After years of awkward adolescence, reaching the age of 20 might have made you feel like you’re on top of the world. Indeed, reaching your twenties opens endless possibilities. It’s at that moment when you finally feel that you have control over your life.
But soon enough, the responsibilities that come with being in your twenties will come creeping and you might find yourself on several crossroads that will make or break your life. As cliché as it may be, every decision you make, big or small, would carry over to the next 10-20 years, so be sure to make good ones!
With that said, here are a few life hacks for all twenty-somethings that need to be said more often.
There’s a rising trend among young men and women with regards to smoking, it’s called the “social smoker.” Social smokers are those who smoke only in the presence of others, particularly at parties or other social events. Most social smokers believe that they only smoke enough to get the psychoactive effects of nicotine but avoid developing lung disease or cancer. Studies have shown, however, that social smokers are more likely to underestimate the negative impact of smoking on their health, thus putting them at a greater risk.
It does not matter if you smoke two sticks a week or a pack per day. The result will eventually be the same. So, if you plan to live a long and fruitful life, quit smoking altogether as soon as possible.
Alas, along with the “social smokers” come the “social drinkers.” Social drinkers do not hide bottles of scotch under their office desks, but do not shy away from tequila shots during happy hours either. It’s fine to drink occasionally to relieve stress and a bit of inhibition, but, as with everything in life, too much drinking is a no-no.
A nasty hangover is the least of your problems after binge drinking, as studies have proven that excess alcohol may lead to long-term brain and kidney damage.
The sand, the sea, and the waves hold much promise for those looking for some fun and relaxation, but never forget to pack sunblock. Natural sunlight might give you some much-needed vitamin D and a perfect sun-kissed tan, but it could also expose you to UV rays that hasten the appearance of signs of aging like wrinkles and dark spots, and may ultimately lead to skin cancer. Tanning booths are another source of harmful UV radiation so keep away from those, too. A helpful tip when choosing sunscreens: choose the ones with SPF 15 or higher with a coverage both UVA and UVB rays.
What seems pleasurable to you now may result to being a nuisance to you for the rest of your life. Unprotected sex is a surefire method of obtaining dreaded STDs. If abstinence is not an option for you, find ways of ensuring your protection during each sexual encounter.
There’s no denying the benefits of exercise in preventing hypertension and heart disease and the advantages do not end there. As a bonus, exercise also improves mood and gives you that much-needed energy boost, which is why so many successful people include a morning workout in their daily routines. It’s not about the intensity either – a 30-minute jog or other cardio workout for 3x a week could already do wonders for your health and overall wellness.
Students tend to believe that some part of their success is related to the hours of sleep skipped in order to study. Well in fact, an adequate amount of sleep is an integral part of the whole learning process as it is the only time when the brain can synthesize all that you have learned while awake. This still holds true even for adults. Establish a good sleeping pattern to improve cognitive function and also allow the entire body to regenerate, thus preventing diseases.
Just because you are young doesn’t mean that you are invincible. Regular check-ups are important in ensuring that you are in the best state of health possible. Remember, when it comes to your health prevention is always better than prescription.
The temptation of ordering fast-food will always be there and it will take a lot of proactive effort to shy away from them. Keep in mind that these food ‘shortcuts’ will eventually lead to a more complicated life in the future. Fast-food is usually full of saturated fat and processed ingredients which impede metabolism and also increase the risk for heart disease.
While still in your twenties, you may want to consider learning how to cook healthier meals. It’s an easy way to ensure that the food that goes into your body will do more good than harm. You don’t need stress yourself out on counting each calorie you eat – just make sure that you eat well-balanced meals.
Dealing with stress
These years of your life are the perfect time for some de-cluttering. Chronic stress leads to anxiety, depression, and generally a poor mental and psychological state. Stress is inevitable, yes, but there are several avoidable sources of stress that you must have the confidence to remove from your life whether it be complicated people, things, or situations.
Whether it be yoga, meditation, or knitting, it’s important to establish what simple activities you can rely on to alleviate some of your stress and anxiety.
Running like a horse on blinders
Setting a goal and a straight path to success is essential, but learn to always keep an open-mind. The common notion among young people, especially those coming straight off of college, is that they are more educated than those who came before them. Indeed, the changing times call for fresher ideas from the younger generation, but nothing beats learning from experience. Being in your twenties gives you an excuse to make mistakes and learn from them, so relish the opportunity.
Don’t be afraid to take the advice of those who paved the path that you walk in – parents, professors, bosses. Their journeys may not have been perfect, but you can always pick up a thing or two from their experiences. Be sure to take notes and integrate the tips you’ve learned so you can make the most out of your own life.
Related: Why Are Millennials So Stressed?