I’m sure you’ve come across numerous types of articles that talk about the importance of developing healthy, maintainable habits throughout your 20s. While those are very necessary, it’s important to consider the certain habits that we should ditch as well.
Although your twenties can be extremely stressful at times, let’s not forget that your twenties are a time for learning, growing, experimenting, getting to know yourself, and developing into a more confident, mature person. It’s that exciting, yet taxing, time in our lives where we’re stuck between a kid and a grown adult. Therefore, your 20s are a time for transition. Which is both good and bad!
With that, along with all of the healthy habits you may want to practice in your 20s, here are my top 7 habits you should break or leave behind in your 20s. Let’s dive into them!
1. Saying yes to everyone and everything
I am a major people pleaser and always have been (#INFJ). Therefore, I can’t tell how many times I have said “yes” to things that I wasn’t interested in or simply didn’t want to do. I can’t count how many times I’ve said yes to something when deep down I knew I would eventually bail. Which of course leads to increased amounts of stress and having to figure out a way to cancel the day of.
Lately, however, I’ve been getting better at saying no – no matter how disappointed someone may be. At the end of the day, I have to do what’s best for myself and my mental health. Therefore, if saying “no” is the right choice in the moment, then I’ve made it a habit to say it upfront. Instead of waiting until the very last minute and causing any unnecessary stress.
2. Binge drinking
Not only is binge drinking bad for you and your overall health, but it’s unsafe and also very expensive in the long-run. There is no need or valid reason to drink enough to get sick, not remember things, or feel like death the next day. Even as a college student, I find that having one drink when I am out with friends or with my boyfriend is enough to relax me while still having a good time. Without going overboard or making myself sick the next day.
3. Skipping out on sleep
This is perhaps the biggest habit that many 20-something-year-olds need to break. Between late-night work shifts, midnight study sessions, and going out to the bars late at night, many twenty-somethings aren’t getting enough sleep. It is said that 8 hours of quality sleep is ideal for your overall health and wellness as an adult. However, many people in their 20s, particularly college students, are not meeting that quota. Even though it has been proven that a lack of sleep affects you tremendously throughout the day.
Sleep deprivation negatively affects your immune system, mood, energy levels, hormonal balance, and significantly decreases your ability to focus. With this, try to avoid excessive amounts of caffeine for at least 8 hours before you plan to go to sleep. Also, try establishing a go-to healthy nighttime ritual that signals your body when it’s time to get ready for bed.
4. Not making time for self-care to reduce stress
Self-care is so incredibly important for our overall health and happiness. Your 20s are a very stressful couple of years. Between college courses, your career, becoming independent, and striving to have financial stability. With that comes a lot of stress. Therefore, when stress does build-up, it’s crucial to find sustainable and healthy ways to relieve it. Regular stress can also cause major effects on your mind, health, and body. Not to mention, high levels of stress can also result in hormone changes, higher blood pressure, lower immunity levels, and mood fluctuations if left untreated.
Therefore, take time each day (even just 15 minutes) to practice some form of self-care. Incorporate activities that reduce stress in your everyday actions and simply bring your joy and happiness.
5. Maintaining toxic relationships
When it comes to your 20s, many people are still trying to figure out what qualities they want in a partner and what they themselves can give to the relationship. Although we’re experimenting, still learning, and realizing that every partnership comes with inevitable bumps in the road, no one should ever have to tolerate a toxic relationship. Sometimes, toxic relationships can have very clear signs that are obvious deal-breakers. But other times, many people can find themselves in a toxic relationship without even realizing it. This isn’t only relevant in relationships either – it also extends to toxic friendships as well.
But how do you realize you’re in a toxic relationship? Start by recognizing the signs your partner or best friend is toxic. Every relationship, friendship, or intimate partner, should always make you feel happy, loved, safe, and secure. Even when there are disagreements, you both should be able to work out your problems with understanding and respect.
If your partner or friend is continually trying to bring you down or demonstrate that their affection is conditional, it’s time to rethink that relationship. When you break apart from individuals who are toxic during your 20s, you’ll then be setting yourself up for much healthier relationships down the road.
6. Overspending / Wasting money
In the past, I was definitely one to waste money on things I truly didn’t need. It makes me cringe when I think back on how much money I wasted on expensive clothes, makeup, bar tabs, pricy restaurants, and takeout. Especially when I easily could’ve made something to eat at home. Without a basic budget, I ended up throwing away a lot of money.
Over the past couple of years, however, I’ve made it a habit to start saving at least 60% of each check I earn and putting that money away. I also only spend money on takeout or bar tabs on very rare occasions. My new rule for myself is that I cannot spend money on takeout or drinks unless I happen to have cash on hand. If not, then I make sure to save time in my day to make something at home.
Developing and maintaining these habits have definitely allowed me to be more conscious about how I spend my money and what I spend my money on.
7. Not washing your face before bed
Washing your face before bed needs to be an important addition to your nightly routine if it’s not already. Leaving your makeup on as you sleep can lead to breakouts, premature aging, wrinkles, and clogged pores. Along with that, it can also cause clogged oil glands, eye irritation, and loss of collagen. Even if you don’t wear makeup, it’s so important to wash your face at the end of every single day. Simply in order to wash away oil build-up, dirt, and bacteria that come in contact with your skin during the day.
Try making it an everyday habit to wash your face as soon as you get home in the evening! Before you make dinner and before you begin winding down for the evening and turning on the tv. This will keep you from falling asleep accidentally with your makeup on. Or if you end up becoming “too tired” to wash your face later at night.
What did you think of these tips?
What is one habit you’ve been proud of breaking in your 20s?
Let me know in the comments!