It’s easy to form bad habits, but way harder to get rid of them. While it’s an easier-said-than-done journey to get rid of the rituals that might be bogging you down, it’s better to get it over with. Check out these tips on kicking common bad habits.
The innocent-looking, aesthetically pleasing device that mimics the simplicity of Apple products is now the bane of many young adult’s wallets and lung health. Not to mention that Big Tobacco owns a 35 percent stake in Juul (look that up if you don’t believe me). Either way, fads fade, but addiction stays. Here are some tips to ditch the itch.
1: Get rid of it. Don’t put it away, or stop buying pods for a “while.” Just throw it out. The temptation will be there if you know it’s accessible.
2: Convince your friends to quit with you. Sensory memories are often the most triggering. Smelling the smoke or watching someone close to you smoke will make you want to as well. If they don’t want to quit with you, ask them to refrain from doing it while you hangout.
3: Develop another reflex. If you’re used to grabbing the Juul while you study, reach for a water bottle, your favorite snack, gum or something to fidget with.
4: Prepare yourself. Quitting any habit is hard, but nicotine is one of the hardest substances to get kick. According to the National Cancer Institute, knowing what triggers a craving is important to making the choice to ignore that craving.
5: Use resources available. Smokefree.gov is loaded with tools and tips. Most importantly, stick to your goals. Remember you’re making the choice to better your life.
Habit: Sleeping in late
If you’re staying up late to study, work, catch up on Game of Thrones, or whatever else you might do into the late night, you’re probably sleeping in late. Once you’ve started, it’s hard to stop. You might never be a morning person, but knowing how to get yourself to sleep so you can wake up for that 8 AM class can break that bad habit.
1: Put your devices on Night Mode. Staying up late to study is often unavoidable, but the blue light your laptop or phone emits can confuse your brain even worse. Apple products support “Night Shift,” which will emit an orange tint, and can affect your sleep patterns less. Windows users can check out “Night Light” in their display preferences in settings.
2: Get up. This is hard, especially running on little sleep. So start off on the weekend, and plan something you’re looking forward to for the morning, like breakfast with a friend. If you’re excited for it, you’re more likely to get up and being tired throughout the day will get you to bed quicker that night.
3: Set a bedtime. Routine is key to waking up early. It’s not always going to pan out with your schedule, but if you can find a time to stick to, your body will more easily adjust it’s sleep cycle. You may even be surprised to find yourself using the alarm less, and no one likes to be triggered by iPhone alarms.
Habit: w/tearing cuticles
An annoying, unsightly habit that sometimes you don’t even realize you’re doing. It’s an issue many people have and many people I know (myself included) would like to stop full force.
1: For cuticle tearers, oil your fingers. Lip balm is essentially key. If you can keep them moisturized, there’s less dead skin to pick at. While one perfect finger isn’t necessarily going to make you stop tearing the others, the more your skin gets better the better you’ll feel about stopping the urges. Don’t stop the moisturizing, though. Keep the skin healthy.
2: Occupy your hands. Anything from clicking a pen, to taking up knitting, to playing with your phone can stop you from tearing the skin or biting your nails. If you’re in a situation where you can’t do this though, it can be really hard to not. Per tip one, moisturizing your skin with lotion, lip balm, or anything you’ve got really will help you develop a new habit and is far less distracting when you’re in a lecture or movie theatre.
3: Get your nails done, with or without paint. Many beauty bloggers have claimed manicures have helped them stop the tearing and biting, cause why would you want to waste your money? Plus, it’ll help keep the skin healthy. So if you’re into that, treat yourself once in a while.
The gut-wrenching tip: Resist. Studies have shown it takes about 21 days to break a habit or start a new one. Some things, like nicotine, will be harder to get off than others. But the bad habits you break and the better ones you start will help you reach your goal. So keep track, set rewards and use resources.
Visit smokefree.gov for tobacco and nicotine addiction or make an appointment with the Health Center to learn about quit options.