Everybody has moments, days, and perhaps even weeks, when stress gets the best of us. While responsibility and being overworked can be hard to avoid, these five stress-induced bad habits aren't. You can't always control everything going on around you, but you certainly can control how you choose to respond to it all, and that includes kicking these horrible habits to the gutter.
Obviously nobody intentionally sabotages themselves when the going gets tough, but there are a lot of little things we may be doing that actually work against our favor. From the foods you eat to the amount of rest you get, everything has the potential to affect your anxiety level, which can be a sensitive area during stressful periods of your life. Learning to cut back on a couple stress-induced (and stress-inducing) bad habits during these times can be a huge help.
Sure, you might have to push past your desire to brew up a third pot of coffee for the day, but you will get through it. You will also feel way more balanced and at peace while you deal with your stressful situation, and find a way to move past it. It only takes a little bit of sacrifice for a whole lot of payoff.
When you have a lot of work to get done, what's your first thought? Coffee, duh. However, over-caffeinating can actually work against you, wreaking havoc on your body. There's nothing worse than feeling over stimulated and anxious when you have a million things to do. Keep it down to one or two cups of joe if you know stress is seeping into your life.
2. Eating Food That Is Bad For You, Or Not Eating At All
When you don't eat, your body won't have much physical energy, and that is never a good thing when you have a full agenda. On the opposite side of things, eating a ton of junk food (because let's be honest, when you're stressed out you want pizza, not carrots) is not going to help your cause. While it might feel comforting in the moment, eating foods that are high in sugar and light on nutrients is only going to make you feel exhausted and sluggish later.
3. Losing Sleep
Getting more sleep when you're stressed is obviously easier said than done, but I cannot stress how overwhelmingly important it is when the going gets tough. Bodies don't function well when they don't get catch enough Zs, both mentally and physically. Find a way to take your mind off of things, meditate, and stay away from working late at night, and worse, all-nighters. You'll be more productive in the morning, I promise.
Whether you're a habitual smoker or if you're an occasional smoker, the urge for some nicotine often intensifies when you're feeling stressed. However, while a quick cigarette may relieve the weight of the world from your shoulders for the few minutes it takes you to burn through it, studies actually show that smoking can up your anxiety level in the long run.
Stress has the ability to turn you into a tired, uncommunicative person when you're drinking. That's right, you might want to leave the wine bottle corked until you feel ready to actually relax. Skip happy hour and save the drinks for the weekend, when you can truly let your hair down.