10 toxic habits you should quit right now

We all have things that we do that we know aren’t good for us… but we keep on doing them all the same. Here are the 10 toxic habits you should quit right now…

Mindless scrolling on your phone

If we’re talking about the most important toxic habits you should quit this one is up there. We all do this, right? However, I honestly I feel like I lost about 10 years of my life to just faffing on my phone. Lying on the couch, being a bit bored, and just mindlessly scrolling on my phone for hours. I had a bunch of crappy websites bookmarked on my phone, as well as the usual Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and I would just go on them and just scroll. Looking back, it all feels like such a big fat waste of time.

I don’t do it half so much anymore. Ever since I started my blog I feel like I’ve got something that I’m really passionate about. It sounds cheesy but it actually gives me a sense of purpose. Instead of scrolling through garbage the internet I can focus my energy on something that actually matters to me.

Toxic people

I think everyone gets to a point where you realise that there’s no point having toxic people in your life – whether that’s a supposed friend, a colleague, or just those people you somehow feel obligated to hang out with… even though you always come away from every interaction with them feeling rubbish about yourself. Just don’t do it! It also doesn’t have to be people that you know in real life, it can be on social media too. It sounds silly, but if certain people’s Instagram feeds leave you feeling negative about yourself then just do the right thing and unfollow them. I’ve done that with countless celebrities and I can’t tell you how good it is not to get that jolt of inadequacy every time you go for a quick scroll.

toxic habits you should quit

Bad money habits

It’s easy to be bad with money because, let’s face it, there are a whole lot of fun things to spend money on, such as clothes, meals out, holidays, more clothes, and so one. The one rule that I’ve always stuck to is to never buy stuff that I can’t afford. I always pay for everything up front and I don’t put anything on credit, whether that’s holidays, furniture, clothes, or whatever. If I want something I put money away for it each month and THEN I buy it. Of course I have had to use my credit card on occasion, but I very much have it marked as for emergency use only. It’s not always easy, but it pays to be sensible.

Eating bad food

Don’t get me wrong: I’m all about eating ALL the junk food snacks at the weekend. I also order a Chinese takeaway on a Friday night far too regularly. What I am saying is that good, nutritious food makes you feel good. When you’re nourished and energised you can power through your day without feeling like you want to fall asleep at your (virtual) desk or gnaw your own arm off. I make sure that I eat three balanced meals a day with a mix of protein, carbs, fats, and fruit and veg each day – you’re not going to see me cutting out food groups any time soon. It’s all about the carbs for me.

Caring what people think

I actually started an incarnation of this blog about two years ago and one of the first posts I wrote was titled, ‘If I wasn’t afraid.’ In it I wrote down all the things I would do if I wasn’t afraid, and starting a blog was one of them. I sounds crazy now, because now that I’ve started blogging I absolutely love it. In retrospect, I wish I hadn’t spent so long caring what people think because in reality, no one really cares all that much.

I still don’t link my blog to any of my personal social media accounts, but the vague thought that someone I know might see my blog and scoff just doesn’t hold them same weight anyone. In the very wise words of Dr Seuss: those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. In terms of toxic habits you should quit, this one is one of the toughest to break. However, if you can do it’s also one of the most liberating.

toxic habits you should quit

Not getting enough sleep

Sorry to sound like your mum right now, but if you’re talking about toxic habits you should quit we can’t NOT talk about sleep. Zzzz. 40 winks. Whatever you want to call it, getting a good night’s sleep is super important for your health and overall wellbeing. Whenever I don’t sleep well I’m wiped out the next day; I can’t concentrate, I’m grumpy, and I can’t give anything I’m working on the time and attention it deserves.

I’d never have the motivation or the drive to do anything if I felt like that all the time. While there always seems to be someone who claims to be able to function on 6 hours sleep every night I’m a fan of getting a solid eight hours sleep every night. And I might sound like a granny but I always go to bed before 11pm each night – and I feel great for it.

Not using your spare time effectively

I think I spent way too long partying in my twenties. I would go out on a Saturday night, usually in Edinburgh, drink with my friends and then get the last train home. I’d then spend all of Sunday in my pyjamas, feeling hungover and usually a bit shit about myself – hangovers tend to do that, right? The worst part was that wouldn’t actually do anything apart from blob on the sofa all day. Don’t get me wrong, that’s absolutely fine every once in a while, but I feel like I wasted A LOT of time. My Sundays look a lot different now; I still leave plenty of time for lounging around but I also catch up on freelance work, I plug away on my blog, and I prepare for the week ahead using my favourite Sunday routine.

Not starting a sidehustle earlier

I worked a regular 9-5 all throughout my twenties I only got my first freelance job through a fluke. Basically, I went for a job, the salary turned out not to be quite right for me, but they asked if I’d like to do some freelance work for them. I practically bit their hand off. If that hadn’t happened, I probably wouldn’t be freelancing now. If I could have my time again I would seize more opportunities to develop my freelance portfolio as I love the idea of creating diverse income streams for myself. I’m currently furloughed so it’s great to still have my freelance income coming in even more so than ever.

toxic habits you should quit

Staying in a job you hate

Lots of us are going to find ourselves in jobs that we don’t like throughout our lifetime, but my advice is this: if your job is making your unhappy then do everything you can to leave. You’re there eight hours a day and that’s just way too much time to be miserable. I worked at a company for 10 years before I quit and in a lot of ways I wish I’d left a lot earlier. It wasn’t all bad, and in fact there were lots of things I loved about it at first, but I just fell out of love with it over time. I was also always so drained by the time I got home that it meant I didn’t have any energy to work on other creative pursuits. I regret that imbalance. If something doesn’t bring you joy, take Marie Kondo’s advice and get rid.

Comparing yourself to others

This is such a tough habit to break and there are always moments when I’m feeling a bit low that I’ll catch myself comparing where I am in life to other people. What I’ve learned, however, is that there’s always going to be someone doing better than you. And even if it looks like someone is breezing through life without breaking a sweat that might not actually be the case – it might just be the filtered version that they’re choosing to share. Your competition shouldn’t be with them anyway – it should be with yourself. Are you fulfilling your potential? Are you doing everything you can to get to where you want to be? If you’re not – what else can you do? Turn the focus back on you and what YOU want.

If you liked this post then you might like some of my other blog posts:

What are the toxic habits you should quit?

13 responses to “10 toxic habits you should quit right now”

  1. Getting yourself surrounded by toxic people is the worst way of having company. I often find myself eating a lot of junk food when I’m stressed. I guess I should start eating healthy now. Comparison can only lead us to think that we are inferior than the other person, it’s toxic and and truly make us unhappy. Great post. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you for reading. I do think toxic people is one of the big ones. I read on another blog that apparently you’re the average of the people you spend time with, which puts in perspective how significant toxic people can be!

  2. YAS I’m living for this post. Sometimes it’s so easy to justify our actions that we don’t even realize what we’re doing is extremely toxic to ourselves and sometimes others.
    Loving this post girl, I appreciate the reminder to be more mindful of my actions (even if it is just wasting a few moments mindlessly scrolling!!)
    xo Bri

    1. Thank so you much for such a lovely comment. It’s so difficult isn’t it? I’ve definitely realised, with toxic people and my old job for example, that’s it’s only when you take yourself out the situation that you get a bit of perspective on it so I totally agree that sometimes you don’t even notice how damaging some things are.

  3. Such a great read! And being in quarantine has made to do a lot of self reflection and getting rid of the toxicity in my life, these tips are extremely useful 🙌🏾

    1. Thanks so much! I agree that lockdown has been a good time to reflect and take stock, it’s definitely made me realise that the simple things like getting a good night’s sleep are so important!

  4. I used to live with toxic people and it made me a wreck of a human. The energy they were giving me made me depressed and sad all the time. That’s why I am so happy that I have my own apartment now. I am so much happier without them in my life! Thanks for sharing x

    1. I agree. I used to flat share too and even though the people I lived with were perfectly nice I think it just makes such a difference having your own space to relax and unwind. Glad to hear you have your own apartment and you’re away from those people now!

  5. A couple quick typos (if you edit after the fact): first section – “waste of time” not “waste time”. Section about money habits – “pays to be sensible” not “pays to sensible”. Ironic because leaving this comment is itself a waste of my time, and yet here we are lol. Great article by the way! A lot are definitely easier said than done but great advice and a good starting point for establishing better habits.

    1. Thanks gurl, it’s hard to catch all those typos!

  6. I’m so glad I read this. I’ve come a long way. My food choices have evolved to healthy with so little fast food. I’ve lost 35lbs and continuing. I have eliminated toxic and abusive people from my life. And dissolving the incarnation of an abusiveness right now. Women, guard your hearts from abusive men. Currently removing another infection of abusive. I have grown past comparing myself with anyone. I love myself and God accepts me where I am. Don’t let anyone force the shaming idea that you are less than if you don’t have a side huddle to make money. It’s a lie. And money? I have reformated my entire world around sound use of money as God guides. My five score has been at or near 800 for several years.

    1. Thanks so much, and congratulations! It sounds like you’ve done incredibly well. It’s so hard to get away from toxic people but it’s only when you do that you realise how much they drain you.

  7. This could be written about me! Very relatable 😀

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