Healthy habits can be a wonderful thing! Drinking enough water, meditating, exercising, and reading are all great examples of healthy habits that can contribute to your overall wellness. Unfortunately, not all habits are good habits. Some habits can be crippling to your health.
Your mental health is an essential part of your overall wellness, and you should take care of it just like you would take care of your physical health. Here are some habits that can help improve your mood should you decide to ditch them this year.
Binge -Watching the News
It’s easy to get sucked into the endless cycle of catchy headlines filled with doom and gloom that can trigger anxiety and depression. Seeing story after story of sadness and turmoil will harm your emotions, making you feel increased sadness and even depression. Instead, limit the time you spend consuming the news. Pick a time of day to check-in so you can stay informed. Steer clear of checking the news right before going to bed so you can keep your mind clear of anxious thoughts.
The Mindless Scroll
Have you ever scrolled through your Facebook feed, noticed what your friends are doing, and instantly felt sad or depressed about yourself or your life? This is very common and happens when people fall into the comparison trap. Sometimes, these comparisons often lead people to assume that friends lead better lives because of their social media feeds. Remember that what you see on social media is the ‘highlights reel’ of someone’s life. Don’t let it impact your self-worth.
Social distancing is a critical part of staying safe in the ‘new normal’. Unfortunately, some people have been deeply impacted by the isolation and loneliness of the pandemic. Remember that social distancing doesn’t mean you have to stay emotionally distant. Reach out to your loved ones and friends for support. Staying connected is an integral part of your emotional wellness – don’t neglect it!
There’s a difference between striving for excellence and chasing perfectionism. Instead of worrying about perfection, aim to be the best version of YOU! In doing so, remember the best version of you includes the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Understanding and accepting yourself happens when you choose to express yourself in a manner that is reflective of your core identity. Every day is an opportunity to work on improving your authenticity. Stay true to your real self. Don’t let the opinions of others shift you away from your identity.
Not Getting Enough Sleep
It’s no secret that sleep plays a vital role in our overall health. Sleep deprivation can leave you feeling irritable and exhausted the next day. Over time, lack of sleep can also have serious long-term effects on your physical health like heart disease and diabetes.
Sleep disorders can include problems with the timing, quality, and amount of sleep. If you are having trouble falling asleep, make sure you have a sleep-friendly environment, which starts by limiting technology before bed time. As tempting as it might be to squeeze in a little extra productivity before sleeping, this multi-tasking approach can stimulate your brain, making it even harder to doze off. We feel sleep health is so important to mental health that we perform sleep assessments and planning  as soon as clients come to us.
Habit vs. Addiction
We all have unhealthy habits and attachments because we’re human. Sometimes these habits are triggered by negativity, boredom, or unpleasant experiences. They’re our coping mechanisms. While these habits exist for similar reasons and can sometimes present identical effects in the brain, they don’t usually change the brain and physiological functioning like true dependencies can like we see in substance and alcohol use disorders. Want to know if it’s just a habit or an addiction? See our “3 C’s test” post. 
Once people realize their habits are actually ‘bad’ or problematic, they usually look for way to begin change and that’s where we can help! Our experienced health professionals offer a number of evidence-based therapies such as 24-hour medical withdrawal management (“detox”), psychiatric care, psychological care, family counselling, and post-treatment coaching. With the client front and center during our planning process, we work together to make sure every issue a client is struggling with gets addressed while they are with us.