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by Tony Gjokaj January 10, 2022 5 min read

As we continue our way into 2022, one thing that can set us back from reaching our goals are our habits.

Some of us have habits that help facilitate all aspects of our health: mental, physical, and even existential.

Other habits can forestall or neglect those aspects of our health.

So in this post, we are going to go over 7 bad habits that can affect your mental health this year.

Let's dive in!

If you would rather listen while you read, or you'd rather listen, watch my video on the topic here:

I. Doing Little To No Physical Activity.

When I was dealing with my severe bouts of depression, I felt like I had nothing to work towards in my life.

I escaped in video games for 8-10 hours at a time. This was super unhealthy to me because I wasn't taking care of my physical and mental health.

So when I started to exercise, my mental health improved. Through numerous studies, exercise has been shown to improve mental health, and even improve cognitive health as a whole.

What's important is that you get moving. You physically work towards something. Anything.

It can be a light walk or a short workout.

Your mind and body will thank you for it.

II. Sitting Too Much.

While I preach an active lifestyle, I tend to have a bad habit of sitting a lot because of all the writing and videos I do!

I definitely need to be moving more.

In our technological age, sitting is commonly known as a silent killer.

According to one study done on government employees, it is quite possible to develop elevated risks of depression and anxiety after sitting for longer than 6 hours daily. 

So with that in mind, here are some tips that may help remind you to stand up:

  • Smart watches. What I typically do to remind myself to stand up is wear my apple watch. When it tells me to stand, I use that as my cue to stand and move.
  • Walk on your lunch breaks.
  • Dress comfortably. Have some comfortable clothes and shoes.
  • Have a scheduled exercise program followed by stretching or a low-intensity walk.

III. Poor Quality Of Sleep.

We all know we need about 7-8 hours of sleep (on average) every night... and we still don't do it. 

And it's understandable, especially if you're dealing with depression.

Those who are depressed tend to have trouble sleeping. In addition, sleep deprivation also can impact your mood, making it harder for those dealing with depression.

It also impacts the type of food you eat and the calories consumed.

So how do we get better sleep quality, especially when dealing with depression?

Here are some tips proposed by various websites, in addition to Sleep Foundation:

  • Exercise. Consistent exercise has been shown to improve quality of sleep. It is also the thing I used to help with my sleep insomnia.
  • Have a consistent sleep schedule. Following a sleep ritual and falling asleep at the same time of day is not only good for the quantity of sleep you get, but the quality of sleep as well.
  • Your bed is for sleep only. Limit your use of phones before bed as it is quite easy to scour the internet for hours at a time before bed.

IV. Not Consuming Enough Healthier Food Options.

I am not saying to restrict food groups or delectables.

What I am saying is to make it your goal to eat more nutritious foods MOST of the time.

Here are some recommendations:

  • Strive to eat 3-5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. 1 serving equates to 1/2-1 cup of these foods. This should help you get most of your vitamins and minerals in.
  • Get outdoor sun exposure, or supplement with Vitamin D. Sunlight helps your body produce Vitamin D. If you don't get some sun, supplement with 1000-3000 IU of Vitamin D daily.
  • Make sure you're getting enough calcium, magnesium, and iron. These are typically neglected in our diets in the US. 

V. Not Taking Care Of Yourself.

It's nice to take care of others. In fact, my mission is focused on helping others on their journey to use fitness for mental health.

But if you take care others more than yourself, you will put your own self-care on the back burner.

You NEED to take care of yourself. 

You can do this in the following ways:

  • Set time out of your day for "you time". This could be early morning when you rise
  • Do things that help you feel like you're taking care of yourself. This can be podcasts, personal development books, and more.
  • Be active. Following #1, this is very important to do not only for your physical health, but your mental health as well.

    VI. Procrastination.

    Procrastination can be both a good and bad thing, depending on the situation.

    Sometimes, with procrastination, that pressure of a deadline can help us do some very creative things.

    Most of the time, however, procrastination can limit our growth. Procrastination is typically our fear of taking action on something new and uncomfortable. 

    In this technological age, so many of us tell ourselves that we need to do research or watch videos before making a decision in our lives.

    As much as it is difficult to jump at something new and uncomfortable, we need to do SOMETHING and figure it out as we go.

    You can listen to all kinds of advice and read this post here, but what matters is when your mental health is on the line, you NEED to get out of your comfort zone.

    VII. Too Much Social Media.

    Lastly, one of the hardest habits we have to limit is social media.

    Social Media is a nice escape, but sometimes it can get you down in your feelings. You see a perspective of reality that people want you to see, but not what truly is.

    Here are some simple solutions to this:

    • You should give yourself time away from social media. Go explore places, go on a hike.
    • Be busy. Learn something new that helps you improve the quality of your life.

    Break Those Bad Habits.

    These are only 7 common bad habits you can break to improve your mental health. Ultimately, we can focus on the following:

    • Take small steps to reach your goals. If you find yourself procrastinating, do something small. Even if it is a short workout session or eating just a few vegetables to start, get into the habit of doing so! 
    • Avoid or modify environments that affect your goals.For example, if you have a bad habit of looking at your phone before bed, put your phone in another room or away from your bed.
    • Get active. Physical activity can promote better sleep and nutrition habits and has been coined the "winning triad" for BOTH physical and mental health.

    With that being said, get started. Get active.

    Prioritize exercise, and break the bad habit chain.

    I wanted to thank you for reading this post.

    If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email us, or direct message us on our Instagram.

    Until next time!

    Tony Gjokaj
    Tony Gjokaj

    Tony is the Owner of Reforged. He is a PN1 Certified Nutrition Coach and has been in the fitness space for over a decade. His goal is to help millions exercise their way out of depression and anxiety.

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