Now that you are in your 20s (or maybe you aren’t that’s okay too) you may be starting to realize that while you are still young your body is no longer feeling the way it did when you were 21 and could pullall-nighters back to back and survive on caffeine and some less than desirable food choices. (If you are one of the few whose body is feeling better now than it did then well you suck. No I am just kidding. You are absolutely incredible, and I am jealous, so keep on rocking.) Because of this most of us tend to start at least trying to make better choices during these years in the hopes that we can draw out our youth as long as possible. HAHA. Ok, but seriously, your 20s are the best time to start taking better care of yourself, and implementing healthier habits and practices into your daily life. These are what I consider the top 7 habits to nail down during your 20s.
We have all been told more times than we can probably count how important sleep is, but I can honestly tell you that the older you get the more important it is to establish as much of a sleep schedule as you can. While you are sleeping is the only time when your body heals itself and relaxes from the things you have put it through during the day, so it is crucial to give your body that time to recoup. Establishing a routine where you get at least 6-8 hours a night of sleep will ensure that you are taking care of your body even in your down time.
As much as I hate to admit it your 20s are the time where you are most likely to start seeing some of the beginning signs of aging. I know! Just typing that word makes me want to cry a very dramatic single tear, but nonetheless. Your 20s are the best time (if you haven’t startedalready) to establish a skin care regimen to address any issues that may be starting to creep up, and to prevent any other issues or signs of aging from arising. In my opinion the easiest place to start, especially if you are completely new to skin care, is to establish a simple routine with minimal products, and increase from there. I find that the best place to start is with the basics. For me that means sunscreen/SPF, moisturizer, cleanser, and at least one more targeted or special product like a scrub, mask, serum, oil, etc. Also locking in a routine like this means that if you decide to add more products to your regimen then you already are in the habit of taking care of your skin.
Self-care seems to be one of the hot words of the moment, but that is because it really is important. Self-care involves any activity you do for yourself. I know that sounds kind of vague, but that’s because it is an all-encompassing term. Self-care can apply to anything you do for own benefit from taking time off to focus on your health to jamming out to your favorite song on repeat. And sometimes it includes things that we may not enjoy so much like cleaning our house. All of which are important because they are things you are doing to better your self and your life. The key to self-care is taking the time to take care of yourself. Putting yourself first is not selfish! You are the only one who knows what you need, and what will make you feel happy, fulfilled, and empowered. Listen to that and give back to yourself too.
This may seem like an odd thing to include on this list, but a huge part of our lives are the people allow into them. When we surround ourselves with unhealthy or toxic relationships, whether romantic, friend, or family, we are allowing that toxicity into our lives. I have found that your 20s tend to be around the time that you start reevaluating relationships. You have moved out of the high school and college phases of your life; the last times who will be surrounded by that many people of your own age. Because of this your 20s become the ideal time to take a good hard look at the people and relationships we let into our lives. We realize those relationships that only worked while we were in school; we become more aware of the red flags we ignored; and the things we are uncomfortable with. I don’t know if it is just an age thing, where the older you get the fewer relationships you have, but those that you do are deeper and more fulfilling; or if it that your 20s are a major transitional and discovery period. Either way now is the time to decide what you will and won’t let into your life. That guy/girl you keep going back to despite the fact that the red flags are practically smacking you in the face. Or maybe it is a friend you have had for years, but you’re only now aware that you are the only one really putting work into the friendship. Whatever it is now is the time to be selfish, and to think about what is best for you; and part of that is determining the kind of people you want to share your life with.
I am not going to sit here and preach to you all the things you should and should not eat because only you know what does and does not work for your body. What I will tell you is that your 20s are often the time where your body starts to feel the effects of what you put in it more severely than it did before. This could mean anything from not being able to handle fast food 3 times a week to enjoying one less glass of wine; whatever it may be. I can tell you from experience that if you are trying to get healthier in general your 20s are a great time to establish a new approach to nutrition. You are still young, and your body will respond better to those changes, and the earlier you can get used to that lifestyle the better.
Just like what you put into your body, what you do with your body is important, especially as you get older and your body starts to fight back a little more than it did in college. Now I know that not everyone is a fan of the gym, and that’s perfectly fine you don’t have to be. The most important thing is to get your body moving and your muscles working. You just need to figure out what kind of activity or exercise you like, and what works for your body. I always recommend, especially if you are new to exercising, that you try out a couple different options. Whether you like yoga, cross fit, Pilates, or just walking around your neighborhood; as long as you are keeping your blood pumping and your body going you are doing great. Don’t stress yourself out about having to be the best at the gym or look exactly like that fitness model you follow on Instagram. You are awesome as you are.
The last healthy living tip I recommend adopting in your 20s is a routine. I know this sounds vague, but that is intentional. What I mean by routine is establishing some kind of regular daily schedule. It doesn’t have to be super fancy or crazy detailed, just something that works for you, and helps to keep you accountable and on track with the things that are important to you. Even if that is something as simple as getting up and going to bed at the same time during the week that’s okay. Whatever you think works and helps you the best. The main point is that setting and maintaining a routine will allow to be more productive; have more time for the things you enjoy; and help to lessen stress.