If you talk to pretty much any adult you know about what it feels like to be a grown up, chances are they’ll lean in and say confidentially “I have no idea. I still don’t feel like an adult even though I have a mortgage, a great job and three kids.” Most of us are just struggling along and wondering when exactly we’ll feel equipped to handle everything that the world throws at us. Luckily there are a few things that we can do to make ourselves feel as though our lives are a little more in order…
Start Eating Healthily
One of the changes that pretty much everyone notices in their twenties is a change in their metabolism. When you were twenty-one you could survive on a diet of beer and pizza and feel pretty much fine, whereas these days a couple of glasses of wine after dinner will give you a horrible hangover the next morning. That means that unfortunately it’s time to clean up and start eating healthily. Make sure you cook your food from scratch as much as possible. Cut down your portion sizes, make sure you include all the food groups, eat plenty of leafy greens, and remember that moderation is key.
Budget Your Money
Make credit card debt a thing of the past by starting to budget your money properly. Make sure that you carefully consider your incomings and outgoings and that the latter absolutely doesn’t exceed the former. Put some money – it doesn’t matter how much – into your savings account every month and make sure that you don’t touch it. If you have problems trying to budget your money then take out however much you need in cash at the start of each week and make sure that you don’t use your cards.
Get That Promotion
It’s time to make your career a whole lot more important in your life. If getting up in the mornings feels like a drag, it’ll get a whole lot easier once you start to enjoy your job more and have more control about what you do every day. Don’t be a wallflower – make sure your boss is aware of the good work you do, and make sure you put yourself forward whenever you can. Success at work is often about networking and the relationships that you build and you’ll find out about way more opportunities if you go for that. If you want a new job, go for it even if you think you may be underqualified. Women are particularly shy about doing so – remember that there are far less qualified men in far higher positions of power!
Declutter Your Home
Rip down those old posters and throw away the rag rugs – you aren’t in a dorm room any more, Toto, and it’s time to make your home look like an adult’s. Make sure that everything in your space is carefully chosen. It doesn’t have to be expensive – Ikea furniture can look great and it’s also a good idea to look through second hand stores to find items that will suit your budget. Keep your surfaces free of clutter so you have less to clean and consider using a neutral palette on big items like couches and drapes so you can change up the small splashes of colour like pillows and rugs whenever you want something a little different.
Get Your Body Fit
As your metabolism gets increasingly worse and your diet (hopefully!) gets better as you get older, you should also make sure that you start a good fitness routine to make sure that your body is strong as well as slim. Focus on strength and feeling good about yourself – you want to be able to run up a couple of flights of stairs without getting out of breath. If you don’t particularly want to join a gym, try out Couch To 5K for a routine that will help you learn to run in no time, or maybe a YouTube yoga routine that you can do that will make you more flexible and strong and also more spiritually healthy.
Make Sure You Speak Up For Yourself
One of the most important things about getting older is that you start to care a whole lot less about what people think of you – which means that you start to ensure that you get what you’re entitled to as you start to speak out more and more. Make sure that things are as far as they can be. Make sure you find an injury lawyer if you need one instead of attempting to soldier on in pain or debt. If you’re being treated unfairly at work, speak to HR. If you think your partner isn’t treating you well, then get out of the relationship. Make yourself your top priority.
Get Politically Involved
In this day and age it understandably feels as though everyone has a lot of opinion about politics. The world is getting more and more divisive and chances are, you find yourself falling firmly on one side or other of the political divide. If you feel strongly about what you believe, then do something about it. Go to a protest or make one of your own, and contact your political representatives to make your views known – remember that letters and emails can be ignored but phone calls absolutely cannot! Doing something is always better than doing nothing and you’ll feel a lot less powerless if you get involved.
Make Time For Your Friends
As you get older, you go through a lot of different friendship dynamics. When you’re in college, your friends become your family but as you get older and have your own family, you often get a whole lot closer to your parents again. No matter what the dynamic is, you’re probably starting to find out who your real friends are – and it’s important to maintain those friendships by making time to meet up with them and letting them know that you care and are thinking about them even if you’re both living busy lives. There might be changes happening – maybe one of you has a high powered job while the other is more family focused – but if your shared past is important to you and you still enjoy the time you spend together, do your best to accept the choices your friends have made in order to keep them in your life.
Start A Hobby You Love
If not now, when? That’s the question that you should keep asking yourself over and over again. There will never be a better time to start doing something you love and you will never find it easier to make space in your life. The best time is now – so if you’ve always wanted to learn to paint or to sing, or if you want to drag your partner to dance classes or if you want to start grad school and finally get some extra letters after your name, then sign up for classes at your local college. Remember that you’ll always find time for the things that really matter to you.
Make Sure Your Relationship Is Healthy
It’s never too early or late to get out of a relationship that isn’t right for you. If you don’t have kids, you don’t have anything holding you down – and if you do have kids, remember that you should always do your best to model a happy and healthy relationship so they know what to look for in their own relationships when they’re older. If your partner makes you feel bad or stupid or doesn’t communicate with you in a way that makes you happy, don’t force yourself to stay out of guilt or any other reason. You deserve someone who makes you feel good about yourself and who supports you unconditionally and you shouldn’t settle for second best.
Improve Your Beauty Routine
The signs of ageing on your skin are something that will strike fear into the heart of a lot of people. Fine lines around your eyes and mouth and on your forehead often can’t be prevented, so why not focus on what you can do? Make sure that you use a lot of sun protection, whether that’s sunscreen under your makeup, a foundation with a high SPF or wearing a hat whenever you can. Use night cream and eye cream before you go to bed and make sure that you moisturise your neck and décolletage as well as your face. Go for higher end beauty products to make sure that you’re buying quality.
Start Using Positive Language
It’s absolutely crucial that you start speaking positively about yourself. The words you use about yourself will have an effect on the way you look at your reflection in the mirror and the way that you interact with the world. Make the most of the things you love about yourself and work on the things that you’d like to improve instead of despairing about them – and remember that no one is perfect. Remind yourself that you can do anything that you want and that the world is out there for the taking.