It’s all too easy to stop taking care of yourself. Your quality skincare set is going unused, then you cut back on your sleep, then you start eating a bunch of fast food — and, before you know it, your body is plagued by mysterious aches and pains. If you haven’t been feeling well lately, here are 14 signs that you’re not taking care of yourself:
Your skin is breaking out.
There are many potential causes of acne breakouts, from skipping your skin exfoliators to chronic stress, to hormonal fluctuations. If your skin is normally clear but you’ve suddenly begun breaking out, that can be a sign that you need to take better care of other aspects of your health.
You get sick all the time.
If you catch every single cold that goes around, that’s a sign that your immune system isn’t as strong as it should be. Chronic stress, sleep deprivation, and other health problems can make you more vulnerable to illness and wear your immune system down over time. A cold here and there is normal, but having chronic infections is a sign that something is wrong.
You feel “blah” even when you’re not sick.
Even if you’re not actively sick, you might still experience chronic discomfort like headaches, stomach aches, and joint pain that impact your daily life. These symptoms indicate that you are experiencing chronic inflammation and that you either have an undiagnosed medical condition or need to take better care of yourself.
You keep forgetting things.
Occasionally forgetting where you put your keys is normal, but constant brain fog is not. Serious forgetfulness can be a side effect of many things, from sleep deprivation to low blood sugar, to lingering COVID-19 effects, to undiagnosed ADHD, to early-onset Alzheimer’s. Talk with your doctor about getting a diagnosis if the forgetfulness doesn’t improve with lifestyle changes.
You experience lots of mood swings.
If you feel anxious, sad, or angry all of a sudden — especially for no reason — then those sudden mood swings could be a sign that you’re not taking care of yourself. These mood swings can be caused by many underlying reasons, such as elevated cortisol levels from chronic stress.
Your hair is dry and brittle or falling out.
If you’ve been losing more hair than normal, or the texture has suddenly become dry and brittle, that could be a sign that you aren’t getting enough of certain vitamins in your diet. There are several possible vitamin deficiencies that could be behind this hair loss, including vitamin D, zinc, selenium, and iron, so ask your doctor about getting a blood test before you self-dose with supplements.
You’re exhausted and fatigued.
If you have chronic insomnia or sleep deprivation, then you’ll definitely be tired all the time — but, sometimes, you’ll sleep for hours and hours and still wake up exhausted. Whether the cause of your sleepiness is obvious or not, figuring it out and addressing it is really important because sleep deprivation has been linked to a bunch of different health problems.
You drink too much caffeine or alcohol.
If you’re been struggling with sleep issues recently, the odds are high that you’re using caffeine to stay awake during the day or alcohol to help you sleep at night (or both). While the occasional glass is fine, you shouldn’t be relying on these beverages on a daily basis, so if it’s become an everyday habit for you, that’s a sign that some lifestyle changes might need to be made.
Your weight is fluctuating a lot.
Sudden weight loss or gain isn’t normal and can be a sign of underlying health problems. Even if you’ve simply started eating way more or less because of stress and nothing else is wrong with you, that’s still a sign that you need to start taking better care of yourself. If you don’t like to weigh yourself on a scale, then pay attention to how non-stretch clothes like jeans fit you over time to notice if you’re gaining or losing weight.
Your pee and poop aren’t normal.
If you’ve got either diarrhea or constipation (or both, depending on the day), that’s a sign that something isn’t right with your gastrointestinal system. You should also look for changes in the color of both your poop and your urine, which can also be indicative of other health problems.
Your sex drive has changed.
It’s natural for your libido to ebb and flow over the course of your life, but if your sex drive takes a sudden nosedive, that can be a symptom of either serious stress or hormonal changes. Over time, hormonal imbalances can lead to other health issues, so it’s important to get that checked out if you’re experiencing major changes in your sex drive.
Your hands and feet keep tingling.
If your hands and feet occasionally tingle, and then the feeling goes away, that’s totally normal. However, chronic tingling can be a side effect of multiple disease and health issues, including vitamin deficiencies, diabetes, alcoholism, and more.
You get muscle twitches.
Similar to tingling hands and feet, the occasional muscle twitch is normal, but constant spasm is not. In addition to musculoskeletal injuries, constant muscle twitches can be a sign of a magnesium deficiency, which can be easily corrected by making dietary changes and/or taking a supplement.
You’re behind on medical appointments.
Sometimes self-care doesn’t look like taking a long bath and doing a 3-step skincare routine; it involves going to the doctor instead. If you’ve been putting off medical appointments, it’s time to start scheduling them to get your health back on track.
Your body will let you know when you’re not taking care of it; you just need to know how to read the signs properly. Keep an eye out for these 14 signs that you need to take better care of yourself, and be sure to drink plenty of water and get a good night’s sleep tonight!