Vulnerability to bad habits is one thing most human beings have in common. From nail biting to binge eating, most of us can relate when it comes to the desire to indulge in behaviors that aren’t necessarily good for our bodies, our psyche, and our professional and personal relationships. Although a trip to a good therapist or a strict regime have historically been some of the best ways to break a bad habit, many busy parents don’t have the time or the energy to devote to these tactics in tangent with making sure their children are well taken care of. Fortunately, modern wellness innovations have provided us with hundreds of additional tools to battle bad habits effectively and conveniently without spending crazy amounts of time and money to reset habits.
Here are six common bad habits and the quick solutions that have been created to help you kick them.
If rough, short, chewed down nails have become your staple manicure, it’s possible you could use a little help to kick the habit of biting your nails. If you’ve tried quick solutions like painting your nails or using a fragrant lotion and haven’t been successful, using an app/wearable combo could be what you need to finally stop biting your nails.
The Stop Nail Biting App which is available on iTunes for $4.99 offers hypnosis audio guides as well as a digital space to keep a nail growth journal that can help nail biters quit.
If you’re looking for a more heavy-duty solution, you might consider looking into the HabitWare bracelet. This wearable tracks the frequency of your nail biting throughout the day to bring awareness to the severity of your habit. It connects to an app that can also recommend breathing exercises to facilitate your progress. There are several colors and styles available from $129 to $149.
Putting off homework or projects at the office is something we all do. Although it’s totally normal to procrastinate from time to time, procrastination can get in the way of your personal and professional growth if you make a habit of it. This is where an app like Procraster can help.
The Procraster app starts by identifying potential road blocks that are keeping you from getting starting on a task. It provides reasons like “My task is too big” or “I don’t know where to start” to get started on the process of helping you complete the task. You can also manage all of your tasks and projects in the app and set them to sync to the Cloud so you can access them from other devices later. The app also features a timer that allows you to track time spent on each task and reminders to help you stay on track with recurring tasks. You can use the Quick Task setting to select a task to get started on. Once you’ve used the app for a while, you can view the Stats feature to see how your productivity has progressed over time.
You can download Procraster for $1.99 on iOS devices.
Vegging out on the couch
85 percent of the country has access to high internet speeds. This means it’s ridiculously easy to waste a day indulging in your preferred digital vice. Sometimes, a good lazy day is necessary, but scrolling through Facebook all day or binging on your favorite new series can become problematic.
If you find yourself spending most of your Saturdays hanging out around the house, it might be time to shake this sloth-like habit and make way for more productive activities during your weekend.
If cable is your productivity kryptonite, it might be time to consider cutting the cord. As a parent, this might sound cruel and unusual, but your kids will still have Netflix and Hulu to fall back on even if you decide to nix your cable subscription in favor of fewer digital distractions. On top of this, you might want to consider turning off the Autoplay setting on your Netflix account to avoid binge watching. This will put a gap between each episode where you consciously decide whether to watch the next one or stop watching and move on to another activity.
If social media or other online activities are dictating your weekend agenda, try a Wi-Fi blackout. Schedule out a few hours of each weekend day where you unplug your router and temporarily shut down your internet access to encourage a more productive activity.
Sugary, salty, and savory foods were literally designed to make us binge on them. The more sweets or salty treats you eat, the more you want. If you’re ready to quit binge eating on junk food just because it’s available, you can use an app/wearable combo to become more aware of your binging and ultimately stop it in its tracks.
Jawbone’s UP devices help you track your calorie intake as well as your activity to get an idea of how the amount of food you’re taking in each day stacks up to how much you’re burning off. There are several versions of the UP device available with various additional features like sleep tracking and heart rate monitoring.
Bad habits seem to be a constant in most of our lives. Whether your guilty pleasure is as harmless as hitting “Snooze” every morning or as frustrating as the guilt and weight gain experienced after frequent binge eating, there are solutions that can help you take the baby steps necessary to break free of it despite your busy schedule as a parent. Hopefully some of the apps, wearables, and devices mentioned in this article will help you ditch your less-than-healthy behaviors and enjoy a happier, more productive lifestyle.