After graduating from university last summer, I realised that I had picked up my fair share of bad habits.

Being an avid member of Gen Z, I basically spent the majority of my teenage years being raised by Blair and Serena from Gossip Girl, Elena Gilbert from The Vampire Diaries and Snapchat (or later Instagram). My phone and the streaming service I regularly used became integral parts of my life and the online culture of the late 2010’s served as my entire personality for years to come.

Fast forward to college and I completely sacrificed my healthier eating habits to the overconsumption of instant noodles, takeout and candy. Though my skin and weight did not suffer as they should have, I could definitely feel my body was not benefiting from the sugar-laden carbs that I was stuffing my face with. My other bad habits didn’t feel that extreme and I did not attempt to regulate my sleep or caffeine intake either—after all, is that not how every university student functioned? However, upon graduating and entering the working world, I realised that I would need to make some serious changes if I wanted to see my health and productivity increase. While this process wasn’t easy, today I practise a much better lifestyle. I sleep earlier, eat a good portion of fruit and vegetables and limit my use of technology. So what exactly does one do when they want to improve their life? Let’s go through the steps.

Limiting the use of TV and mobile devices

Perhaps, due to my age, I actually found this to be the hardest. When I stopped using my phone so often, I was able to become more present in my daily life. I stopped fixating on designing and living up to the online persona that I had created. When I limited the time I spent binge watching various TV series, that large chunk of my life opened up and I was able to find time to involve myself in creative activities such as painting.

Improving my sleep schedule (without coffee)

Though my mom had been telling me for years that my body would one day no longer be able to function on such limited hours of sleep, I didn’t believe it till I got my first full time job. It was then when I realised the value of a good night's sleep and a proper routine. I was also working hard to cut caffeine from my diet as while it would wake me up, the anxiety and heartburn negatively affected my life all while making me unnecessarily reliant.

Food Intake and eating habits

As someone who had struggled with my body and self image, I had always found myself horribly drawn towards ridiculous fad diets that promote unhealthy starving and unsustainable eating habits like keto. It wasn’t until I was in my 20’s that I began to eat better in a more healthy and reliable way. Instead of following fads, I would consume a proper amount of foods but those which were nourishing my body. This eventually led to me following a vegetarian diet—which has brought major overall improvement to my life.

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