For many of us, 2018 was a doozy, but we here at Brit + Co are ready to hit refresh in 2019! Follow our Hit Refresh series through January and February for new ideas, hacks, and skills that will help you achieve (and maintain!) those New Year’s resolutions.
When we think about New Year’s resolutions, we often think about all of the things we want to do: Start working out. Take a photography class. Ask for that raise. Save more money. And those are all great goals to have in mind for a new year. But paring back on certain habits and behaviors can often be just as beneficial as creating new ones. With that in mind, we reached out to lifestyle experts to get their take on the things you should be doing less of in the new year. Keep scrolling for all of their suggestions.
1. Binge Watching: We all love ourselves a little Netflix therapy, but maybe it’s time to seriously reduce the hours you’re spending — and Love Wellness founder Lo Bosworth is right there with you. “I love nothing more than catching up on my favorite series, but try only watching one or two episodes a night instead of the entire season,” she tells us. “Challenge yourself to not even turn on the TV for an entire day or night. Instead, read a book, try cooking a new recipe, or go for a long walk! Keep that beautiful brain stimulated by doing other activities.”
2. Overthinking: Using your brain is clearly an important part of making any decision, but we’ve all found ourselves in a situation of driving ourselves just a little crazy with circular, counterproductive thinking. According to transformation and mindset coach Visa Shanmugam, it’s all about balancing other instincts. “All too often, we watch ideas and opportunities slip away from us because we think, think, and think some more,” she says. “Our brain, which is our thinking organ, is designed to keep us safe and in survival mode — not to thrive. This new year, start practicing how your heart and body feels about something, rather than what your brain thinks about something.”
3. Saying “Yes”: We’re not saying you start to intentionally miss out on everything you’re invited to, but we are suggesting that you start to get a little more discerning about the invitations you actually accept. “Don’t let the fear of missing out dictate your social events and work networking functions,” therapist Katie Leikam says. “If you need to rest, give your mind, body, and emotional energy time to rest and recuperate. This will help you succeed more in the long run.”
4. Complaining: “Sometimes, you have a right to complain — but many times, you don’t,” psychiatrist and founder of Saranga Comprehensive Psychiatry Reshmi Saranga says. “If you’re one of those people who seems to complain about everything under the sun, cut it out. Try and incorporate more gratitude into your life.” It’s one thing to vent to your BFF when you’re having a crummy day, but be mindful if you have a pattern of regular complaining and try to scale back ASAP.
5. Staying Inside: In the new year, challenge yourself to get outside. Accesa Labs co-founder Chirag Shah notes the importance of outdoor time for the intake of vitamin D, which is important for boosting your health. A quick walk every day is all it takes, so trade some of your indoor hangs for a little time in the sunlight.
6. Scrolling on Social Media: We’re hardly the first people to suggest that you spend more time away from social media and your phone, but maybe with the new year ahead, you’ll actually decide to put some limits in place. Licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist Meg Josephson tells us that studies show that limiting our social media use to just 10 minutes per day per platform can make us feel less lonely and depressed. (If 10 minutes a day feels intimidating, take baby steps to get there.)
7. Being Hard on Yourself: “It’s so easy to beat yourself up when it feels like everyone on your Instagram feed is running a half marathon every weekend and your preferred marathon is a Netflix marathon,” Shine co-founders Marah Lidey and Naomi Hirabayashi say. “In 2019, we should stop being so hard on ourselves and comparing ourselves to others.” (And if social media is spurring all of that self-judgment, see above!)
8. Stressing About Outside Opinions: It can be helpful to reach out for input from trusted friends and family members when you have a big decision to make, but you might find yourself in trouble when you find yourself so bound to those opinions that you don’t do what’s best for you. Worse still? Allowing your broader circles on social media to influence you. Try to let that go in 2019! “Too many people worry about what Mom or Dad or their best friend will think about their choices, and they completely forget to ask themselves what it is they want for themselves,” therapist and life coach Tess Brigham says. “There’s nothing wrong with getting help and advice, but it’s important to remember that it’s just advice, which is simply someone else’s opinion.”
9. Adding Problems to Your Plate: Some call it “unnecessary drama.” Others think of it as “making mountains out of molehills.” Regardless of how you describe it, our tendency to create problems where they don’t always actually exist can add a lot of unnecessary stress to our lives. “In the new year, stop making things problems that aren’t actually problems!” licensed professional counselor Kailee Place advises. “Sometimes, life transitions feel a lot like a problem because maybe the transition is uncomfortable, as changes often feel. Our values and interests shift as our lives move forward, and that’s a wonderful process. Embrace this versus trying to analyze and fix it.”
10. Putting Yourself Last: We’re all for loving on others and being selfless, but let this new year be the moment that you consider making yourself a higher priority. “We can only give to others what we, in turn, give to ourselves,” therapist and life coach Emily Cosgrove says. “Commit to showing up for yourself. By investing in yourself, you will reduce stress and prevent burnout.” Taking time for self-care — whatever that looks like for you — is a great place to start.
11. Hoarding: Just because you’re not fully barricaded into your house with boxes of things doesn’t mean you’re not guilty of hoarding. Pulling back on the habits that keep you hanging on to items long after you’re actually using them will help keep you from getting overwhelmed. Stop buying unnecessary items and start organizing your closet now! Jordan Barnes, senior director of brand and PR for Mercari, suggest challenging yourself to listing an item on an online marketplace platform (like Mercari) on a daily or weekly basis in the new year.
What do you want to do less of in 2019? Tweet us @BritandCo.
(Photo via Getty)