10 Things... You Need to Stop Doing This Year
I'm not one for new year's resolutions or Lent, but I am always looking for ways to improve my life by cutting bad habits out. There are the obvious ones we could all preach about; do more exercise, eat healthily... etc. And they're tips I fully endorse. But I had a little think about some habits I think most millennials have. So many are great- the williness to travel, the wokeness, the wittiness on Twitter... Basically anything beginning with a W. But there are also a few that I think are quite problematic for your mental health, the environment and your approach towards others.
Here are the ten things I really think you need to cut out...
1.Stop buying plastic water bottles, bags and using disposable coffee cups.
Bring your own! Right now there's talk of a proposed levy on disposable coffee cups in Ireland in a bid to reduce the astounding 2 million disposable cups that are being sent to Ireland every single day (bear in mind that the population of Ireland is only 4.8 mullion. This is ridiculous.) Regardless of whether the so-called "latte levy" comes to pass or not, using your own reusable cup is so important if we're ever going to reverse some of disastrous effects of climate change.
2.Stop reading the comment sections.
This is one I have to remind myself of daily. It seems like nine out of ten times, people only go to the bother of writing a comment if they've something nasty to say. It's so tempting to respond in order to fact-check or argue your point... but this often falls on deaf ears. Personally, I try to avoid this temptation by not reading the comments and just going on with my day- faith in humanity usually more intact.
3.Stop hanging out with people you don’t like.
I guess I have the luxury of living in the most populated city in the country, so the pickings aren't too slim in terms of finding other like-minded people. But honestly, this was something I started doing in my teens and it improved my life exponentially. Life is too short to spend time with people you don't like (and who don't like you) for no reason. Bid them farewell and move on to people who lift you up.
4.Stop saying you don’t have time (for positive changes!).
You have the same amount of time number of hours in the day as Beyoncé. Use them as wisely as she does.
5.Stop relying on other people for your own happiness.
People can be unreliable. Even the ones who serve you well won't always be around you, for whatever reason. I think it's really important to learn how to get through the day by yourself; practically, financially and emotionally.
"All the women who independent, throw your hands up at me."
6.Stop buying things mindlessly.
Embrace your inner Marie Kondo and ask yourself whether or not something really sparks joy before you buy it. Or failing that, if said thing is a mop, ask yourself if you really need it. We bring so much stuff into our homes without ever asking important questions like if we need it, if it will last the test of time, if it's ethically made or if it will likely end up in landfill before the year is out. Conscious consumerism, yo!
7.Stop thinking people who you don’t know have the perfect life, body or house.
You don't know how what goes on when the camera isn't on, so don't assume that your favourite social media stars (or real-life friends) have it better than you. Not only is this a wise way to avoid jealousy, it's also a helpful reminder that we're all human and you shouldn't begrudge them when something good does happen for them. I'm eternally grateful to my experience working as a stylist on food and interior photo shoots. It allowed me to realise that the behind the scenes and the Insta-perfect version are usually radically different. It's a theory I took with me to real life also.
8.Stop watching things that don’t serve you.
A bit of thrash TV is needed- occasionally. But giving hours of your day to mindlessly watching shows that you don't learn or benefit from in any way is a total waste of time. YouTube has some really great videos that are short and digestible, but will teach you something about travel, cookery, society, business- you name it. For my recommendations, check out my list of top ten YouTube channels.
9.Stop thinking you need to show off online.
It really doesn't do anyone any favours to pretend like things are hunky-dory, and that you look immaculate 24/7. Everyone has their shit- and usually the best way of making it better for yourself and your social media followers is to be open about it and discuss helpful ways of tackling the problem. I'm not suggesting you air all of your dirty laundry, but maybe just keep it a little bit more real.
10.Stop throwing everything out.
There's really no such thing as throwing something away. It doesn't just go "away"- it goes somewhere. So before you send something to landfill, consider how it could be reused. Yogurt containers could be used as drawer dividers, jars could be used as vases, and so on.