Final week of The Irish Times and Pfizer Healthy Town to focus on breaking bad habits

Times and Pfizer Healthy Town programme, which aims to address common bad habits that can negatively impact health.

Bad habits affect everyone and it is important to break them so they do not impact on health and wellbeing. Dr Pat Harrold will give a free public talk on Wednesday, October 28, at 7pm in the Sheraton Athlone Hotel, where he will discuss the steps needed to break bad habits such as poor sleep hygiene, increasing screen time, drinking too much alcohol, smoking, poor dietary choices, and not setting a work-life balance.

Speaking about his involvement in The Irish Times and Pfizer Healthy Town programme, Dr Pat Harrold said: “We all have bad habits, from drinking too much caffeine to smoking. In order to break a bad habit you need to acknowledge that you have a habit, identify and isolate the issue, and reward yourself once you break the habit.

“I will be speaking at an event on Wednesday, October 28, at 7pm in the Sheraton Athlone Hotel, where I will be giving people practical advice on how to break their bad habits. It takes 21 days to break a bad habit or to form a good one, so it is important not to give up after a week because you have not kicked the habit.”

Key steps to break a bad habit:

Acknowledge the habit and isolate the issue: once you acknowledge and isolate the bad habit you can take steps to break it.

Pair up: If there are other similar bad habits that you want to break it can be easier to pair up the habits and tackle them together.

Plan your approach: once you have got yourself in the right state of mind to take on a bad habit, you need to plan your approach. Will you stop cold turkey? What day do you start? Will you keep a journal of the process?

Replace a bad habit with a good one: the easiest way to break a bad habit is to replace it with a good one. Make sure your replacement fulfils the need as well, but in a healthy way.

For a full line-up of the events taking place this week visit www.irishtimes.com/healthytown. To register for any of the free public talks email [email protected] or phone (01 ) 6690165.

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