How to be better at (almost) everything

Sort out your mind, body, soul and home in the new year Discuss this article

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Your habits

Before starting something new, why not learn to kick the old, bad habits first? There's no time like the present

Switch off
Think scrolling through your Facebook feed, checking out your friends’ holiday photos is harmless? Think again. Once you start comparing your life to others’, your chances of sinking into a depression are far higher (trust us, there are statistics to prove this and everything). If you find it hard to switch off, book a therapy session. For a psychology, visit www.drajusclinic.com.

Stub it out
If we started spewing out facts about how smoking is bad for you, we’d fill this entire magazine in no time. So, here are some ways to quit. Firstly, visit the anti-smoking clinic at Hamad General Hospital (www.hamad.qa). Pop by your local pharmacy and pick up nicotine replacements (gum, etc.). And, read Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Quit Smoking (www.allencarr.com).

De-buzz
One or two cups of coffee per day can be harmless but when your caffeine consumption is out of control, it’s time to cut it out. A high intake can have negative effects – it increases anxiety, causes insomnia, raises blood pressure, stains your teeth, the list goes on – and the benefits of quitting are just as numerous. Either wean yourself off or simply go cold turkey and never look back.

Get active
Most of us don’t have the luxury of getting up during the day – we’re chained to our desks and glued to our screens to much detriment. Researchers call this “sedentary behaviour” and studies show people, including those who exercise, who sit for prolonged periods have a higher risk of dying from all lifestyle diseases. Even if you don't want to change career, at least turn the TV off in the evenings and get up.

Slow down
Qatar and its Traffic Department work hard to enforce speeding regulations, but there are many drivers dangerously flouting the rules every day. Don’t be one of them. Just think about how, with one swerve, you could change someone else’s life forever. Between 1996 and 2013, the total number of all types of road accidents increased by nearly 560 percent (the population rose by 340 percent). Think about that.

Less sweet
“Just one more slice of cake.” So say the sugar addicted. Yet sugar consumption and weight gain lead to so many lifestyle diseases, the momentary satisfaction just isn’t worth it. It’s a tough habit to break but start by reading labels, clearing out your pantry and stocking up on health foods (not “low-fat”). Remember, this is not a diet but a lifestyle.

Real food
Similarly to sugar addiction, a penchant for junk food is also dangerous. With our busy lifestyles, fast food is a quick and easy fix but, if we plan ahead, we could cook more delicious, wholesome meals. How? For example, pick up some local produce at the weekly Budaiya Farmers’ Market and only shop around the supermarkets' edges.

Slop it on
The importance of a daily sun cream ritual in Doha cannot be underestimated. It doesn’t matter what your complexion is, everybody is susceptible to skin cancer and wrinkles. All you need is up to 15 minutes of direct sunlight each day to get your vitamin D and then you need to protect yourself. Slop on SPF 30-plus.

By Time Out Doha staff
Time Out Doha,

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