Habits. Vices. We all have them, in one form or another. Sometimes it can be associated with our state of mind; either suffering from self-image or mental health issues or we’re simply unhappy, which is a big part of life for most people. As a result, some will seek comfort or relief from various sources including but not limited to food, drugs, smoking, alcohol and even sex. You could think that using that last one wouldn’t be a negative thing but there are a number fo negative aspects to USING sex as a coping mechanism that most people wouldn’t consider.
For me, I’ve indulged in a number nasty vices, including cigar smoking, eating and alcohol. The first and last are mostly by virtue of my previous career, relaxing me and providing calm in the middle of emotional tempests. The middle one typically happens when I’ve indulged too much in the last, as I don’t always make the best decisions. Hey, I’m human. More often than not, I somehow manage to rationalize what I’m doing to myself, with “I can work this off later” or “just this last time” (followed by buying another bottle on the way home the following day).
It can be difficult to overcome certain bad habits on your own. Especially if those habits become severe enough to be an actual addiction. In those cases, getting help from medical professionals or specialized programs can be important. But if it’s something you feel you can overcome on your own, there are a number of things you can do to help get you out of your funk. I’ll provide a few of my thoughts on what’s worked for me in the past:
- Don’t Put Off Exercising: Thanks to the frequent ups and downs of blood sugars, the amount of grogginess and lethargy I deal with can be a real pain in the ass. But if you can push past the fatigue and do something physical, it has a dynamo effect. Once you hop on board the exercise train, all you want is for it to move faster. Start slow and easy at first and increase resistance/distance/challenges as you go along. After a while you’ll look back and realize you’re at the level you used to WISH you were at.
- Don’t Quit Everything At Once: Sometime during the late summer, I decided to quit cigars, alcohol, junk food and excessive caffeine. Those sound like good ideas, right? Maybe, but doing it all at once wasn’t the greatest idea. Besides the physical toll it takes on a person’s body, you’re more likely to regress and slip up if you deny yourself everything completely. Most sources I’ve read agree that you should allow yourself the occasional indulgence. Doing so means you’ll be less likely to slip up. So if you have a habit of binging junk food, maybe allow yourself to eat out once a week.
- Buddy Up: A problem shared is a problem halved, right? If you need exercise, join a club, a gym or fitness group. If you’re trying to eat better, there are groups for that, too! Or you can just commit to eating better with a friend. You can keep each other on track, remind each other of your goals and step in if you happen to be “falling off the wagon.”
Improving oneself and making oneself feel better takes time and effort. If you think it’s hard, that’s perfectly normal Anything worth achieving in life is hard. Just remember that you don’t have to do any of it alone and there are always resources out there to help you reach your goals, whether it’s weight loss, increased fitness, learning a new skill or quitting a bad habit. ☯️