Of course, these 25 healthy habits every 20-year-old should have, are perfect for people of all ages!
Not just people in their 20’s. But the sooner you adopt these habits into your life, the sooner you can reap the benefits of living a healthy, mindful, and stress-free life!
Here are the 25 Healthy Habits Every 20 Year Old Should Have
1. Develop a healthy mindset
Your mindset controls everything! Not only does it affect your life, but it has a profound impact on those around you as well.
Whatever you are focusing on tends to expand. What I mean by this is if you’re focusing on the negatives or the lacks and scarcities in your life, that is only going to multiply and expand into greater negative feelings of perception and self-worth.
Your thoughts create your reality!
The way that YOU think and perceive things are completely in YOUR control. You control what kind of day you have. As well as the way that you react to what happens around you. When you wake up thinking negatively, you have already set up a negative foundation for the day.
If something goes wrong or not the way that you had originally planned, don’t dwell on it. Reset your way of thinking, gain a new perspective on the situation, and move on. Don’t waste the day’s energy focusing on the negatives!
Related Post: 11 Life-Changing Ways to Improve Your Mental Health
2. Drink more water
The importance of staying hydrated is no secret! We need to stay hydrated in order to maximize our overall health and performance.
There are several reasons why we need a sufficient amount of water each and every day.
- maintain our energy levels
- support cognitive function
- maximize physical performance
- to prevent headaches, fatigue, and irritability
- relieve constipation
- boost your metabolism
- optimize weight loss
Try to aim for at least a liter of water a day! It can be very easy to do so by keeping a water bottle with you at all times. Keep it at your desk at work or in your backpack at school. Then keep refilling it every time you’re done.
If you need to add a bit more flavor try adding in lemon slices, cucumber slices, and/or mint! Or have a glass of green tea if you are craving something warm! It is full of antioxidants and will help keep you staying hydrated!
3. Start standing up for yourself
Do not let people walk all over you or stop you from speaking your mind and giving your own opinions. If someone says something to you that bothers or offends you, do not let that sh*t slide, girl. Tell them that you don’t appreciate how they are treating you while still maintaining calm and dignified. This is especially true in relationships or friendships.
Practice being transparent and authentic, and start expressing yourself as openly and as honestly as possible. It may be difficult at first, but the best way to master this is by reminding yourself over and over again that you matter! Your opinions matter and they deserve to be heard!
It is so important to understand that nobody can invalidate you!
Have confidence in yourself and learn to OWN your desires, dreams, and beliefs. Hold your head high and be assertive to those who try to take advantage of you in any way. Channel that confidence when dealing with others that are being rude or offensive.
Learn how to say “no” and practice the ability to stand up for your time. Your time is a nonrenewable resource, and you are in control of how you spend your time.
Aside from things like school or work – where the way we spend our time may not be our choice – don’t let unimportant obligations dictate how you spend the remanding hours of your day.
Push back your time when it is needed, or courteously disengage from people or situations that tend to swamp your schedule.
4. Don’t neglect sleep
A good night’s sleep is just as important as eating healthy and exercising!
Quality sleep is so important for our health because it affects our emotional, physical, and mental well-being.
As you are sleeping, your body is active, performing a number of vital functions and recharging mentally and physically. This includes:
- Healing damaged cells
- Boosting your immune system
- Recovering from the day’s activities
- Recharging your heart and cardiovascular system for the next day
I’m sure you know the feeling between quality and poor-quality sleep. Irritability and moodiness are often the first signs a person experiences when they are lacking efficient sleep.
It is so important for adults to aim for 6-8 hours of sleep each night!
If you are in college, then quality sleep should definitely be on your top priority list each night! Without sleep, academic performances can suffer.
Your brain is also less capable of acquiring and processing new information in addition to having a weak ability to control emotions and make right-minded decisions.
Related Post: 9 Outstanding Ways to Achieve The Best Sleep Ever
5. Move your body at least once a day!
You don’t have to be dedicated to vigorous exercise if you don’t have time or if you simply don’t like to. Exercise is very important, but even as a fitness trainer, I understand that some people don’t like certain types of exercises. Or any at all. And that’s okay! However…
Make an effort to move your body once a day, for at least 20 minutes to an hour!
In any way that you like or find most enjoyable!
It can be walking, taking the stairs instead of the elevator at work, or parking your car further away to burn a few extra calories! There are so many ways to move your body and get your exercise in for the day! Get creative with it!
If you only have 15 or 20 minutes, try doing a little high-intensity interval workout! Pick out a few exercises and complete them in a timed circuit. Do one of those exercises for 30 seconds and then take a 15-second break. Repeat that for the duration of the time that you are setting aside for your workout!
When I don’t have a lot of time or if I am feeling unmotivated, there is one thing that has always worked for me! I tell myself, “just keep moving until you sweat.”
Something is better than nothing right! Of course, do not jeopardize your form or try to rush through your workouts in a sloppy way. This mindset just allows me to keep pushing through my workout and give it my all in a short period of time. It’s as easy as doing one more rep, adding a bit more weight, or doing a cardio exercise for a longer set of time!
Especially if I am feeling unmotivated in the beginning! The cool thing I have noticed is that I actually get more motivated within a couple of minutes after starting the workout!
6. Don’t rely on Google as your doctor
Google may be able to answer all of your questions regarding many different topics, but it is not a doctor. Don’t let it diagnose you or send you into a full-blown panic attack. Before you develop insane and irrational hypochondria, go talk to your actual, real-life physician! Before you convince yourself that you have bubonic plague when you really just have a common cold. (I’m talking to my boyfriend on this one lol)
7. Practice safe sex
Unless you are trying to conceive, why would you even think twice about sleeping with someone without using protection?
Safer sex enables you and your partner to stay healthy, lowers the risk of infections and/or STDs, and inevitably make the sex even better. Since you won’t have the fear or constant worry about potentially harming your health or the other person’s health.
Use whatever kind of protection you prefer, but ladies do not always rely on the guy to have condoms! Unfortunately, it’s an outdated mentality, so always be prepared for your sake.
8. Use SPF on a daily basis
Did you know that 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70?
Start protecting your skin as soon as possible with the use of SPF! Sunscreen helps protect us from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Such as UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays are what’s responsible for your typical sunburn and the effects of UVB are obviously very easy to feel and see.
However, UVA rays absorb deeper into the skin. They are responsible for signs of premature aging, wrinkles, and other skin issues. It is important to know that both of these rays can indeed cause skin cancer (melanoma).
- Regular daily use of a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher reduces the risk of developing melanoma by 50%! (study).
9. Cook your meals (as often as possible)
I know it can be very difficult to set aside time to cook all of your meals, especially for busy, hard-working women. But try setting aside time one night each weekday to replace your normal take-out meal, with a fast and easy homemade meal. Make a fast and healthy stir fry, put a meal in a crockpot, or grill some lean chicken breast to place on a salad!
On the weekends, instead of going to a restaurant, make a nice meal at home. Save yourself from the extra, unnecessary calories and save money as well!
10. Don’t smoke or do drugs. Seriously.
I mean this should be a no brainer. Not only are they a dangerous gamble against your health and well-being, but as a college student, do you really have the money to waste on dumb, bad habits?! Even as someone who is in their 20s, why waste your money and your health on something that only harms you in the long run?
Not to mention the hefty legal fees if you were to get caught with illegal paraphernalia. Or potential explosion if it is found on campus. Save your money, or spend it on something that’s actually worth the price. Your health should be your highest priority.
11. Save your spare change
Round up your loose change that is in the bottom of your purse, in the cupholders of your car, under your couch cousins, etc. and start dropping it into a jar every day, week, and/or month.
I don’t know about you but I always hated having spare change. From when I would buy coffee or go to Target, I would always have a pile of spare change every time I would use cash. This spare change would typically end up being thrown somewhere or honestly, I would sometimes leave it at the store.
However, nowadays I keep a jar in my bedroom and that is where I have been collecting my spare change!
I then take it to the bank every year around Christmas and exchange it for cash! I’ve walked out with nearly $500 before!!
I would have never seen that money had I not begun collecting my spare change instead of leaving it behind.
But if you don’t want to wait a full year, you could go each month and exchange your loose change for cash to help you pay for rent, your car payments, etc!
12. Always keep healthy snacks available to you
Always keep healthy snacks in like nuts, fruit, greek yogurt, chopped or sliced veggies, protein bars, etc. available to you when you are at work or at school! That way you’re not feeling deprived at work or school. Or during your commute when all you want to do is go through the Taco Bell drive-thru.
Stock up on the healthy snacks in your pantry or refrigerator at all times as well for the times that you feel like snacking at home! Or for when you’re bored and have nothing else to do except grabbing something to eat.
13. Put down your cell phone when you’re spending quality time with others
It’s not that hard to put your phone down or shut it off when you’re out to dinner, at the movies, going out with friends, or spending time with your family, etc.
When you’re in your 20s, I find that it is so crucial to develop or hold on to close relationships!
Spend time nourishing those relationships through face-to-face interaction and not just by texting or communicating in a group message.
Make it a priority to develop plans with another friend or a group of friends face-to-face at a restaurant, bar, coffee shop, college function, etc.
These friendships and relationships that you have are sacred. Especially in your 20s!
Spending time with your family and loved ones are sacred, and these are the people who you should invest your time in. Not your hundreds of Facebook friends or the celebrities that you follow on Instagram. We waste so much valuable time, and we do not listen or pay attention nearly as well as we should when our phones are distracting us.
Keep your phone in your bag or face down on the table and learn how to have an honest, genuine, and real face-to-face conversation again. Rather than sitting on your bed opting for an emotionless, and straightforwardly unsocial group chat.
Respect the true relationships that you have with those that you care about! Social media will be waiting for you when you get home.
14. Wash your face
Your future self will thank you! Washing your face each night before bed not only removes makeup but the dirt and oil that your face has accumulated throughout the day as well.
I know it can be a hassle and another annoying step in your night routine if you aren’t used to washing your face or if you are exceptionally tired. However, when you leave your makeup on for too long your pores can become clogged which can result in acne, larger pores, and irritated skin.
Also, it is important to take away that fact that your skin repairs itself at night! Only clean skin will be able to absorb any face products like moisturizers and serums!
Without regular facial cleansing (as well as the use of a good moisturizer) your skin will not be able to maintain a proper level of hydration. Which in result causes your skin to become dehydrated.
When your skin is dehydrated, it can cause problems such as rough skin, premature wrinkles, the appearance of dark circles under the eyes, and quicker signs of aging.
15. Floss every day
I know it’s annoying, but it’s true!
Stop using the same lame, old excuses as to why you do not want to or do not have time to floss.
According to Web MD, if you don’t floss regularly, you’re inviting gum diseases. Such as gingivitis in its early form, periodontitis when it takes hold, tooth decay, and possibly a world of hurt in the dentist’s chair.
16. Eat real foods (as often as possible)
Foods full of processed, added sugars and artificial ingredients have been proven to increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, metabolic issues, and even various cancers.
Processed sugar also increases levels of harmful cholesterol, as well as fat accumulation in the liver and abdominal region (source).
In the beginning, it may seem overwhelming, to cut out all processed foods. But I recommend gradually phasing out the processed foods from your diet, by removing the heaviest processed foods first (fast food, candy, chips) until you are eating foods that are minimally processed or when entirely natural food sources are left.
To start, try adding in more fruits in vegetables as replacements to your sugary snacks. Load your plates up with leafy greens (spinach, romaine lettuce, etc.), lean proteins (skinless chicken or turkey, 90% or leaner ground beef, egg whites), healthy fats (nuts, avocado, olive oil), and complex carbs (sweet potato, oatmeal, black beans, brown rice).
These nutrient-dense foods help keep your blood sugar levels regulated and your hunger levels down!
17. Limit your alcohol intake
Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with going out for drinks once in a while or having a glass of wine a few nights a week. But, when you start to overdo it with the alcohol, that’s when your overall health becomes a concern.
Drinking too much alcohol for an extended period of time can cause numerous health problems.
- inflammation of the liver
- weight gain
- behavior changes
- malabsorption of important vitamins and minerals
- cardiovascular diseases
- anemia (symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, and lightheadedness)
- and certain types of cancers
18. Learn to love yourself!
Self-love is so incredibly important!
It is so hard to live a gratified and beautiful life if you do not love yourself. The more that you can build your self-esteem and become more confident in yourself and what you are doing, the more fulfilled and happy your life is going to feel.
Self-love will allow you to be clear and confident on the decisions that you are making, without the need or desire for other peoples’ approval.
When you begin to focus on self-love you will notice that your soul starts to feel satisfied! This new sense of love and self-worth is going to fuel and energize your passions, your dreams, and your creativity!
Related Post: How to Love Yourself and Build True Inner Confidence
19. Practice getting out of your comfort zone
Challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone at least 3 times a week!
Try a new exercise class, do karaoke, ride that rollercoaster, start the business of your dreams, apply to go back to school, etc! Whatever challenges you and gets you uncomfortable.
When we force ourselves to get out of that comfort zone, we create memories, new experiences, and find success and greatness in places we would have never thought of or been to had we not left our safe zone.
20. Stop beating yourself up
You will make mistakes in your life!
Stop being so hard on yourself, especially over the simplest and smallest of things. If something you did is bothering you and making you feel guilty or regretful, address the problem head-on. Otherwise, except it and move on. Nobody is going to be perfect and we all need to stop beating ourselves up over little, insignificant circumstances.
If you didn’t work out, if you had a cheat meal, if you forgot to study, if you drank too much the night before, or if you forgot that it was your turn to bring snack at your child’s sports game…whatever the problem is, except it and move on.
Don’t dwell on the problem any longer than should. It is no reason to stress yourself out over! Acknowledge what caused you to feel this type of way, and do something to change the outcome next time around!
Related Post: “4 Things You Need To STOP Apologizing For”
21. Embrace change
Change happens every single day.
The weather changes, relationships change, friendships change, jobs change, seasons change. Change is the only thing that is constant.
As someone who always shied away from change, I found that the more I embraced it and excepted what was changing, the easier it became.
I would approach the changing situation with an open mind and a positive perspective. The sooner you learn to embrace it and be okay with the change, the easier it will be for you! If the change upsets you, try looking at it with a different perspective. Try to have a positive outlook when going into a new season of changes.
22. Manage your stress
It’s hard not to get overwhelmed and stressed out every once in a while. Between work, school, family matter, friends, relationship; we’re all bound to come in contact with stressful moments. Especially when life gets busy and chaotic and situations feel out of our control.
This is when it is essential to learn how to manage your stress by setting time aside to focus on your mental and physical health. It does take practice but there are so many ways to manage your stress!
You just need some time to step away, take a few breaths, and figure out what your stress triggers are in order to reduce or eventually eliminate them.
Several other ways to manage stress could be exercising, talking to someone, taking a bath, getting a massage, etc. Find what works for you and try to find ways to implement one or several into your daily or weekly routine.
23. Consolidate and pay off any of your debt ASAP
If you any debt from student loans, a car, a house, an apartment, etc. make it an important point to consolidate your debt payments to a lower interest rate. And then focus on paying it off as soon as possible. Money paid in interest is money down the drain! Don’t let it pile up and then keep telling yourself, “I’ll worry about paying it off sometime later.”
Did you know that Americans owe over $1.56 trillion in student loan debt, spread out among about 45 million borrowers? That is roughly $521 billion more than the total credit card debt in the United States. (source)
Another statistic, according to the Federal Reserve, shows that there are over 17 million student loan borrowers under the age of 30 in the U.S! These 17 million people hold a total of $376.3 billion in debt. (source)
With that, the average monthly student loan for a borrower in their 20s is around $393, with a median monthly payment of $222!
If you are currently working towards paying off your debt, or if you want to educate yourself on the topic before you apply for loans, I recommend this post by Dave Ramsey titled, “How to Get Out of Debt With the Debt Snowball Plan.”
24. Stay true to yourself
We all have idols that we look up to and people we aspire to be like. Whether it’s their job, their appearance, their lavish items, or their persona that we look up to and want for ourselves.
These are the people that you would cut out of magazines and put on your vision boards in order to motivate you into working harder.
Although it is perfectly normal and okay to look up to people and have inspirations, there are some people who constantly the need to “keep up with the Joneses.”
Don’t try to keep up with the people you see on Instagram or your one friend who always seems to have the new “it” item. This is a very dangerous mindset to have and one that can wreak havoc on your mental and emotional health, as well as your wallet.
Remember that fads and trends come and go, stop comparing yourself and your life to somebody else’s. What you see on social media is most likely not always the way it’s portrayed.
25. Life is not a race, so stop competing and stop comparing!
Stop comparing yourself to those around you. If you feel like you are behind or not where you want or planned to be, that’s okay! Everybody’s timeline is completely different and you shouldn’t feel like you’re behind in any way just because someone is on a different chapter of life than you are.
If you’re still working on your Associate’s degree while all of your friends are graduating, that’s okay! There’s no need to rush your education right now if you are focusing on your current job or taking a year off to travel.
Don’t worry about what others are doing, because you have a lifetime to get where you want to be! Embrace the process you are taking to get to your end goal.
It will always work out in the long run!
You don’t have to immediately establish all 25 into your routine today!
Pick anywhere from 1 to 5 of these habits and start adding them into your lifestyle day by day or little by little!
What is a habit that YOU do, that you find essential, and that people should start implementing into their lives?
Let me know!