The 20s is a decade of discovery, transitions, and decisions, and often, can be the most overwhelming period of your life. This decade brings with it a shift of roles and responsibilities, transitioning from college to jobs, from relationships to marriage, and perhaps even marriage to parenthood. Its only natural that you might find yourself running around crazy, wanting to quit on #adulthood and #adulting.
However, there are always ways to keep your sanity in check, and find yourself some peace and happiness. Here are the 10 simple rules to stay happy in your late 20s:
- It’s not personal, so don’t take it personally. When we find our roles changing, we often begin to question our sense of security and seek validation from other people. When the validation doesn’t come, we feel disappointed and begin to question our self-worth. In such times of doubt and insecurity, we might act unlike ourselves and might even subject our friends or partners to a lot of crap; all the while expecting them to not take it personally. However, when we are subjected to other people’s projection of internal conflicts, we start to take it personally and end up feeling hurt. Well, it’s not always personal, and we shouldn’t always take it personally.
- Not everything in life needs to be done with an expectation of gaining something in return; sometimes, being selfless takes your farther in life. As children, we are conditioned with rewards and punishment; you do well in something, and you get rewarded with good grades, unending praise, gifts, and a whole lot of parental attention. But I have found that adulthood is somewhat different… We don’t always get something in return, per se, except just the feeling of happiness for doing it. No one is going to come pat your back all the time, and it’s wrong to even expect it. And not everything will bring your equal benefits. So don’t do something for someone only if you are expecting the same in return. That expectation is unhealthy, and only leads to disappointment. But selflessness… well, that’s just your personal joy that can’t be taken away from you.
- Make someone happy; happiness is contagious. When you do something special for someone you love, and they feel loved and happy, you feel loved and happy too. When you do something nice for someone, I can assure you that they feel immensely loved, even if they may not always be able to express it explicitly. But making someone happy is the greatest gift of all. So go ahead, and sprinkle that love and happiness everywhere. Trust me, you won’t run out.
- If and when you feel broken, cry it out. No, it doesn’t make you weak, and no, it’s not unhealthy. Grieving is an important part of growing up and being emotionally healthy. So cry till you need to, and then pick yourself up, and look ahead.
- Travel, travel, travel. As far and as often as you can. There is NO replacement for traveling, because nothing is half as rewarding as that. Check out my listicle, Wanderlust: 10 Reasons Why Travel is Happiness! to know why you should make time to travel as far and as often as you can.
- Eat clean, stay hydrated, and stay fit. No, not because you need to lose weight or look hot in a bikini (well, that too), but because your body is changing drastically in your twenties. And before you know it, you’ll be in your thirties, trying to conceal the lines on your face and avoiding those sweets because you found out you are diabetic. So before all that goes down, learn to look after your body. Stop treating it like a garbage bin, and will yourself to eat clean and nutritious food. Drink lots of water, and try to work out at least thrice a week.
- Read, at least for 30 minutes a day. Exercising your mind is just as important to your well-being as exercising your body. So give your mind food to think and thoughts to process, and allow your perspective to broaden. Let yourselves consider new schools of thought. Whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, read something every single day. You can also check out my listicle, 11 Reasons why Books are Better than People
- Practice self-control, and strengthen your will-power to make yourself stronger. Every change of habit requires will-power and self-control; whether it’s to shed off the extra kilos on the scale, or to quit drinking, or to just practice patience and gratitude. It all requires solid will-power. So exercise that dormant muscle of self-control and will-power, and make it stronger so that you can become stronger yourself. Learn to say no.
- Make meticulous plans to achieve your goals, and work relentlessly until you achieve them. Set yourself goals that can drive your future to success- academic, professional, personal success. Allow yourself to dream bigger and make real, concrete, meticulous plans to achieve those dreams. Work and slog till you finally succeed, because there is absolutely no shortcut to achieving those goals. You have no choice but to relentlessly work hard. Every. Single. Day.
- And when sometimes, those plans fail, learn to accept defeat as an integral part of growth, and let it go. Move on. When you have tried everything you could, and done everything possible, and it still fails, let it go.
Try to implement these 10 commandments in your late, and find yourself walking closer towards a more content, happy, and rewarding twenties!
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Lots of love,