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Blame the fact that I’m less than a year away from graduating college, but I just cannot stop thinking about “adulting” and my journey towards being the most successful woman that I can be.
I’ll be twenty-two at the end of this year and will be graduating this spring so it’s just like… fuck me, my baby status is coming to an end. And those scary thoughts paired with my small obsession with self-help and personal growth literature have cumulated into this concept that I can only be successful as I am healthy.
We all (should) know that personal health incorporates allllll aspects of our wellbeing- physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
As I was bumming it out this summer, plagued with these thoughts of impending death adulthood, I was just like WHAT IF I spend this last year of socially accepted immaturity to not only live out my American Pie dreams, but to also establish healthy habits to ensure that I have a strong personal foundation going into adulthood???
And THAT is why we are all gathered here today.
I mean think about it, by establishing a core set of healthy habits and routines now, while in our teens and early twenties, we’ll be setting ourselves up for personal success years down the road.
By establishing a HABIT, we’ll be establishing a routine for life (hopefully). How many times have you heard that it’s easier to start while your young?
Think of these healthy habits as a crutch for when times get tough later on. Working late (again) at your shitty stepping-stone job in hopes of impressing the boss to get that promotion to the role that you REALLY want? Well, it’s a good thing you’ve been in the habit of feeding your body nutritious food and are well hydrating meaning you have the energy to produce quality work at such a late hour. Your badass kid is running full speed through the grocery store? Good thing you’ve been in the habit of doing cardio twice a week for years. See what I mean? We’re setting ourselves up for success.
As I mentioned, personal health is split up into four categories:
Physical health is probably what a lot of people think of when thinking of health. Physical health is how well your body functions. Think diet, exercise, your immune system, hygiene, etc.
Mental health is, thankfully 🙌🏾, getting a lot of attention nowadays. Mental health is your psychological wellbeing. Keeping stress levels in check, managing anxiety and depression, and living a fulfilled life despite mental illness all falls under the whelm of mental health.
Emotional health is similar to mental health, emotional health is more focused on your thoughts, feelings, and reactions to life. Being able to identify, control, and maintain emotional stability is emotional health.
Spiritual health means something different to everyone. To some, it means being strong in their faith in their religion and having a strong relationship with whatever God they worship. To others like myself, it means finding peace and balance in my place in this universe and being in tune with the energies that be. It’s my opinion that everyone, even total atheists, like my mother, can find spiritual healthiness by acknowledging and focusing on the needs of their soul.
I’ve done a lot of self-reflecting and have decided on a few core habits that I think will benefit me and my lifestyle.
I suggest you do the same and tailor a list of habits to fit YOU and YOUR health needs.
I’m gonna go ahead and explain that habits I chose and why I chose, feel free to piggyback off of, totally copy, or totally disregard on your journey to creating a healthier, happier you!
I created this list of healthy habits based off of my health goals. I just basically decided what my best self in each category looked like and then thought of some habits that would not only help me get to where I wanted to be but also help me maintain those goals.
Also, I think it’s key that we remember that this isn’t supposed to be a list of every healthy thing you want to do in your life. Think of these habits and routines as a core foundation to build off of throughout your life. Don’t overdo it.
It was important to me to create a list of physical healthy habits that didn’t revolve around how I wanted my body to look. I’m a big believer in that if you treat your body right, the aesthetic aspect of body changes will follow naturally. I really wanted these habits to be focused on making sure my body feels good, not just that it looks good.
For others, physical health might include keeping up with doctors appointments, getting their IBS or other digestive issues under control, taking their meds every day, not purging, etc.
Habit #1: establish mindful eating habits
To me this means eating nutritiously, only eating meat once a week (if at all), and no eating after a certain time in the evening during the week*
*In an attempt to keep things ~realistic~ to my lifestyle, I specifically added that I would cut off eating at a certain time during the week bc I know myself and I know I am notorious for late night food runs on the weekend. Plus… the munchies and drunchies are real af.
Habit #2: drink a gallon of water a day
Whoo chile. This is probably the hardest habit on this entire list. I SUCK at staying hydrated. I’m that weirdo who doesn’t particularly enjoy drinking water… which is obviously something I need to work on changing bc water is essential to life.
I have accepted the fact that I am going to be that obnoxious bitch who carries around a gallon jug of water with her every day. I gotta do what I gotta do, ok??
Habit #3: commit to an active lifestyle
My goal is to walk 10,000 steps every day, which I will monitor with my trusty fitness tracker. This honestly isn’t very difficult to me, especially as a student walking around campus, but it is definitely something I want to keep up after graduation when it’s not going to be as easy.
My second goal is 30 minutes of activity three days a week minimum. This can be at the gym, exercising outside, fitness classes, etc. It doesn’t matter. Just thirty minutes, three days a week.
Habit #4: be dedicated when it comes to personal hygiene
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m no nasty bitch (as you should know from this post on general hygiene tips for women) BUT there are areas where I can improve. Specifically in the areas of skin care and dental care (y’all should be applauding me for my honesty here).
I really need to get into the habit of sticking with my skincare routine morning AND NIGHT. I find it soooo hard to do my bedtime skincare routine, but I know it’s lowkey the most important time to take care of your skin.
When I say dental hygiene, I just mean going to the dentist annually like we’re all supposed to and probably picking up a skin whitening routine.
All important stuff here.
My mental goals all revolve around decluttering my mind. That’s the number one way I deal with my anxiety (more on that later).
For others, their list of mental health habits might include taking their meds every day, committing to the goals and plans they made with their licensed mental health professional, etc.
Habit #1: maintain a daily planner
I am super good with this during the school year and I would love to carry this habit into adulthood with me! Filling out my daily agenda is a part of my morning routine and it takes maybe five to ten minutes to do, but I feel like it’s a great way to start my day and a great way to stay on top of things!
Habit #2: maintain a daily & weekly to-do list
Now I know y’all are probably like… wtf do you need a daily AND weekly to-do list ON TOP of your daily planner??
Hear me out. I make a weekly to-do list for the things and errands that I need to get done soon, but not ASAP. THEN when I fill out my daily planner, I make a to-do list for that day for things that need to be done ASAP and consult my weekly to-do list for things that I can add/squeeze into my day. Boom. Organized and on top of things.
Anxiety = minimized
Habit #3: Read something every day
Whether it’s an article, chapter of a book, required readings for school, other blog posts, it doesn’t matter. I LOVE reading and find it so mentally enriching. I don’t read as much as I used to, so this habit is really dedicated to making sure that I not only feed my mind but that I take some time for myself too.
Habit #4: pick up my surroundings everyday
What I mean by this is that I basically want to get in the habit of picking up clutter around my home such as not leaving dirty clothes on the floor and making my bed every morning.
This goes for my workspace as well, keeping a clean desk and an organized school/work bag!!
There’s a few studies that claim that cluttered surroundings, such as your room or desk, contribute to a cluttered mind!
Habit #4: put effort into my appearance every day
Y’all 😩 I am SO bad about this it’s embarrassing.
I will literally wear the same bun two days in a row or go out in athletic shorts and an XL t-shirt without even washing my face without a second thought.
In my quest to be more mindful and more ~mature~ woman, I’d like to change that and actually put effort into how I look when going out in public.
All I mean is doing my hair, washing my face, and wearing setting appropriate clothing lmao.
Habit #5: create and stick to a morning and evening routine
I would love to be that girl who wakes up and goes to bed at the same time every day, who follows a routine that’s so second nature she doesn’t even have to think about it and is always prepared and ready for the day/next day. I realized… WHY CAN’T THAT BE ME?
It can be and it WILL be.
I have the emotional intelligence of a catfish and suffer from anxiety that sometimes trickles into a mild depression. I have A LOT to work on regarding my emotional health.
For others, their list of healthy habits for their emotional health might include cutting off and staying away from toxic people in their lives, doing something every day that makes them smile, not emotionally eating, etc.
Disclaimer: the habits on this list may also be considered to be “mental health” related, but since the issues these habits are tackling emotional issues/have the biggest impact on my emotional wellbeing (TO ME!!), I included them as “emotional” rather than “mental health.” MY LIST OF HABITS MY CHOICE OK?!
Habit #1: journal everyday
As I said, I have literally zero emotional intelligence and my biggest struggle is identifying and communicating what I’m feeling. Many people have suggested that I start a private journal where I do my best to write about my day and how I felt throughout it, which can be especially helpful when trying to identify what triggers my anxiety and other nasty emotions.
As an almost social worker (class of ’19!!!) I know that many licensed mental health professionals use and recommend journaling to their clients for those exact reasons.
So why not practice what I preach, right?
Habit #2: commit to some type of therapy
I truly believe that any and everyone needs and can benefit from therapy or some type of counseling.
I also believe that I may need it more than others LOL. My emotional UNintelligence weighs on my chest like a stack of fucking bricks and it’s obviously best for my emotional and mental health if I begin chipping away at those pesky bricks sooner rather than later.
As I said earlier, my goals when it comes to my spiritual health I just want to find peace and balance. I know those aren’t easy to achieve and I’ll probably spend my whole life trying to achieve a state of wellbeing, but… that’s just life 🤷🏽♀️.
For others, spiritual habits often include praying every day, bible study, spending time with mother nature, helping others, masturbating, etc.
Habit #1: daily affirmations
I listen to affirmation videos on YouTube every so often and I do think that they have the power to help- if you let them.
I listen to affirmations for peace, well-being, success, and prosperity depending on my mood or situation. I do often feel at ease and/or empowered after listening to them, but I have not yet made it a habit like they suggest.
Words are powerful, y’all. Let’s get to harnessing that power!
Habit #2: meditation or yoga once a week
I have never truly meditated or done yoga, but it’s something I want to start!
Both can help alleviate anxiety/depression and are a form of self-care so I am all for it!
I really think taking an hour a week to focus on your soul has the potential to be life-changing and as life inevitably gets busier and busier with the addition of my career, possibly kids, expanding social life (hopefully lol), etc., I think it’ll be good for me to be in the habit of taking time for my spirit.
OUR YOUNG ADULT YEARS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT LIVING IT UP AND SETTING OURSELVES UP!!
We CAN and NEED to do both. Don’t focus too much on one side, but do your best to find that balance.
Being healthy and happy starts with yourself and your inner drive to be better. For me, that manifests in making and setting goals and establishing habits that will allow me to reach those goals over the course of my adult life. For you, it might manifest as something different and that is A-OKAY!!
As always, do you!