A lot of the content that I, and other writers, put online is about how to become a better version of yourself. I’ve seen articles about people’s amazing morning routine, how they never procrastinate, or how they save so much money each month. In summary, all of these articles happen once you’re on the right path, once you’re doing everything right.
That’s helpful as it shows people where they could be, but it also can feel so far away. Just because I write articles about how to do things well doesn’t always mean I have my shit together. It just means I’m trying.
So I think part of working on yourself is acknowledging the ways that you’re far from perfect. I’m a human being with many bad habits, ones I really want to start working on. Some are bigger than others, and some will take longer than others, but I’m ready to put them out there. Here are the seven habits that ruin my productivity, health and well-being.
This is a very recent habit and probably the one that bothers me the most. I used to be so adamant about not bringing my laptop to bed, particularly in the evenings. It’s been shown to disrupt your sleep and in my case, it takes away time I dedicate to reading books.
I used to be so good at this, and then a few weeks ago, as my mental health began to deteriorate again, I just started doing it. I started chilling in bed with my laptop, just to “watch one episode” or “check one thing”. And now it’s stopped feeling like something terrible and instead just a normal habit, which I really resent.
I want to make my bed a laptop-free zone. If I was disciplined enough, I’d make it a no-phone zone as well, but one problem at a time.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been comparing myself to others and falling short. Most commonly, I’d compare how I looked, whether they had better skin, a slimmer body or nicer hair. But in recent years, I started comparing inner traits too. I’d wish I was as funny as someone, as kind as someone; I’d be jealous of how someone can chat to people so easily when it feels so difficult to me. As an introvert who quickly becomes socially depleted, I always felt like I was lacking.
I compare lifestyles using the snippets gained through social media. Why am I not travelling more? Why do I not have huge packs of friends? Why am I not progressing in my career as quickly? Rationally I know social media is such a small example of someone’s life, and yet I stare at the photos and feel like I’m lacking in every area of my life.
Theodore Roosevelt once said that “Comparison is the thief of joy”, and I don’t think I could put it better than that. When you focus on what everyone else is doing, you miss everything happening in your own life. When you focus on everything you lack, you negate everything you do have.
I want my successes to only be viewed in the light of my previous ones. I want my strengths and weaknesses to be my own and not measured against the metrics of someone else. I want to feel joy rather than envy for others, and let their wins not be of any relation to my own.
I’ve lost too much time and energy comparing myself to others, so it’s time to listen to Teddy and cut it out.
If online shopping had never been invented, I would be able to pay the high gas prices this winter without crying. I am someone who shops to feel good. Whenever I want a quick serotonin boost, I open up clothing websites for another top I don’t need or head to a bookstore to add to my TBR pile.
Buying things makes me feel happy for a minute, and it seems easier than actually working through my emotions.
And while everyone is entitled to a crutch, and I’ll never be one of those savvy finance people who can retire by thirty, I do need to work on this one. I need to ensure my purchases are more thought out, things I actually need or have wanted for more than five minutes. I need my purchases to be about the item and not my sadness.
My name is Fleurine, and I am apparently incapable of closing things.
I didn’t realise I had this issue until a friend recently pointed it out to me. I mentioned it to a few others who all immediately agreed, claiming I always leave doors and cupboards open. Once it was brought to my attention, I began to see it everywhere.
I will go to the bathroom, and afterwards, when exiting, I’ll leave the door open. Of course, it’s closed while I’m in there, but it’s afterwards that I never seen to fully close a door.
I’ll open the cupboard to grab a mug and not properly close it after. I’ll grab a sweater from my wardrobe and then leave it slightly ajar.
I don’t know why I’m like this, as it isn’t a conscious decision. However, since being informed, I’ve noticed that my sisters do the same thing. So we’re all like this.
Maybe unconsciously, I’m scared of things ending and being closed off to me. Maybe I like to keep the option to return. Don’t worry; I’m just kidding!
While this isn’t a huge issue, it’s frustrating for other people and now myself as well. I’m trying my best to stop doing this, and I even go back to check I’ve closed something.
Okay, this likely stems from my Borderline Personality Disorder, but it’s an issue people without BPD may have as well. I think at our core, we’re all quite egocentric. We see the world as revolving around us. We read people’s actions to be about us. Some of us do this more than others, and I’m one of them.
I make everything about me. If someone doesn’t reply to my messages, I assume they’re mad at me. If someone compliments another person, I internally make it a comparison. If I make a mistake, I assume everyone hates me for it.
I need to stop reflecting myself onto others. I need to stop assuming people think the same way that I do, as my way of thinking is rather distorted. I need to give people the space to be who they are, rather than who I think they are.
I know the importance of drinking enough water, and I really want to increase how much water I drink in a day, but I just get so damn distracted! I start off strong and then suddenly it’s 6pm, and I’ve only had coffee all day, and I have a few hours left to get my entire day’s water intake.
Whenever I’m ill, I drink about twelve cups of tea in a day, and my skin becomes radiant. Then as soon as I’m better, the tea stops, and I retreat back into my dehydrated state.
I need to find a better way to get my water intake, so suggestions are appreciated!
I love Tiktok. It’s honestly my favourite social media platform by now. I love how specific it is to my interests and how it makes me feel less alone. All these people out there have the same thoughts and experiences as I do, and it gives such a sense of community. It makes me laugh, smile, cry and a lot more laughing.
I love Tiktok and I have no plans to delete it. But, I do need to start being stricter on my Tiktok time. I am very guilty of mindlessly scrolling it, or intending to be on it for ten minutes and losing an hour. I need to set restrictions on my phone to ensure it stays in check and becomes a treat rather than a bad habit.
In all honesty, the list could go on, as I have many shameful habits that I need to address. I’m a work in progress, and I think I’ll always be working towards something. There is no perfection at the end of the road, rather we’re all just striving to be the best version of ourselves in a moment. So these are the seven habits that I’ll focus on improving for now, and months from now, the list could be different, or just a lot longer.
What are your daily bad habits? Let me know in the comments!
Welcome to Symptoms of Living! A place where I like to relieve myself of the barrage of thoughts and ideas filling my mind. Here I'll take a look at various topics, from books to BPD, series to self-harm, there's nothing that we can't, and shouldn't, talk about.
Having struggled with mental illness since the age of 15, one of the hardest parts was how alone I felt in it. While mental illness is beginning to be discussed more openly, and featured in the media, I still think there is room for improvement. So whether it is mental illness or merely mental health, a bad day or a bad year, let's make this a place to approach it and strip it back. Everyone has their own symptoms of living, and you certainly won't be the only one with it.
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