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Katherine Moon
Katherine Isabella Moon
Meow, hello there, my name is Katherine, but you can call me Kat; because I basically am a cat. Anyways, I am a 26-year-old, lifestyle blogger, with an INFP-T personality type, from the United States. I love fashion, the color pink, cats, dogs, and spending all my time on my computer. I'm often seen wearing cat ears headbands.
The Kat Life
The Kat Life

how I'm choosing to live my best life

Saturday, October 12, 2019

11 Bad Habits That Make Me Feel Like Poo

Photo courtesy of Vladislav Muslakov on Unsplash

Bad habits are so easy to get into, yet can be very hard to break out of. Seriously though, although they say it takes 21 days or even more to form a habit, it seems that a bad habit can form or resurface in a matter of just a couple of days if you're not careful. But if you're anything like me, and you know that what you do drastically affects your mood, your productivity, and just about everything else about how you're feeling; sometimes that's motivation enough to tackle a bad habit. Easier said than done, I know, as sometimes slipping back into one bad habit can cause a domino effect and bring back multiple others; but personally, I find that by focusing on tackling one bad habit, it makes tackling most of the others seem natural and effortless as my mood improves. I know this isn't always the case for everyone, but this often the case for me, especially as most of my bad habits are related in some way. 

That being said though, I know for a fact that my habits have a direct impact on how I'm feeling; I also know that letting even just one of them slide can cause a domino effect and bring about the others if I allow it to go unchecked for too long. The good news is, I've pretty much pinpointed the habits that make me feel like absolute poo, and I pretty much know exactly how to fix them. Sometimes the solution isn't easy, especially when I'm not exactly feeling the best, but sometimes just knowing where to start, or knowing where I can start small, can be motivation enough to lift myself back up from a bad habit and get my shit together; so I don't feel like shit.

Oversleeping or sleeping in too late

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Lies on Unsplash

Sleep is a wonderful, amazing, and essential thing; however, for me anyway, there is such a thing as too much sleep. The amount of sleep a person needs at night varies from person to person, but I find that I function best on 6-8 hours of sleep and that beyond 8 or 9 hours of sleep, I tend to feel a little on the crappy side; same with when I undersleep. Although I'll be honest, I actually think I feel worse when I oversleep than when I undersleep; because not only will I feel guilty about having wasted the day away when I sleep in too late, but I'll also feel it physically. I actually feel more tired and groggy when I oversleep, and I'll sometimes even have some annoying aches and pains when I oversleep as well. Knowing all of that, you'd think my feet would always be hitting the floor the very second I wake up naturally between 6:00 and 8:00 AM, but sometimes I still don't want to get out of bed for one reason or another.

When simply knowing that I'll feel much, much, much better if I just get out of bed and start my day,and that I'll be able to get so much more done during the day if I wake up early isn't enough motivation for me to get my arse out of bed, there are still a few other little things that can help motivate me (or force me) to get out of bed. Although some days it will still take a little bit of willpower, or perhaps a lot of willpower, to stay out of bed and get the day started, sometimes that initial push is all you need for your feet to hit the floor. Just whatever you do, don't get back into bed; you may even want to avoid your bedroom completely within the first hour or so of waking up on the harder days.

Taking unnecessarily long naps, or unnecessary naps in general

Photo courtesy of Karolina Grabowska on KaboomPics

So, this is basically the same thing as oversleeping, but the main difference here is that, well, it's a nap; meaning I've already been out of bed for at least a little while. Now, don't get me wrong, napping is not a bad thing when done properly, and taking a proper power nap at the right time can really help with getting you through the rest of the day if you're feeling a little sleepy, or didn't sleep well the night before. However, I tend to take unnecessarily long naps, we're talking two hours or more; sometimes I'll also take them so late in the day that I could have easily just held it out for a couple more hours, and maybe just went to bed a little early instead. There have also been times that I've taken one of these naps and I wasn't even all that tired; just bored or trying to avoid something.

The effects of taking an unnecessarily long nap, or a nap I didn't even really need, are about the same as the effects oversleeping and sleeping in too late; feeling like I wasted precious hours of the day away, and then the physical grogginess. Not to mention, it can also make it nearly impossible for me to sleep when it's actually time to go to bed, especially when I do it after 4:00 PM.

For me, the easiest way to tackle this habit and prevent myself from taking a super long nap, or a nap I don't need to begin with, is to make my bed as soon as possible in the morning. I have a very small bedroom, so tidying up the bed makes a huge difference in how clean and tidy my room looks; it also takes me quite a while to make my bed, so I don't want to mess it up before bedtime. At the very least, not giving myself the option to go under the covers for a nap prevents me from getting too comfy. Sometimes, however, I find it's better not to lay down at all; knowing I can sleep just about anywhere if I wanted to, even without all my cozy pillows and blankets. I also find that sometimes I need to keep my mind at least a little active to avoid closing my eyes for too long, and sometimes I may even need to get moving a little bit so I won't fall asleep right in my chair!

Staying up too late

Photo courtesy of Aron Visuals on Unsplash

Getting into the habit of staying up too far beyond my bedtime can easily cause me to also fall into the habits of sleeping in too late, oversleeping, and taking unnecessarily long naps, and those same habits can also cause me to stay up too late in a vicious cycle. It seems that oftentimes, all of my sleep-related bad habits go hand in hand. Seriously though, if I stay up too far beyond my 12:00 AM bedtime (which I know sounds crazy already), for any reason, and allow it to become a habit, it creates a domino effect on the rest of my sleep habits; then the other healthy habits that I've worked hard to form. But even if I still manage to get up at a decent hour and stay up through the day, not getting enough sleep doesn't exactly put me in the best mood.

I will say that there are some occasions when staying up late for one night is perfectly acceptable, such as to bring in a new year, or any other rare occasion that will run late into the evening. I'll even also an exception for talking to a friend or family member you don't get to talk to that often that may be in another time zone, though you should kindly remind them that it is late for you and work out an earlier time to talk, if possible. I also know that sometimes one may need to stay up late to finish a project or cram for an exam, but I personally feel this should always be avoided, and be replaced with better time management; as sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on your work the next day anyways. But personally, I find myself staying up late for silliest of reasons, and for stuff that could easily wait for the next day, and could even motivate me to wake up early so I can do that very thing. Seriously though, that YouTube video or Netflix series I suddenly want to watch can wait until tomorrow, and there's no reason I need to stay awake to listen to nostalgic music that I can listen to any other time. I'm also pretty sure that my computer's hardware would appreciate it if I called it a night from playing The Sims. 

Again, a lot of this comes down to willpower and self-discipline. Set a realistic bedtime for yourself, and stick to it, and only make exceptions for special occasions or very rare circumstances. It also helps to have a good bedtime routine in place that's easy for you to stick to, and that helps you wind down for bed; it also doesn't hurt to have a set time to start your bedtime routine, and maybe even set an alarm to start your bedtime routine. If need be, you can also put your phone on "do not disturb" or put it somewhere that it won't be in your reach. And once again, whatever it is, it can probably wait until tomorrow. 

Not following my morning and/or bedtime routines

Photo courtesy of Uby Yanes on Unsplash

What I do within the first hour or two of waking up sets the tone for the rest of my day, and what I do within an hour or two before bed sets the tone for how I'm going to sleep; and how I'll feel the next day. So as you may be able to guess, if I cut out crucial parts of my morning or bedtime routines, it's likely to have an effect on my day, or on my sleep; and can cause a domino effect of bad sleeping habits, as well as other bad habits, reforming. And no one wants that to happen after they've worked hard to form all those healthy habits and kick the bad ones to the curb!

I totally get that sometimes it can be a drag to follow through with your bedtime routine if you've had a particularly tiring day, or that it can be hard to fight through the morning blahs as you try to start your morning routine. You may be tempted to cut parts out because all you want to do is get under the covers, or maybe you just don't feel like doing it; perhaps you may even be in a rush. But as much as you may not want to, it's best to do it anyway; you know you'll be glad you did. If you're already sleepy before your bedtime routine, just imagine how well you'll likely sleep after you've truly set the tone for a good night's sleep! And although it may be a bit of a struggle some days, following through with your morning routine will truly help to shake some of those morning blahs. As for being in a rush? Always make sure you're giving yourself plenty of time to go about your full morning routine, and always start your bedtime routine around the same time each night. 

It also helps to be realistic with your morning and bedtime routines, and find what works for you. You don't need to have a super elaborate morning or bedtime routine; unless you want to and it works for you. It may also help to throw something a little fun or relaxing into your morning and bedtime routines as well. 

Skipping breakfast, or any other meal

Photo courtesy of Brooke Lark on Unsplash

I'm going to be perfectly honest, sometimes I just don't want to make breakfast; or I can't be bothered to decide what I want for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, nor do I want to cook in general. So, I'll just skip an entire meal all-together, not because I'm not hungry, but because I just can't be bothered. Either that or I'm actually too hangry to decide what I want to eat, let alone cook it! And when I get hangry, well, it's not a pretty sight; and needless to say, it's not exactly great for my overall mood. But even when I'm not particularly hungry (or hangry), I still try to avoid skipping meals, as I'll be more likely to become hangry, and I mean hangry, later in the day; and even more indecisive on what to have for dinner. Which often leads to mindless, unhealthy snacking. 

For me, and many others, my most skipped meal is breakfast; which I can honestly understand as many people may be a little strapped for time in the morning, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't have something, even if it's something quick. But personally, I mainly skip breakfast just because I don't know what I want for breakfast, and I don't like making decisions in the morning; even decisions as simple as what to have for breakfast. And given the fact that I rarely actually feel hungry in the morning, it makes it even more tempting to just grab a hot beverage and call that breakfast; only to be hangry for my afternoon workout. 

I may also skip lunch or dinner due to pure indecision of what I want to eat, and end up turning to the potato chips and whatever else I can find that I don't have to cook. My best solution to this is to try to meal plan at least a day ahead, if not for the full week, so you won't have to think about what to have for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It's also not a bad idea to keep in mind how much time you may have at that time of day, and whether or not you'll really have the desire to cook; and to meal prep in advance when you can. 

Unconscious snacking and late-night snacking

Photo courtesy of Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

Whether it's a result of skipping a meal and not being able to decide what I want for dinner or just snacking out of boredom, mindless snacking can often make me feel like poo; especially when it happens late at night when I should be going about my bedtime routine or even sleeping at that time. Don't get me wrong, there's absolutely nothing wrong with having a snack between meals, I often do find myself needing a little extra something between lunch and dinner, or even a few hours after dinner; which is why I like to plan out what my snacks are going to be, or have a couple of satisfying go-to snacks on hand. That way I don't just end up resorting to the chips, store-bought cookies, candies, or handfuls of whatever; as honestly, I feel that it's what I'm mindlessly snacking on that's contributing to how I'm feeling.

Another thing I like to consider is whether I'm actually hungry or truly want that snack, or if I'm just bored or want something to munch on while I'm watching a show. This one can be a bit tricky to differentiate, but generally, I try to focus on something else for at least 20 minutes when I have a craving or any desire for a spontaneous snack; and I'll usually pretty much forget about it, meaning I was probably just bored. If not, I'll allow myself to have that snack as long as it isn't too late at night. I also like to consider what I want to snack on and if I would be willing to do at least a little bit of meal prep to have it. If it's something healthy such as fruit, veggies, or yogurt, I'll usually just allow myself to have it. If it's a more indulgent or unhealthy treat, would I be willing to do a little meal prep to make it into something even better and truly worth it? If so, I'll probably allow myself to have it, but if not, I'm probably just bored and would be better off without it.

I personally also find that keeping a food log, or simply writing down everything I eat in a day, helps to prevent the mindless snacking. It can also help you to pinpoint foods that may cause certain issues for you, or that negatively impact how you feel in any way; it's also not a bad idea to make note of the times you're eating as well. I personally find that snacking too late at night can negatively impact my mood, and my sleep, and generally my late-night snacking comes purely out of boredom; which is why I practice a little bit of intermittent fasting and don't allow myself to consume anything but water after 9:00 PM. 

Not staying hydrated

Photo courtesy of Julia Zolotova on Unsplash

I'm pretty sure that by now we all know the importance of drinking enough water and staying hydrated; so I don't feel as if I really need to elaborate very much on the importance of drinking water today. However, despite the fact that I know the importance of staying hydrated, sometimes I neglect to consume enough H2O. Regardless of the reason for not drinking enough water, whether I'm not liking the way it tastes at the moment, I don't feel like filling my water bottle, or I'm just not thinking about it, I tend to feel a bit crappy when I don't stay hydrated. Not only will my workout likely suffer, if I can even bring myself to do it since I may not even want to at that point because I may be feeling like absolute crap already, but when I start becoming dehydrated I also find myself getting tired more quickly and oversleeping or taking excessively long naps; only to wake up feeling even worse, with an even bigger headache and feeling even crabbier than before.

Notice how many of these things are directly connected?

Anyways, for me, the best way to combat dehydration is to keep my reusable water bottle within my reach at all times and to get up to refill it as soon as I finish it off. I also know I can benefit from taking a mini-break from my desk or the couch to move around anyways, so there's an added bonus. Another thing that helps me is to keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator at all times, especially during the summer, so my water stays nice and cold; it just tastes better when it's cold than when it's warm or just room temperature. You can also throw in some ice if you'd like, or maybe even add in some fresh fruit for flavor! If you need a reminder to drink water, you can also set up some reminders on your phone to hydrate at certain times of the day, until it becomes a habit.

Becoming sedentary or not moving enough

Photo courtesy of Bruno Cervera on Unsplash

There once was a time when I wanted absolutely nothing, and I mean nothing, to do with fitness or working out. Seriously though, I didn't want to do anything that even resembled exercise because of the bad taste that P.E. left in my mouth about staying active. But then one day I found Blogilates on YouTube, and Cassey Ho completely changed my attitude about fitness; with that, along with hearing that physical activity can help ease the symptoms of anxiety and depression, I decided to give working out a try. And let me tell you, I'm seriously glad I decided to bring some more movement into my life! Not only is my mood and my entire outlook on life much better, but I feel a lot better overall; I have way more energy to get through the day without needing a nap, and it's easier to sleep at night and wake up in the morning. I have even found that I'm less likely to get sick during cold and flu season, and even if I do get a cold, I don't feel nearly as bad; and side note, but I also find that staying active also eases menstrual symptoms such as cramps and even mood swings. 

However, even knowing all of that, I still have days where I really don't want to work out for one reason or another, and when I skip my workout for more than a few days, I start feeling like poo mentally and physically. I'll become drowsy, cranky, unmotivated to do anything, uninspired, anxious, and all sorts of unpleasant stuff; so needless to say, I don't like to allow myself to become sedentary for too long, even if I need a little extra motivation sometimes. Sometimes it's as simple as planning a super cute outfit to wear for my workout, or finding a new workout that looks like a lot of fun on YouTube; sometimes I may just need a reminder of why I workout, beyond the vanity reasons. Sometimes I just need to allow myself to slow it down a little bit and just go for a walk or do some stretches instead of doing cardio, or anything too intense, and to just get moving at least a little bit.

Not balancing work, play, and everything else

Photo courtesy of Bethany Cirlincione on Unsplash

When I'm passionate about something, or when I'm having a burst of inspiration or interest in something, I tend to go very hard at it and focus all of my energy into that one thing. Whether it's designing a theme or web page, writing, drawing, playing The Sims, or whatever else, I can easily find myself focusing solely on that one thing, and spending entire days on it with hardly any breaks; which can cause any of the habits I have mentioned above. I'll end up staying up until 3:00 AM working on whatever it is I'm working on or doing whatever it is I'm doing; then I'll have a hard time waking up the next day for obvious reasons. I'll also find myself quickly losing track of time and not bothering to cook and I'll start going without meals, and then start mindlessly snacking on whatever is convenient, and forgetting to hydrate. I won't bother with my morning and bedtime routines, and needless to say, I'll also skip my workout so I can keep working or playing; until I burn myself out on whatever that thing is. 

Okay, so I will be honest here, I can sometimes go a little too hard on one thing without all of my other habits completely suffering, but I still find that not balancing work and play takes a toll on my mood; and on my passion and creativity. I also have to be completely honest and say that I'm still working on this one; but as a start, it helps to schedule out my day, and schedule out when it's time to work and when it's time to play, and when it's time to stop working or playing, and do whatever else I need to do such as workout, cook dinner, or start my bedtime routine. It also may not be a bad idea to schedule in some time to just take a break and not do anything too productive or exciting, and just focus on self-care.

Becoming completely isolated

Photo courtesy of Julian Paul on Unsplash

As an introvert, I absolutely love having time to myself, and too much socialization usually tires me out; however, sometimes I find that I may become a little too isolated, and it starts to take a toll on me emotionally. Oftentimes I isolate as a result of a lack of work/play/life balance because I'm so focused on one thing that I actually neglect to even check social media or my text messages! Other times, I may end up isolating after experiencing heartbreak, or anything significantly upsetting in my life. Whatever my reason for isolating may be, and even when I don't even realize I'm isolating a bit too much, I find that I become quicker to become upset over little things and that the negative thoughts can pour in quickly and spiral out of control. And then let's forget the feelings of loneliness that start to creep in after a while. 

For me personally, this is the hardest habit to break back out of, especially with my social anxiety, which also often worsens as I become more and more isolated; so it's best not to allow myself to slip into complete isolation in the first place. At the very least, for me, it's a matter of keeping up with responding to text messages and DMs from my friends and the people that matter to me in a timely manner, so I won't feel as awkward trying to respond days, or even over a week, later. I also like to try to have the occasional phone or even video call with the friends that I'm comfortable talking with on the phone, or on FaceTime (or whatever video chat app I may use to talk to them). I will say though, although electronic communication is generally sufficient for me, nothing beats spending time with someone you're comfortable with in person. 

As I said before though, for me personally, this is the hardest habit to break back out of as it's not as simple as just going to bed on time, making sure my feet hit the floor at a reasonable hour in the morning, meal planning, getting out of my chair to fill my water bottle or workout, or any of the other above habits that just require a little bit of self-discipline or "just doing it"; as social anxiety is involved with this one. So how do I get out of it when I do fall into complete isolation for one reason or another? I feel like this is a whole other topic in itself, especially for those with social anxiety. But for starters, I usually start with sending my friends and people I enjoy talking to a quick text or DM, and by coming out of my room and spending a little extra time with the people in my household, even if it's just to watch a couple of shows together, and engage in a little bit of small talk in front of the TV.

Getting too wrapped up in the negativity in the world

Photo courtesy of Juan Pablo Arenas on Pexels

It goes without saying that negativity can just flat out ruin your mood; and these days, it's not hard to find it, without even looking for it. Seriously, all you need to do is log into Twitter and there's a pretty high chance that there will be something sad, angering, or otherwise negative trending. Don't use Twitter or even go on social media much? You'll probably still hear something depressing or infuriating by just turning on the local news, or you may overhear something negative being discussed somewhere. It's nearly impossible to not hear something negative unless you go completely off the grid, and never go on the internet or turn on the TV, and avoid all contact with the outside world. Okay, maybe I'm being a little dramatic? But for real, negativity is everywhere; and I'll be 100% honest, I do also believe it's important to be informed and that it's actually healthy to be outraged when something isn't right, and to demand change. But the thing is, it's easy to become so emotionally invested into something that it can become damaging to your mental well-being. 

One important thing I've learned over the years is that you don't have to read into every negative story to acknowledge it and that you don't need to know every detail of what happened; and that it's a good idea to set limits on how long you spend watching the news, reading news articles, or reading through the tweets on any negative story or event. I've also found that sometimes it's better not to click on some articles or read through certain hashtags at all; especially if you're already not in the best mood, or if you're just starting your day or trying to get ready for bed. It also helps to avoid following people or organizations that constantly post content that causes you emotional distress, to minimize the negativity on your newsfeed; or to just mute these people or organizations if you still want to follow them. Also, don't forget to seek out positive, lighthearted stories and content as well! I also discussed this a little bit in my post on the best and worst ways that social media has impacted my life.

For real though, there's no need to spend your entire day reading, watching, or discussing something that makes you upset; or to allow it to affect your entire day or week, or your emotional well-being in general. Know that it's okay to take a step back from time to time too. 

It's pretty crazy how the habits you choose can have a direct impact on how you're feeling, both mentally and physically, whether for better or for worse. It's also pretty crazy how slipping into one bad habit can easily cause a domino effect and bring back some other bad habits if you allow it to go unchecked for too long; especially as many of them may be related to each other, or are a direct cause or effect of another. And one thing I know first-hand is that when you're not feeling great, it's easy to throw just about any habit related to self-care out the window; I also know that sometimes picking the good habits back up can be difficult sometimes, which is why it's best to focus on one at a time. Typically for me when I focus on something as simple as going to bed on time, or even just drinking water, everything else starts to fall back into place; maybe not right away, but as I start feeling even just a little better, self-care does become easier. 

What are some of your worst habits; do you often find that they're related to each other in one way or another? What do you do to prevent yourself from falling back into these bad habits, and how do you pull yourself out of them if you do find yourself falling back into them; or are you still trying to figure all that out?
Thank you for reading, and I hope the rest of your day is wonderful!
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