Your 20’s are about growing up and trying to figure out what you are going to be in life. But the things you do to your body in your 20s will also affect how you age. Here are a few things that I do daily and regularly. I know it’s difficult being a student or full-time working or if you’re just too busy, but it’s important to take the time and try.
Things I’m doing in my 20’s to take care of myself:
- Washing Your Face – I know this sounds self-explanatory, but this is so important! Even if its 4am and you are exhausted, or you didn’t even wear makeup that day, just wash your face!! It will be so much helpful in the long run.
- Moisturize – I’m always moisturizing. My body, face, hands, etc. It helps the itchy dry skin and aids in wrinkle prevention on the neck and décolletage (chest area between neck and breast).
- Drinking Water– This should honestly be #1 but I know there are people who are not fond of the blandness of water. But honestly, I feel 100x better when I have been good about drinking water all day. Yes, you have to pee a lot but I’d rather use the restroom than get a headache or dry mouth or be dehydrated because I wasn’t drinking water. This is especially important if you are taking medication. Water really helps everything in your body run smoothly.
- Sunscreen – Any time you are giving yourself prolonged sun exposure, even if you are not swimming, you should be wearing sunscreen. Not just to help against sunburns, but also skin cancer and other health conditions. Plus, using sunscreen and reducing your sun time, it will help against premature aging on your skin. Anytime I am at the beach, I never tan my face. I always wear a hat and use sunscreen. I’d rather use makeup to match the tan on my body than wrinkle my face.
- Eye Cream – This is important if you are interested in preventing wrinkles and other forms of aging on your face. Your eyes are what people see first, so I personally take an extra second out of my skin routine to apply some eye cream. There are many types on the market, so take the time to find what’s right for your condition and skin type. I sometimes use one with retinol, or even one that helps puffiness. But I always make sure the cream is adding moisture to my eye area so the skin is looking healthy.
- Sleep More – Being an architecture student, this one is hilarious! We basically don’t sleep. Any student, actually, has trouble getting the right amount of sleep. In undergrad, I basically tried to get sleep when I could, some nights I could get as little as an hour. One time, I went three weeks only getting three hours of sleep a night. Now in grad school, I make sure to get at least 6 or 7 hours. If not, I cannot function at all. Now that I am getting older, sleep is more necessary. I get more tired throughout the day and I cannot afford to be losing sleep. I make sure I get my activities for the day taken care of and try to be proactive so I can take my time to sleep. Sleeping is super important if you want to be performing your best.
- Physical Activity – This is one I struggle with the most because I am really busy with school all the time and it is hard to take that one hour out of my day to workout when I could be using that hour to get work done. I am still trying to find my schedule for working out but I hope to be doing more over the summer. If you are working out, make sure you are eating balanced and sleeping well. This was another reason working out was not good for me as a student because I was not getting adequate sleep and my meals were really off. Physical activity is extremely important to your overall health, especially as you get older. So I will be personally trying to work out more this summer.
- Making attempts to eat balanced..? – The question mark is there because, well, it’s hard! And also we are all allowed to eat some pizza and ice cream every now and then. I personally have an issue with giving up ice cream, it’s just TOO GOOD! But I balance that out with home cooked meals and trying to incorporate more vegetables. Now that I live in NYC, eating out is really expensive and can be more heavy on my stomach, so I try to save money by cooking at home and planning my meals throughout the week. Cooking at home is also healthier because you can control the sodium and fat levels in your food. Try it out!
- Breathe – Yes, take a deep breath and relax. Stressing so much can and will age you. I have high functioning anxiety so everyday tasks are plagued with the anxious feeling of not getting them done in the right amount of time. High functioning anxiety means that the daily tasks or school tasks I need to do give me so much anxiety that I must do them ASAP, instead of crawling into bed and forgetting it all. Waiting and procrastination make me so anxious that I make myself sick. You might be thinking, ‘wow that’s great at least you get things done.’ Well yes, but I make myself sick, stressed out and very agitated over these things, which in turn hurt my mental and physical health. My anxiety has gotten so bad that sometimes I do not eat or sleep. I hate being late and I like things to be finished and ready ahead of time, but life is life and sometimes things don’t work out the way you planned. This is when I remind myself that I did the best I could and that is all I could have control of, so I need to breathe in and accept it. It is still a work in progress for me. Everyday I have to remind myself that it is going to be okay because my OCD brain goes haywire over everything. I also need to trust myself and others that everything will work out. I can only control so much and stressing about the due date will only give me more grey hairs.
This is all the advice I have for now! I have been doing most of these things for myself since I was in high school so I encourage you, if you have not been doing any of these things, to start now!