increasing your weight. In fact, a poor diet, in general, has lifelong negative consequences.
Junk foods are loaded with sugar and carbs and have a high glycemic index (i.e., an indicator of how rapidly carbs increase blood sugar). These constant sugar spikes and rapid crashes cause fatigue over the course of the day.
That being said, you have to reroute; instead of stopping at drive-throughs, prioritize your diet. You should also maintain your blood sugar levels by consuming lean protein and whole grains. Ease into it; you can’t possibly stop eating junk food in just one day. But remember that even small steps in the right direction can go a long way in making you feel healthy and energized.
Overthinking is another bad habit that you should steer clear of unless you’re ready to play around with needless stress. You should try to stick to well-thought-out decisions rather than worrying and overthinking. Understand that overthinking is unproductive. It is not going to change anything or make anything better; it will only encourage anxiety.
If you indulge in endless thinking and non-existent mental conversations, then your mind will not have time to recuperate from those stressful scenarios, and you will end up facing mental exhaustion. Feeling detached from friends and family, wanting social isolation, and finding it hard to concentrate are all signs of an overworked brain that needs rest.
Find a distraction—a new hobby, perhaps—to keep overthinking at bay. Breathing exercises, meditation, and acts of kindness are some of the ways that can help you stop overthinking and conserve your mental energy.
6. Constantly Spending Time on Social Media
This digital world has given us hundreds of avenues to connect with our loved ones. However, keeping up with these social channels can be demanding and mentally exhausting. Today, people’s lives are being controlled by social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
People are always under the pressure of posting pictures and keeping followers updated, rather than being present in the moment and enjoying life. Some are also disheartened by the stereotypical norms of beauty, while others suffer from the fear of missing out. Ironically, “social” media is now a device that is better at isolating people instead of bringing us together.
Reducing the number of your followers, scaling back the use of notifications, and exercising self-control can definitely save you from any negative repercussions of social media and, in turn, conserve your energy, which you can spend on real-life, palpable relationships.
7. Not Drinking Enough Water
Not drinking a sufficient amount of water can have noticeable impacts on your energy levels. Even slight dehydration can make you feel exhausted because every single organ and biological process of the human body relies on water—our lungs and brain are primarily made of water, and even our blood has water as its key component.
Some tell-tale signs of dehydration include feeling lightheaded, being consistently cold, having a dry mouth, headaches, and mood swings. Drinking less water can also influence your sleep patterns, eventually making you feel exhausted and worn out.
So, ensure that you’re drinking enough water—ideally, eight 8-ounce glasses (about 2 liters, or half a gallon) every day. Setting daily water intake goals can also help you stay motivated. Setting up reminders are also great to remind you to drink water, even amidst a busy schedule.
8. Trying to Be a Perfectionist
Ever heard of “nobody’s perfect, I am nobody”? As cliche as it may sound, it’s true. Let’s accept the fact that being perfect is impossible. Still, many of us strive to become or try to always act perfect. This, surprisingly, drains energy.
Trying to attain perfection enables you to work harder and longer than necessary. It can also make you set unrealistic and unattainable goals, which you might struggle to achieve. This will only sap your energy, apart from making you feel inadequate for not achieving your unrealistic goals.
To deal with this, you can set a time limit while working and stick to it. This can prevent you from working endlessly to achieve impractical targets.
9. Incessant People Pleasing
Regularly trying to please the people around you is one of the bad habits that you should beware of; it comes at the expense of your energy and happiness. Not only that but trying to be in the good books of everyone can eventually make you resentful and angry.
Going out of your way to help everyone every time they ask would mean welcoming unnecessary stress and issues into your life. This is a destructive habit, both for you and for people whom you are trying to please. In an endeavor to please all, you will end up pleasing no one.
There is no problem in lending a helping hand to the needy, however, breaching your boundaries and going against your authenticity to help others is something you should never sign up for. If you want to stop being a people pleaser, it could be helpful to try voicing your opinions more often and learn to say “no.” Lastly, make a promise to yourself that you will never go against your principles to help others.
Rise and Shine!
So, friends, by avoiding these nine inconspicuous habits that can easily drain your energy, you can surely save your precious energy and instead, spend it on things that are more worthy of your time.