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5 unhealthy habits you must give up in the New Year

By Mohammad Yusuf N Shaikh
December 18, 2018 08:00 IST
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Quit smoking, cut down your caffeine intake and spend more time with your family.

Cut down screen time

Photograph: Kind courtesy Alessandro Valli/Creative Commons

Every New Year, we dedicate ourselves in making promises that we can’t keep. Amid all, most are a mere showoff.

Most surprisingly, we make resolutions, only to adopt new practices, instead of eliminating the already-existing bad habits that deteriorate health.

So, this new year, let’s make a resolution that’s attainable and try breaking at least one of our unhealthy habits/practices we have followed for ages.

Rest your eyes from continuous screening

In this world of extremely-addictive gadgets and apps, it’s high time that we become mindful when it comes to spending time on screens.

Besides, it is also extremely important as all the work we do today calls for eyes constantly glued to the screens.

Take enough breaks during the long working hours.

Follow the ‘20-20-20’ rule, where you should shift your eyes to look at an object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.

Excessive screening causes many problems such as dry eyes, headaches, blurred vision and many more.

The technical term for such problems is ‘digital eye strain’.

If not possible during office hours, you can replace your smartphone habits by reading books, magazines and novels at home.

Also to cause less harm to your eyes, make it a habit to wear anti glares while you work on computer screens, and make sure that you don’t sit too close to the screens.

2. Kill your coffee addiction 

Even if you are a coffee lover or addicted to it, it’s time to break up with it and get over it.

Most of us drink coffee or have coffee shots to get rid of daytime sleepiness, which is very harmful.

It definitely kills your sleep at that point of time, but is temporary and not at all good for health.

Instead, you should get adequate nighttime sleep, which is extremely important to keep the body mechanism stable and fit.

Coffee has high caffeine content, which causes mild physical dependence, followed by strong psychological dependence.

This often leads to withdrawal symptoms like lethargy, nausea, irritability, and many other issues.

Excessive coffee consumption also results in more flushing out of essential fluids and nutrients; plus it also causes teeth-staining.

Try to replace it with fresh juices, herbal teas or infused water. 

3. Say Yes to No smoking

For breaking your smoking habits, it’s even wiser to stop it now instead of waiting until the New Year.

Some of you may consider it as a stress buster when it’s actually a cancer-inducing human killer.

Once you kick the addiction, you can become healthy again, save time and money. Most importantly you will be able to save yourself.

It may not be that easy, but half of the smokers do not even try.

Don’t stop it abruptly, but start by cutting from 5 cigarettes to 2 cigarettes a day.

You can also go for the 'quarter-stop,' where you should smoke a quarter less of your usual intake in the first month, then drop another quarter in the next month.

Continue until you have nothing left to drop. And while you do it, fill the gaps with chewing gums, candies and boiled sweets.

You can also go for nicotine patches. In the end, it’s your willpower that can stop this deadly content from entering your body.

4. Don't ignore your family

In the wake of changing modern lifestyles followed by mass smartphone addiction, we have stopped spending or giving adequate time to our families.

We ignore calling up our family or friends while at work.

If you have been doing this too, try changing your lifestyle and take some time out of your busy schedule for the people you you love. 

Spending time with family has massive benefits.

It strengthens family ties, nurtures relationships and enhances positive behaviours. It helps reduce stress and most importantly, it gives you a second chance to rebuild your life with betterment and leads to a healthy lifestyle.

You can start by keeping a track of special events such as birthdays, anniversaries and festivals.

Make it a habit of calling your parents every day before or after work, especially if you no longer stay with them.

Give space to your children, listen to them when they share the on-goings in their lives.

5. Never skip the first meal of the day

Breakfast, as we all know, is the most important meal to keep up the energy levels throughout the day.

It could be having a bowl of corn flakes, 1 or 2 paranthas with some veggies or even a combo of toast and boiled eggs.

Once started, you can perfectly stabilize your blood sugar levels.

Soon you will be freed from hunger pangs and food cravings. The best part is, you will be able to control your weight more easily. 

Setting things in advance the night before is always suggested.

This will keep you away from unnecessary hurries and running out of time.

You can also carry fruits or nuts to munch on.

On the other hand, skipping breakfast will lower your body metabolism, gradually leading to other issues such as sluggishness and weight gain.

This will further result in overeating during the lunch hours.

The author Mohammad Yusuf N Shaikh represents Kudrati Ayurved Health Centre.

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Mohammad Yusuf N Shaikh