Are you exhausted even on your free days? Is your mind perpetually tired? Do you prioritize your mental health enough? By asking about prioritizing mental health, I mean, does your day-to-day behavior project that you care about your mental health? 

Sometimes it is not the world, but we are the ones who drain our own mental health. Perhaps, because of the amount of toxicity we absorb on an everyday basis, or maybe because we are trapped in the loop of our unhealthy habits. 

If you’re wondering how is this possible, here is the list of 12 unhealthy habits that drain your mental health. Stating the obvious but if you are doing this to yourself, please stop now for your own good. 

1. If you are overusing social media and your smartphones

How many times have you and your smartphone been in different rooms? The truth is that we hardly ever keep our smartphones away from us. We carry our cellphones everywhere. Some of us even carry them to the loo. Some even have the habit of unlocking and locking the phone every few minutes. Our dependency on our mobile phones is scary.

And if I speak of social media, there is so much toxicity out there that pollutes our minds every day. Somebody is uploading questionable content, somebody is spreading hate while somebody else is getting trolled. Social media is filled with meaningless posts and videos that grip you in this mad frenzy of scrolling online. You must know if you are that somebody who overuses their smartphone. And if you do, then it would be better to cut yourself some slack and take frequent breaks. 

The Equinox

2. If you are just not sleeping enough

A fractured sleep cycle is another alarming sign that you are not taking your mental or physical health seriously. An exhausted body and a drained mind won’t do you any good. Your to-do list will keep on piling up with unfinished tasks which are never going to be completed with efficiency. If you know how your body functions with dearth of sleep, then try giving your body what it wants for once. If you are wondering how to sleep, try keeping your phone away and closing your eyes. Even that would work. Just get the rest you deserve. 

The Better Sleep Council

3. If you’re being a couch potato 

If you are an active couch potato relentlessly binging on Netflix without getting any air, you’re risking your mental equilibrium. Being a couch potato is detrimental to both mental as well as physical health. You need to get some air, meet some people, and travel the world to rejuvenate your body and mind. Sitting in one place for hours will suffocate your thoughts and push you into a laid-back lifestyle. We honestly don’t need it in our lives. 

Hindustan Times

4. If you are drawing unhealthy comparisons of your life with others

We know that we should not judge the book by its covers. Life on the outside and life on the inside is almost always opposite. Another point to note is that all of us function at our unique pace. So, somebody can be a millionaire at the age of 20. But, it does not mean we are any less. We need to stop comparing our lives with the life of others who come from different backgrounds and operate in different contexts.

Psychology Today

5. If you’re chasing perfectionism that simply does not exist

Nothing in this world is perfect. Nobody is flawless. When we know this, then we need to stop obsessing over perfectionism. We need to stop holding ourselves accountable for every minor thing. We are all beautifully flawed. Also, it is only through mistakes that we learn. Why fret over something that is completely normal?  


6. If you are overworking everyday

Our brains need a breather. Work-o-holism is not as cool in real life. It is unhealthy. A person needs family time, friends time, and me-time to navigate life. You cannot possibly be forcing yourself to sit behind the screens every day and expect yourself to have good mental health. When your working hours are over, just close the laptop and go out for a walk. You are paid for a certain amount of time. Stick to it and do not exhaust your minds every single day.


7. If you’re in a toxic relationship

This one is a bummer. Get out of a toxic relationship. No amount of feelings or intimacy is worth a person who is perpetually toxic and radiating the same upon you. We have enough things to deal in our life than a partner who adds to our burdens. 

FirstCry Parenting

8. If you are living in the past

All of us think about our past and why not. Our past is why we are here now. However, if your mind is constantly grappling with thoughts of could-haves and what-ifs of people and situations from the past and you forget to live in the present, you are draining yourself. Past is dead, it doesn’t exist anymore. We cannot afford to live our life in hindsight. We need to let go. 


9. If you’re surrounded by a forever-negative company, and you’re too invested in sorting their bullsh*t

Yes, we need to be there for our loved ones. But not at the cost of our own mental sanity. If you are surrounded by friends who are forever pessimists, and they project the same negativity upon you, get out. Friendships should not be parasitic. If we constantly overwhelm ourselves with the negativity of others, our own thoughts become self-deprecatory and self-destructive. 

GRW Health

10. If you’re not expressing your feelings and just piling up all your frustration

Our thoughts and emotions need an outlet for expression. Piling up emotions and then exploding one random day is not healthy for us. Feelings should be expressed and conveyed, if need be, to lighten up the head. Freewriting thoughts and emotions on a piece of paper has also proven to be very therapeutic. The idea is that burying feelings and suppressing emotions would induce stress and should not be done. 

MIT Sloan Management Review

11. If you’re always finding the reason to blame somebody else for your own misery

Sometimes, it’s not them, it’s us. We cannot blame others for our own plight always. At some point in time, we will have to become accountable to ourselves and bring change within to evolve for good. We must stop the blame game.

Patient Safe Network

12. If you are preoccupied with thoughts about the future

Nobody has seen the future. It is yet to come. The uncertainty of what is coming is indeed overwhelming, but we cannot afford to be preoccupied with the thoughts of something that may or may not happen. We need to understand that thoughts about the past and future will always try to tear us apart, but we cannot let the present dissolve.  


So, are you being unkind to your mental health?

If you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or anxious, please reach out to your family or seek professional help.