If I had a time machine, I’d go back to my 20s and have a stern word with myself (and one last lie in)
Your twenties is probably the most difficult, character defining decade of your life. It’s the decade where you’re expected to ‘figure everything out’, so of course- it’s undoubtably going to bring some pressure.
When you were younger, you’d look at your twenties as a time where you’d be totally settled down. You’d feel like a ‘real adult’ and be doing ‘real adult things’ like living away from home, sharing your life with your perfect partner, have a successful, thriving career and ultimately just be happy. Some of us even imagined we’d have our own family in our mid twenties (now I absolutely LOL at the thought of me having a kid at 25).
The truth is however, life works out differently to what we expected sometimes- and that’s ok. We’re all on different paths.
I know many of you may be thinking that it’s easier said than done to just ‘stop worrying’. When you’re in the midst of feeling lost, anxious or insecure, it’s not just something you can turn off like a switch. It’s shit when you feel like this- but things will get easier and you will ultimately feel content with everything in the end, I promise. I hope these pieces of advice can help you on your quest to happiness and success.
1) Stop being so hard on yourself
Turn off the voice of your constant inner critic and learn to compliment yourself more. You may not have that ‘perfect’ job that you’ve always wanted or not have achieved exactly what you want yet but concentrate on your other successes and give yourself a break.
2) It’s ok that you haven’t got your shit together yet
Do you ever feel like you’re not a real adult yet? Everyone else around you seems so together and grown up and you don’t feel there yet? It’s ok to feel like this- you’ll get there in the end. Relax and enjoy yourself.
3) Let go of poisonous relationships
This goes for friendships as well as relationships. It’s not serving you any purpose and you are better off without it- no matter how hard it may feel to let go of it. You’ll thank yourself later.
4) Get drunk now whilst your hangovers aren’t as bad
Think hangovers are bad now? Wait until your in your late 30s. Enjoy being young and having your crazy nights out now before you’ve got kids and have to watch Peppa Pig all day with a wine migraine.
5) You haven’t lost friends- you’re just finding your real ones
Quality not quantity. Your 20s is challenging and full of stresses and the people who care about you during these times and stick by you are friends for life- it doesn’t matter that you haven’t known them since you were 11.
6) If you want to travel, do it now
Don’t get to your 40s and look back in regret. Save up, get on a plane and experience the world whilst you still have your freedom.
7) Don’t stay broken hearted for too long
Life is short. Each breakup brings you closer to the person who’s right for you. In a few years time, you’ll look back on how much time you wasted crying over that person when you’re having breakfast in bed with the love of your life and think ‘what was I thinking’.
8) Some shoes don’t stretch out
I know you couldn’t resist buying those shoes in the sale which were a size down from your usual- but they will DESTROY your feet and will then sit at the bottom of your wardrobe with the 20 other pairs you abandoned after one very painful night out.
9) Ask your parents for advice
Even if you don’t necessarily need it- it makes them feel good and wanted. Also, they were your age once and know you better than anyone- they’re probably your best bet.
10) Celebrate your loved one’s special moments with them
I know you may be hungover or it’s a two hour train ride away, but make an effort to show that you care. You’ll regret not doing this when they’re no longer around.
11) Deal with your mental health better
It does not make you a weak or pathetic person if you suffer with anxiety or depression in your 20s. It’s the most common age to develop it and more people than you think will be going through this. Speak to someone, look after yourself and know that it will get better.
12) Put the bleach down
Don’t mess with your hair too much otherwise by the time your 40 it will look 60.
13) Embrace your looks
You’re never going to look like those models in magazines because even the models don’t look like they do in magazines. They are Photoshopped AF (this goes for celebs on Instagram too) . Embrace what makes you YOU and stop obsessing. You look good.
14) Budget better
Try to have enough money for the lifestyle you want to lead otherwise you’ll turn to credit cards and that’s another stress that you do not want or need, trust me.
15) But also, don’t worry about money too much
Some of your friends may have savings and half of their mortgage paid off already- but they probably don’t give themselves time to let their hair down and enjoy themselves. Enjoy yourself now and worry about all the other stuff in your 40s.
16) You are NOT old
Seriously, you’re in your prime.
17) Exercise more
Endorphins are a magical thing. I know it’s unbelievably appealing to stay in bed all evening watching Friends, but your mind will be so less cluttered, you’ll feel so less stressed and will have so much more energy if you do this. Just get it over with.
18) Do more small, simple gestures which make people feel good
It’s nice to be nice.
19) Stop saying hurtful things out of anger that you don’t mean
Words hurt and can stick with someone for life no matter how much you apologise. Control your anger better.
20) Be happy for other people’s happiness
Jealously is a waste of energy. Empower other women rather than trying to knock them down.
21) If your job’s making you ill, LEAVE.
I don’t care if the impressive company name will look good on your resume- if you’re being taken advantage of, are suffering from stress and feel sick on a Sunday night at the thought of going to work on a Monday- leave immediately. Life’s too short.
22) Put down the iPhone
Experience the good times for once in the moment rather than through a lens.
23) You have the key to your own happiness
Stop blaming people and situations- if you’re not happy, do something to change it. Even if it’s difficult to talk about or do, just do something.
Please let us know in the comments if there’s any advice that you’d give your 20 year old self and feel free to share this with you friends- you never know, it might really help someone out today.