Mental Health

7 Habits That Are Making You Sick

There are certain habits that might be causing you more harm than you realise. Here are 7 habits that can cause a detrimental impact on your life and well-being.

By URLife Team
15 Oct 2023

Some people may consider themselves healthy due to well-maintained vitals and a consistent exercise regimen. However, many of us don’t realise that our habits can put us at risk for sickness. Our daily habits and routines play a significant role in our overall health and well-being. Some of these habits are often overlooked and can have a detrimental impact on our health, if not considered.

 A 2020 study by the Department of Social Health and Organisational Psychology suggests that regularly practising new habits in a familiar context can make them second nature, reducing the need for constant conscious effort. For instance, if you aim to consume more vegetables, you can begin by adding at least one serving of vegetables to your daily lunch. By linking this action to your lunchtime routine, it becomes a natural part of your day, and you can gradually expand on it. 

So, start small by practising these small habits and gradually they will be imbibed in your natural you.


Need all your wellness solutions in one place? A whole new world awaits just a click away.


Use of Plastic Containers 

Plastic containers are a common convenience in our modern lives, but they may be posing a silent threat to your health. Many plastic containers, especially those of lower quality, can leach harmful chemicals into your food, particularly when heated. One such chemical is bisphenol A (BPA), which has been linked to various health issues, including hormonal disruptions, obesity, and certain types of cancer.

What to Do

  • Opt for glass or stainless steel containers for storing and reheating food.
  • Check for BPA-free labels when purchasing plastic containers.
  • Avoid microwaving food in plastic containers, especially if they are old or cracked.


Late Night Scrolling 

According to a 2022 report presented by National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (USA), sleep deficiency can lead to physical and mental health problems, injuries, loss of productivity, and even a greater likelihood of death. 

Endless scrolling through social media or news apps late at night, commonly known as "doom scrolling," can wreak havoc on your sleep and overall health. The blue light emitted by screens interferes with your body's natural sleep-wake cycle, making it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Chronic sleep deprivation is associated with a range of health issues, including increased stress, weakened immune function, and a higher risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes.

What to Do

  • Set a digital curfew by turning off screens at least an hour before bedtime.
  • Create a calming bedtime routine to signal to your body that it's time to wind down.
  • Consider using "night mode" settings on your devices to reduce the impact of blue light.


Related story: Is Your Screen Time Making You Feel Sick


Ignoring Thirst

While it's essential to stay hydrated throughout the day, denying yourself water for prolonged periods can have adverse effects on your health. Dehydration can lead to headaches, fatigue, and even more severe health issues such as kidney stones, urinary tract infections, and digestive problems.


What to Do

  • Carry a reusable water bottle with you throughout the day to remind yourself to drink.
  • Set reminders or establish specific times for drinking water.
  • Pay attention to your body's signals of thirst and respond promptly.


Related story: How Much Do you Really Need To Drink?


Highly Processed Foods for Breakfast

The way you start your day can set the tone for your overall health. Unfortunately, many people begin with highly processed breakfast options like sugary cereals, pastries, and instant meals. These foods are often packed with added sugars, unhealthy fats, and artificial additives. Over time, a diet high in processed foods can contribute to obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

What to Do

  • Choose whole, unprocessed foods for breakfast.
  • Opt for whole grains, fresh fruits, and lean proteins.
  • Avoid sugary cereals and pastries.


Related story: The Viral Breakfast You Need to Try


Skipping Breakfast 

According to a 2013 study by the American Heart Association, skipping breakfast can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Many of us rush through our mornings, often neglecting breakfast. However, this habit can be detrimental to your health. Breakfast kickstarts your metabolism and provides essential nutrients and energy to fuel your day. Skipping it can lead to blood sugar imbalances, overeating later, and sluggishness. Make time for a nutritious morning meal to boost your vitality.

What to Do

  • Prepare breakfast the night before for a quick morning meal.
  • Keep healthy breakfast options readily available in your kitchen.
  • Establish a regular breakfast schedule to make it a consistent habit.
  • Create a balanced breakfast with protein, fibre, and healthy fats.
  • Start with a small meal or snack if you're not used to eating breakfast.
  • Begin your day with a glass of water to stay hydrated and reduce the urge to skip breakfast.


Related story: 5 Breakfast habits To Ditch Now


Ignoring Hand Hygiene 

Hand hygiene is one of the simplest and most effective ways to prevent the spread of infections. Failing to wash your hands properly, especially before eating or after using the restroom, can expose you to harmful bacteria and viruses. This can lead to illnesses ranging from common colds to more severe infections. Make handwashing a non-negotiable habit.

What to Do

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Prioritise hand washing before meals and after using the restroom.
  • Use hand sanitizer when soap and water are unavailable.


Consuming Meals Late at Night

According to a 2020 study mentioned in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, eating late at night leads to weight gain.

Late-night eating can disrupt your body's natural sleep-wake cycle, circadian rhythm and digestion process. It can lead to weight gain, indigestion, and an increased risk of metabolic disorders. Consuming heavy or spicy foods late at night may also cause uncomfortable acid reflux. Aim to finish your last meal a few hours before bedtime to promote better sleep and overall health.

What to Do

  • Ensure your dinner is balanced with protein, healthy fats, and fibre to keep you feeling full.
  • Establish a time in the evening after which you won't eat. Stick to this schedule to regulate your eating patterns.
  • Drink a glass of water if you feel hungry late at night, as thirst can be mistaken for hunger.
  • If you must eat late, choose healthy snacks like yoghurt, a piece of fruit, or a handful of nuts.


Need all your wellness solutions in one place? A whole new world awaits just a click away.

Small changes in our daily habits can have a significant impact on our health. Remember that even seemingly insignificant habits can accumulate and influence your well-being over time, so choose wisely and prioritise your health. 


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