When you’re younger you think of your twenties as the wild decade of holidays, late nights, ill-advised decision making, and general debauchery.
All the TV shows, all the films, make it seem like a magical time where everything falls into place. We have endless social opportunities, endless funds to pay for said socialising, and of course no consequences that a therapy/ brunch session can’t fix.
But in reality, our twenties are a very different kettle of fish entirely.
We’re still struggling with the insecurities and awkwardness of our youth. But pretending we wake up every morning with complete Instagrammable confidence #iwokeuplikethis. We’ve endured years of educational decision making which have hopefully aimed us nicely towards are ideal careers, but in reality we have no idea what we’re doing, or what we want to be doing.
Oh and twenties-somethings these days have to deal with a very close future of the worlds impending doom. Thanks for incompetent politicians, toxic masculinity being at the forefront of most males in charge decision making, and irreversible global warming.
But once a person becomes accustomed to the realities of a twenties life, it can actually be quite fun. And at the end of the day, we’re all in it together.
Here are some truths to know to get through your twenties that know one ever tells you.
Your bed will become your soul mate that you never see enough of.
When you were babies, nap time was the enemy. But once you get to your twenties you start adding up all those moments you resisted sweet sleep and feel sweet regret. Getting your full 7-9 hours is imperative if you want to function. So if you have a night out planned, arranged to get an early night to follow it up! Plus eye bags aren’t a majorly accepted cool girl aesthetic just yet.
Nutrition is an amazing thing when you get it right.
When you start feeling less than amazing. Save yourself the stress, or even a doctors appointment (unless it’s serious in which stop asking your friends to call for you and call a doctor yourself!) and just try to better your nutrition intake. Sweet potato, pineapples, and citrus is amazing for the immune system. Nuts and avocados are great for hair and skin. And leafy greens, olives, and chickpeas are all great for the blood.
Make sure your getting your five a day, no chocolate orange doesn’t count, drink water, and cut back on the take outs and processed food. Your body will love you back and keep you going by feeling better than ever.
When it comes to friendships, quality is better than quantity.
Friendships are amazingly supportive, fun, and necessary things. But sometimes they can be toxic and take too much without giving anything back. When you come to your twenties things can get stressful and life can get on top of you. If you have just a handful of friends you can bet your life on, your in a much better position to someone who has fifty friends that wouldn’t respond to a bad day text. I always think about my besties as the ones I’d want standing up with me on my wedding day. It can usually put things into perspective for me when I’m thinking about who my true friends are.
p.s there is absolutely nothing wrong with breaking up with a friend if they are toxic and bad for your life.
Stress is a serious thing.
This is probably the most important thing on this list and something new to the world of health. Stress is a killer. In your twenties, things can seem like a lot. It’s the first steps of the adult world. You might not be in a relationship, you might not have the best friends, or house. You might live with your parents still, you might not have a lot of money to your name. You might not be as popular as you want, or have the car, or career, or body, or maybe everything is wrong and you need to reevaluate your life a little bit and restart.
We have a lot of pressures on us to have all of the building blocks ready in our twenties to be build on in our thirties and set in stone for our forties. THERE IS SO MUCH PRESSURE. It’s unfair but sometimes you just need to breathe and remind yourself your life is a work in progress. Your progressing everyday, you can restart that progress any time you want. And there is no ending. You chose where to start, where to go, and when to end. End when you’re happy.
When stress stays with you for a while it can have very serious effects on your health. Problem is you might not even realise the effects are there, or that they’re caused by the stress. Make sure you are aware of yourself. What days are happy, and what are not. What causes you stress. But also what can help ease your stress.
Being Selfish IS Okay.
Be selfish with your time and your energy. Work asking you to do the shift you’d booked off so you could spend quality time with your bestie… TAKE THE NIGHT OFF. Your time needs to be filled with productivity yes, but also fun and enjoyment. Make sure you spend your time wisely, and maintain all the elements of your life. Even if that means you have to say no to some people.
Self Care Is More Than An Instagram Trend.
This goes back to being selfish with your time, and finding a great stress reliever. You need to take care of your mental and physical health. Eat well, move as much as you can, and spend time for yourself on what ever the hell you want. Movie and foodie night for one? Do it. Shopping day with headphones left in the entire time? Do it. Holiday retreat for you and you alone? Do it. Be aware of your time and how your spending it. No you shouldn’t say no to any friend in need that comes your way, or saying no to any new project at work. But know your limits and begin to understand when your body and mind needs some time to rejuvenate.
Spa day anyone?
The older you get the worse your body handles a hangover. Your body might bounce back in your teens. You might be up for breakfast, replaying the night with your friends, or even hitting the gym to sweat the alcohol out. My god how this changes. I went through my first year of university being able to drink a night away, wake up feeling a little groggy but nothing an ice lolly and water couldn’t fix. And then I’d do it all over again. Now I’m twenty-four. A hangover bad enough lasts more than the day after, and I have to sleep about fifteen hours and inhale a packet of paracetamol to recover.
Your parents were right about a LOT of things.
They knew we needed our sleep, they knew surviving on a diet of sweets and Chinese food wouldn’t help much, and they usually knew which friends weren’t any good for us. They let us make many more bad decisions than we realise, even though they knew it would end in tears. And unfortunately as we get older, so do they. For me, and probably a lot more people too, our twenties is where we begin to rely on our parents again. They’ve lived in the adult world and help us navigate it. Not just for calling the doctor on our behalf, or reminding us to wash our bed sheets. But they really can be the most solid support system we have in our lives. Remember the good they’ve given us…and appreciate them.
Appreciate Friends Too
The family we choose. But choose them wisely. When it comes to friends follow your heart but bring your brain along for the ride. Who makes you happy to be around, who texts you funny memes, or sends you pictures of clothes you’d like? But do they really treat you fairly, do they talk behind your back, or make you feel like a burden?
Your twenties is when you solidify your friends for life, and its also the time to remove the ones you don’t want in your life. The ones who make the cut, you need to work at the friendship. Things move on from school, and teenage-hood. You have other friendship groups, relationships, work commitments, and sometimes you just need alone time. If you want to remain friends with someone you have to do more than like a couple pictures and send a Facebook message with every birthday reminder.
You have to call, not just text, and have time blocked out to have a real conversation. When you make plans, stick to them. Make plans that change with the times. What worked for you guys to have fun in the past might not be the same. Rather than going drinking, or pub crawling, go for a dinner somewhere super trendy and try something different.
Moral of the story is to appreciate your twenties. It’s an amazing time to find yourself. What you want from life, and to make the mistakes to find out what you don’t. But don’t let it get on top of you.
It’s time to live a little, but time to mature a little too.