If you want to develop healthy habits that’ll last a lifetime, it’s best to start early. The habits you form in early adulthood are likely to become routine behaviors that stick with you throughout your life. .
Even though developing healthy habits requires some level of willpower and discipline, it’s actually easier than one might think.
According to a 2008 Archives of General Psychology study, roughly 20 percent of college students meet the criteria for having an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). Not only is heavy drinking problematic for the moment, but it can also lead to a pattern of alcohol abuse later in life.
Even one drink can be deadly to an alcoholic who doesn’t know how to limit his or her drinking. But the good news is that if you get your drinking under control in your 20s, you’re much less likely to develop problems with alcohol later in life.
Find Healthy Outlets for Stress
Getting rid of stress naturally will help you cope with the compounding issues that seem to come hand-in-hand with adulthood. The further you get into your career, the more stress you’ll encounter. But if you develop healthy habits now, you’ll find those moments easier to handle.
Try healthy stress relievers like meditation, yoga, exercise, and massage. When you incorporate these stress-relieving activities into your daily routine, you’ll find it much easier to relax without medication or alcohol.
Get Physicals and Dental Exams
Get into the habit of getting regular physicals and dental exams when you’re in your 20s. These appointments usually aren’t as crucial at this life stage, but it’ll help you keep abreast of any potential issues you may have. And as you get older, those regular preventative care appointments will help you stay healthy into your 30s and 40s.
And as part of your regular health checkups, be sure to get checked for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Untreated STIs can have a long-term impact on your health and relationships.
Learn Healthy Communication Techniques
Communication is a challenge for most people, and most relationship breakdowns can be traced back to poor communication on one or both sides. But if you can learn about healthy communication in your 20s, you’ll have much more productive and valuable relationships as you practice these techniques throughout your life.
Relationship counselling or conflict resolution training can help you build the skills you need for effective communication.
Make Smart Money Moves
Now is a great time to start investing in your future. If at all possible, start putting money into a retirement account or 401k. And if you have any extra funds, consider investing in stocks or mutual funds. You might be tempted to wait, but now is the best time to make compound interest investments because your money will grow over time.
And, at the very least, be sure to set aside an emergency fund. If you don’t have adequate funds for emergencies, you could easily go bankrupt or into serious debt.
The best way you can prepare for a healthy future is to handle your financial health.
Establish Healthy Sleep Habits
Good sleep hygiene is crucial to your health and longevity, but it’s not something most people think about in their 20s. It’s not until later in life when we’re more likely to struggle with insomnia that we start paying attention. But the truth is that sleep is important at every stage of life. And developing healthy sleep habits in your 20s can help set you up for success later in life.
Now is the ideal time to develop healthy habits in all areas of your life. When you get into the right groove, you’ll sleep better, manage stress more efficiently, have better relationships, and enjoy financial stability.
For more great college tips, check out the other blogs on College Basics.