Health in your 20s | psychology today

Keira Burton/Pexels

Source: Keira Burton/Pexels

Being healthy means developing sensible habits that will help you be at your best mentally and physically. This includes taking stock of your mental health. How you do that? First, ask yourself a few questions. Which of the following four habits would you like to focus a little more on during the day?

  1. Eat a healthy, balanced diet: Avoid processed foods, fad diets, or other fast-loss programs.
  2. Make physical exercise a habit: You don’t have to be in the gym all day every day, but try to schedule 30 minutes of cardio and strength training every day.
  3. Create Healthy Sleep Habits: This includes turning off blue light devices at night so your brain can pick up the hormonal signals that it’s time to sleep.
  4. Practice self-care: Whether you meditate, practice yoga, or write down your feelings, managing your emotions and stress is an important part of your health.

Examine your self-identity

Starting new jobs, learning about healthcare, and figuring out who you are now that you’re “grown up” can be a lot to digest. When in a transitional phase one feels groundless, overwhelmed by options and comparing oneself for others who Who am I? question can get big.

Therapeutic writing can help with this. It is a type of structured journaling to encourage deeper and clearer thinking, processing and discovery. Therapeutic writing can help you heal, grow, and thrive.

Feelings always have a physical side. Pent-up feelings can manifest themselves in physical problems. Putting your mental and physical health first can help you at all stages of life.

This is how you take control of your physical health

Doctor appointments and visits might not be a popular topic on social media, or something that might seem as important as meeting deadlines when your career begins to thrive, but it’s essential. You may not need a full yearly exam, but consult your doctor for their recommendations. Things to talk about and bring with you before you come to your appointment include:

  • Whether you are sexually active
  • Your plans to have children or not in the future
  • Your family health history
  • Your past personal health history
  • All the health changes you need to make now

Any past or ongoing health problems, like asthma or a congenital heart disease, mean it’s important to see a specialist regularly to avoid more serious (or costly) problems in the future.

Dentist? Yes

You knows You are an adult if you make your own dental appointments. The health of your teeth and gums can affect the health of your entire body. For example, gum disease has been linked to heart disease. Infection can spread from your mouth to your heart over the years, causing inflammation. You may not even know it’s happening. This is a form of health care that you definitely need.

What about health insurance?

Most Americans have health insurance through work or a spouse. You can have this or have your parents’ plan, which is allowed until the age of 26.

You can also apply for insurance through HealthCare.gov. There is no penalty if you decide not to have insurance, but a major health event – like an accident, pregnancy or cancer – will generally cost more than insurance.

Once you have insurance, you should use this as an incentive to find the right doctor. Not all doctors accept all insurances, so be sure to check the doctor’s website or call with this question.

social health

Especially if you live alone, it’s tempting to spend your free time online. Unfortunately, research has shown that daily screen time of more than four hours is associated with moderate to severe depression.[i]

spiritual health

You may not be religious or consider yourself spiritual, but spirituality can be understood as searching for meaning, purpose and connection to people, activities and the universe around you. If you’re going through your days on autopilot or wondering what life is about, you might want to pay some attention to your spiritual health. Spiritual struggles about meaning in life and other issues can be detrimental to your mental health.[ii]

feed your spirit

  • spend time in nature
  • attending church services
  • Listen to inspirational podcasts
  • Volunteer for a cause
  • Caring for animals or people in need

Spirituality gives you a sense of purpose and meaning beyond yourself.

Get help if you’re having trouble

If you find yourself frequently feeling sad or irritable, having a hard time seeing positive things around you, or generally having trouble dealing with your emotions, writing in a journal every day could be a good place to start figuring out what’s going on .

Therapy is also a good option; You can ask your GP for a referral. Check the mental health section of your insurance company’s website. Psychology Today can help you search a directory of therapists worldwide.

If you or someone you love have thoughts of harming or considering suicide, get help right away. For 24-hour assistance, dial 988 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or contact the Crisis Text Line by TALKing to 741741.

No matter what you’re working on or what you’re going through, bring in supportive friends and family members who will help you stay focused, engaged, and hopeful on your journey.

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