20 Winter Habits that Make You Miserable from 20 Winter Habits that Make You Miserable
20 Winter Habits that Make You Miserable
20 Winter Habits that Make You Miserable
Falling into bad habits, which you may or may not know are bad for your physical and mental health, is a problem many people have. You’ve probably heard the cliché that nothing worth having is easy. It applies to your overall well-being as well. Patterns – even those that make you sad or uncomfortable – are hard to break.
You’re not working out
Staying home and being lazy is the most tempting activity in the winter. However, you’re putting your health at risk. You are literally sitting yourself to death. Sitting more than 11 hours a day increases risk of premature death by 40 percent. Exercise, helps release endorphins, also known as the feel-good chemicals in the brain. They boost your mood and help relieve stress. Studies suggest that exercise improves brain function almost immediately and the positive effects can make a big difference in the long-run.
You eat comfort foods
French fries, for example, make you tired and sluggish, fat, and put you at risk for heart disease and diabetes, according to studies. A small serving of fries has about 300 calories, mostly coming from fat. The fact that they are usually dipped in corn oil, the worst kind, makes matters even worse. The fat in junk food is not converted into energy as easily or as well as carbs. The more high-fat foods you eat, the more tired you feel, studies have shown. Fast food also causes bloating and can lead to muscle cramps.
You’re staying home for days
If you want to stay in bed all day, you may be suffering from depression, according to Dr. Jeffrey R. Steinbauer, CMIO Baylor College of Medicine and Professor of Family Community Medicine. But if you don’t go outside, you are missing your vitamin D boost from sunshine. About 20 minutes of sunshine per day is recommended, he adds. Some symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include fatigue, depression, sweating, and chronic pain.
You don’t put sunscreen on
The most common mistake people make in the winter, according to Dr. Elizabeth Hale, a board-certified dermatologist, is thinking that they don’t need sunscreen. It is not true that you only need to apply it only at the beach. Research has shown that most skin damage is the result of incidental sun exposure. “Ninety percent of premature skin aging is caused by overexposure,” she adds. “Put sunscreen on no matter what.” The UV rays penetrate the clouds and windows so they are going to get you if you’re not ready.
You’re sleeping too much
Studies have suggested that sleeping too much – usually more than eight hours a day – can have a negative effect and actually shorten your life. The problem is that when you’re sleeping, you’re not moving. The research, which included more than a million participants over the age of 30, showed a link between people who slept for 8+ hours or fewer than four and a significantly higher death rate than those who managed six or seven hours a night. Too much or too little ZZZ’s can cause cognitive aging, another study suggests.
You’re drinking too much
A report from 2014 found 54 direct and indirect ways – from car crashes to depression, and cirrhosis – in which alcohol can be lead to death. Alcohol can affect hormone levels, affecting the way calories are metabolized, causing your body to store the extra calories. The empty calories can really add up when you are having a few drinks daily. Booze is not stored the same way fat or carbs are. The body has to work harder, making it feel tired faster and for longer.
You’re not eating fruits and vegetables
Eating healthier has a lot to do with consuming more fruits and vegetables. They add essential nutrients to diets, reduce the risk for heart disease, stroke, cancer, and help manage healthy body weight. You may be surprised to find out that sneakily adding fruits and vegetables into whatever you are baking is a good and consume the superfoods without even noticing.
You’re in the shower or too long
Taking a warm bath before bed may help you sleep better, but don’t stay under the hot shower for more than a few minutes. It’s tempting because the mornings are usually chilly, but the hot water hurts your skin by drying it out and damaging it. The problem is that it washes away skin’s protective and natural oils, leaving it dry, tight, and itchy.
You forget to moisturize
The best time to apply a moisturizer is right after shower or bath, Dr. Hale says, to “seal in the moist.” You don’t want to skip that step because when the skin gets dry – and it will – it itches and it cracks. As a result you start scratching. You may then break the skin barrier making yourself prone to infection. Look for a moisturizer than contains ceramides – natural lipids that retain on the surface of the skin that hold in moisture.
You keep your home too warm
High temperatures lower humidity. Therefore, it’s important to wear moisturizer indoors to prevent your skin from becoming too dry, ultimately resulting in itchy, flaky, wrinkling skin. People sleep better when the temperature is on the cooler side. Temperature levels affect melatonin level. The optimal room temperature for sleep is around 65 degrees, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
You forget to drink water
Lack of water slows everything in the body down, including cell function, leaving you feeling sleepy and tired. Blood volume drops, which makes the heart work harder. Adequate hydration is dependent on many different factors, such as your size, activity levels, and sweat rate. The best indicator of your hydration is your urine. Someone who is well-hydrated will produce clear or light-colored urine. Dark-colored urine is a sign of dehydration.
You watch too much TV
A 2011 study has found that people who spent at least four hours in front of a screen every day had a 48 percent greater risk of dying from any cause than people who spent less than two hours. Put your phone away when you go to bed. Your body needs darkness to produce melatonin, which puts you to sleep. Televisions emit blue light, which affects the levels of the sleep-inducing melatonin more than any other wavelength.
You leave your sunglasses at home
Why wouldn’t you want to wear sunglasses all the time? They can be a beautiful accessory, which also happens to protect your vision. UV rays from the sun are as harmful in the winter as they are in the summer. Too much exposure can lead to age-related macular degeneration and cataracts, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Not to mention that squinting is very annoying.
You don’t wear gloves
When temperatures drop, your fingers are the first to feel the change, which can lead to pain if you don’t have the right kind of protection. To minimize the risk of developing eczema, don’t expose your hands to extreme changes in temperature and wear gloves. The dry air this time of the year makes it hard for the skin to stay moisturized.
You’re skipping meals
This is around the time people go on diets as part of their New Year’s resolutions. Skipping meals is a common mistake. Going through a long period of time without consuming food can lead to a series of health problems – blood sugar levels dive, stress hormones are released, you get hungrier, you increase your chance of developing diabetes, and your skin and hair suffer. Don’t even think about not eating because you’re trying to shed a few pounds because you lose water weight and muscle, not fat.
You forget to go for checkups
The gloomy weather is often being blamed for people feeling down and tired. Besides, who wants to leave the house so they can sit in a waiting room for hours before they see a doctor? You may end up paying a high price. Trivial symptoms may be trying to tell you that something is wrong. No one knows your body better than you, but you may not always read it right.
You eat too much sugar
The body can handle, as in metabolize, at least six teaspoons of added sugar per day. Most people consume over three times what they should be. On average, people in the U.S. eat about 20 teaspoons of sugar a day, data show. Some of the consequences of overindulging on sweets are overloaded liver, high cholesterol, addiction, fatigue, bad teeth, high blood pressure, and dry skin.
You set unrealistic goals
Most people who set New Year’s resolutions have already reverted back to old bad habits. The main reason for the lack of progress is setting unrealistic and vague goals. Regardless of what you want to achieve, giving up is very discouraging, making you feel upset and miserable. Goals are vital because they keep you moving forward. They should be measurable and very precise, and you should start small with one objective first.
You keep your house messy
This is one reason you’re tired that has nothing to do with sleep. Remove as many little messes from your life as possible. By cleaning your life up, you will clear your cluttered mind, according to research. These will be things such as clearing out your closets of all the clothes you haven't worn for two years, shredding all the statements and paperwork you don't need anymore, and removing the clutter from your kitchen and bathroom cabinets.
You avoid your friends
Being social and having friends is one key factor in living a long and happy life. Cold temperatures and bad weather discourage people from going out and keeping in touch with friends in person. No app or electronic device can replace human interaction. The brain is designed for social, collaborative interactions, and when you don’t give it what it needs, you’re putting yourself at risk for depression or even dementia, according to research.