Self-care is a hot topic these days, and it extends far beyond mani/pedis once a month!

In our wiring to please those around us and often put ourselves last, there’s a long list of behaviors we get stuck in, year after year.  But at what cost?  This got me thinking about some of the things most of us do, that aren’t in our best interests, and some of the bad habits we can kick NOW to preserve our sanity and really take proper care of ourselves.

Say buh-bye to these 8 bad habits NOW:

1. Toxic relationships.  If you’re in a relationship with someone who consistently makes you feel bad or drains your positive energy, romantic or friendship, it may not be the healthiest relationship for you. Sometimes the kindest thing you can do for yourself AND for them, is to walk away.

2. Seeking approval from others.  Let’s face it, we’re never going to please everyone 100% of the time.  Living our lives with the need to get a gold star from the people around us makes us pretty dependent upon their moods, opinions and judgements, so let’s stop doing everything within our power to receive approval. Instead, let’s be true to ourselves, do what we feel is right, kind, and simply try your best.

3. Not following your dreams.  The thing that prevents most of us from pursuing our big, hairy, audacious goals is the fear of failure.  The idea of putting ourselves out there and failing is terrifying. But how terrifying is going through life letting ourselves think what if, because we’re afraid to try?!  Visualize your dream, really see it, and imagine how it feels to live it.  Now ask yourself, don’t I deserve this? The answer is yes, you absolutely do!

4. Negative self-talk.  Many of us do this, often in a humorous way. Let’s stop. We’re all a work in progress, have good days and bad days. Don’t say things about yourself that would be hurtful if someone else said them about you-it seeps into your psyche and sends a message that you are not enough, when you absolutely are MORE THAN ENOUGH. 

5. Neglecting self-care.  With the endless demands we face, fitting in time for ourselves can be daunting.  But like negative self-talk, neglecting self-care sends a message to your deepest self that you don’t deserve to be taken care of.  So let’s make wellness a priority. Whether it’s a five-minute meditation in the carpool line before picking up the kids, a 30-minute stretch class, a glass of wine with a friend, or a monthly massage.  The important thing is, working in time for something that brings you a little peace and pleasure is important for your health, both mentally and physically.

6. Holding onto Clutter. I don’t know about you, but for years my closet was filled with things that still had tags on them. Whether it was things that no longer fit or things that didn’t even fit when I bought them, it was wasteful clutter I didn’t need. How can one break this habit? Edit your current wardrobe and apply the same to your home, your office, your car and any other space that might be filled with unnecessary “stuff.” And from then on, be mindful of the things you add to it. If you’ve worn that jean jacket in the last year and it brings you joy, keep it. If not, donate it, sell it on a re-sale website or give it to someone you know who will use it. 

7. Making Excuses. – As human beings, most of us have a difficult time facing the truth.  Instead of simply saying “I won’t” or “I don’t want to, we say “I can’t.” I can’t continue my education, I can’t join that sport, I can’t make healthier choices, the list goes on… “I can’t” is really another form of negative self-talk when you think about it.  Instead of making excuses for why you can’t do something, start replacing it with “I won’t” and see how quick your attitude changes toward that specific thing! 

8. Not wearing what you love – In our wiring to look a certain way to meet the approval of others, we follow rules about what we wear, even if it means not wearing something that makes us happy. Let’s stop doing this. Let’s wear what we love, unapologetically. Let’s wear the stripes, the loud prints, the bold color… wear what makes you feel amazing!