Healthy At Any Age
We can all agree that the word ‘self-care’ has been tossed around a few too many times in the past year. Phrases like, “self-care isn’t selfish” and, “self-care = face masks” line the cheesy picture frames in Marshall’s or TJ Maxx. However, what is the difference between health and self-care? Well, this might stun a few people, but self-care is taking care of yourself. People define self-care as whatever they want, and technically, they are not wrong.
My version of self-care comes in a long day at the gym, a cup of peppermint tea, and an audio book played at 3x the speed in the background of the entire day. While the word ‘self-care’ is comprised of two very basic, monosyllabic words, this word feeds into the same definition as ‘health’.
Most likely, if you are like me, you are struggling to enter the adult world. It is scary and tiring. A lot of the time, health is thrown into a category that holds lesser importance than any of the other terrifying tasks on your to-do lists
I would say, most likely, health is simply learning to unwind and listen to your body.
Learning when to turn off is important- again, this goes for any age. However, in the years of all-nighters, thesis papers, and paperwork, turning off is a lot harder than just working into all the odd hours of the night.You may work best at night. That’s great! Work on yourself. I cannot tell you to put your phone up or stop watching YouTube because that is all I will be doing for the remainder of my twenties, but I will say maybe put a time limit on your work.
I try to cut all my work off at 10:30. That way, I can work very hard until the limit, but know that there is a stopping point. I also can do one or two ‘selfish’ things after working all day. My schedule that has a ‘due date’ on the termination allows me to schedule time for self-care, while it doubles as self-care itself. Another thing that I think that people in their twenties should take advantage of is their college or apartment gyms. I know, you have already given up on your New Year’s resolutions and the guilt has gone away. I know that Lent is here and you have used that as an excuse to give up sugar, so do you really need to go to the gym?
However, really, learn to take 10 minutes a day to workout. Set aside 10 minutes for your body’s improvement. Mental self-care is just as valuable as physical, but I’m not going to lie, I like seeing my physical self-care. In addition, with another time-oriented goal, you can easily measure it, and who knows? 10 minutes might become an hour! Okay.
Is it that much different?
Not really, the previous things still apply. You may have a job and need to relax, or stop and go to the gym and join some exercise classes, but you might also be a mom, or starting a family. In addition, you cannot really tell your life to let you take a break every night at 10:30.
Your life is a bit more unpredictable now. Your neatly planned college classes and date nights are swapped out for pizza dinners and trips to the family.
So where do you find you in this new life? Let’s swap out the 10 minutes at the gym for a 10 minute walk. You can do this with your kids, your spouse, or your pet…
I would never say to not do exercise. I believe in the Legally Blonde quote where she basically says that exercise gives you endorphins, making you happy, and therefore, not letting you kill anyone. While you might not be planning a murder, you might want to boost your happiness a bit. Also, maybe take some time every day, whether in the morning or at night, to just be with yourself. Meditate, read your Bible, sit in the bathroom and scroll through Facebook, do something that makes you feel more like you.
You should not be shocked; most of these categories work in tandem with each other.
There are yoga classes everywhere, even free on the internet. Breathe and take some time for yourself. They all are the same, just with a bit of diversity in the levels of intensity.
I decided to comprise a list of the healthy habits one of any age should do in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Give or take a few, but these are all amazing decisions you can consciously make every day. If you do these for 90 consistent days, they will become a habit and second nature to you, no longer feeling like those New Year’s resolutions!
- Drink at least two big bottles of water a day.
- Specifically when you wake up in the morning or before every meal.
- Get a water bottle that tells you when to drink what amount of water, it helps and it gets your competitive side out and makes you want to beat it!
- Give it 10.
- Give yourself 10 minutes a day to exercise.
- On top of that, give yourself and extra 10 minutes to just be you and do what you want to do.
- Get at least 8 hours of sleep A NIGHT
- The night component is important. The 8 hours should not be dispersed into 4 2-hour naps.
- Likewise, the sleep should not start at 3 in the morning. Sleep at night.
- Drink tea instead of coffee.
- Put your Gilmore Girls loving self-aside and just do a quick detox of the intense caffeine.
- Get rid of red meat.
- It might taste great, but the taste and the benefits are not the same.
- Try a new diet.
- Check and see if you are really lactose intolerant or gluten free. Cut the things that make you feel bad after eating for 2 weeks. If you come back to them and they make you sick, maybe cut them forever.
- Have you considered it? People need people, and I personally think a professional might be a better helper than your friends might.
- People go to therapy even when they do not have a strong mental disorder; it is just another way to have a nice and productive break.
- We are creative beings. Creating things does not mean just art, you can knit, or journal, or bake.
- When you create, you are given a chance to express your talent and an outlet for your stress.
- No more alcohol.
- I know. Actually, I do not because I do not drink. However, I get it. Just do not though.
- Learn something new every day.
- My English major self-got a ‘word of the day’ app. I do not use it, but I am also in college, so I feel like I learn by default.
- The only way to know what is always going on is to read.
- Read a book, the news, this article. We are so often caught up in the fast-paced world of YouTube and movies that we do not remember how to just relax and sink into our own little worlds.
- Go outside. This one is hard for me. I’m either too cold or too sweaty, but the sun will always improve your mood and your health
- Compliment someone else
- I write letters to girls on my hall. You can send a text. It takes 5 minutes, but it gets you out of yourself and in a giving mindset.
- There are thousands of apps right now offering meditations from everything to working out to taking a shower.
- If you do not want to pay the money, there are meditations on Spotify and YouTube free.
- Listen to your body.
- If you have not been motivated to get out of bed in a week, you are always grumpy, or you just are not invested and passionate anymore, see that and try to do something to change it.
- Your body knows when something is off. It is silly to ignore it.
- Trust your instincts.