By: Holly Case, Freelance Writer and Mom of Three Boys
Most of us think we outgrew any risky, self-destructive behaviors we had by the time we left college. But you may be surprised to learn about some of the common habits that are still putting your health at risk.
Not Managing Your Stress
It’s hard to avoid feeling some stress these days, since our lives are so hectic. Unmanaged stress puts you at much greater risk of diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Take mini-breaks to chill out, whether it’s using a meditation app on your phone, writing in a journal, or taking a short walk. Stress becomes a habit in itself, but fortunately it’s one you can break.
Sharing Razors or Toothbrushes
It can’t hurt to share your spouse’s razor or toothbrush, especially if it’s just once in a pinch, right? It’s not a good idea. Razors carry Staphylococcus bacteria, which can make you more likely to get a nasty infection and need antibiotics if you nick yourself. Sharing toothbrushes also transmits bacteria that grow on the brush between uses. Wait to shave until you have a fresh razor, and wipe down your teeth with toothpaste and a paper towel instead of sharing a toothbrush.
Using Your Phone While Driving
Many cities have made it illegal to text or use your cell phone while driving. But many people still break this rule. (Even looking down at your phone while you’re stopped at a light counts as using it!) Phone use of any sort while you’re driving is a risk. Hands-free use with Bluetooth is a little better, but it still keeps you less focused. Just put your phone in your purse instead.
Driving in Flip-Flops
Wearing flip-flops is one of the highlights of warmer weather! But driving in flip-flops is a surprisingly dangerous habit. Flip-flops have been implicated in several serious car accidents because they can so easily slip off your foot and get stuck under a pedal. You’re better off just taking off your flip-flops and driving barefoot. Driving barefoot gives your feet better control and access to the pedals.
Sharing Too Much with Your Dog
Getting a sloppy kiss from your dog or sharing an ice cream cone with your pooch can be fun and heartwarming. But it can also put your health at risk, depending on the specific germs in your dog’s mouth. Many dogs lick some unpleasant things that could put you at risk of getting salmonella or worse.