In Your 20s: Self-Care Essentials to Lock Down

This feature was written by Studio MSP writers. While some of our advertisers were sourced, no advertiser paid to be included.

You’re navigating school, your career, and personal relationships—and learning how to balance it all on your own. (Well, mostly.) You can’t thrive in this ever-changing decade of life without prioritizing your health and wellness. Set yourself up for success in the future by starting healthy habits and practices now.

1. Find a health care provider you trust.

Finding a practitioner you vibe with and trust is so important. If you like your doctor, you’re more likely to share more sensitive info and ask those questions that have been percolating. Ask friends or coworkers for a referral, or do some intensive googling to get started on your search.

2. Take back your night.

It’s never too soon to establish sleep hygiene and a routine. Exposure to blue light (like the light your phone emits) can disrupt glucose and cardiovascular regulation during sleep. Opt to read a book or meditate, then wind down in a cool, dark room. Too noisy outside? Consider a sound machine!

3. Channel your inner Top Chef.

If you’re an amateur in the kitchen, this is an ideal time to hone your skills and learn to make a handful of nutritious and delicious meals packed with whole grains, veggies, and proteins to nourish your body and cut down on your Uber Eats bill.

4. Keep an eye on boozy brunches.

The actual definition of binge drinking is having more than five drinks in a night for men and four drinks in a night for women. Having a few drinks on a night out is totally normal, but if you notice you’re drinking more heavily more often, it may be a good idea to reexamine your relationship with alcohol or take a break from booze.

5. Check in with yourself.

Early adulthood means finding out who you are and who you want to be. Big life decisions and changes can be stressful, so be sure to check in with yourself. About one in four adults struggles with a mental health disorder every year. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help when you need it.

Hot Topics to Discuss

+ What’s the deal with “second puberty”? Some women in their 20s report going through physical and emotional changes similar to those you deal with in your younger years. It’s not actually puberty, but if you’re noticing more acne, weight changes, or increased moodiness, it’s all part of aging and is totally normal.

+ SPF every day. Yes, even on those cloudy, overcast winter days. Protect your visage (and the rest of you) with SPF 30. Pro tip: Layer it over your daily moisturizer to make life easier.

Don’t-Skip Screenings

  • Cervical cancer check starting at age 21, then every three years, plus a test for the human papillomavirus (HPV) every five years starting at 25   
  • Breast exam every one to three years
  • Baseline blood pressure screening, then every two to five years if it’s normal
  • Full-body skin cancer screening every year to every three years, depending on risk
  • Eye exam every five years
  • Cholesterol test every five years
  • STD screening every year, regardless of condom use

Vital Vaccinations

  • Influenza (IIV4, RIV4, or LAIV4) every year
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) two or three doses, depending on age at initial vaccination or condition
  • Meningococcal B (MenB) two to three doses
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Tdap) one dose, then booster every 10 years and during each pregnancy
  • Chicken pox (varicella) two doses, if born in 1980 or later and not previously administered
  • Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) once, if not previously administered
  • COVID-19 (Pfizer, Moderna) one booster shot at least two months after your last dose or booster

We don’t mean to nag, but are you flossing regularly? Start flossing now so it’s a no-brainer habit in later years. Oral health can have an impact on cardiovascular health, so make sure you’re flossing and getting regular cleanings.


You have the highest chance of developing immune system disorders in your 20s (Think: lupus and rheumatoid arthritis). The same is true for Type 2 diabetes.


of young adults ages 19–34 have prediabetes.

Read more from our Annual Health Guide in the November issue of Mpls.St.Paul Magazine or here. 

November 22, 2022

9:50 AM

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