The Challenges You Face in Your Twenties

December 30, 2019

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Getting through your teenage years is no easy feat. Your emotions are all over the place, and you are exploring who you are while often feeling confused and misunderstood. But we all get through that stage, and then we have our twenties ahead of us where we can happily put our teenage angst behind us, right? If only life were so simple. 

The struggles of your twenties are very different from the struggles of your teenage years, but they are not any less significant. The issues you face as a teenager will not necessarily stay with you as you mature but they will also evolve alongside you. In an ideal world, the problems you came across you would be able to deal with and move on from. However, much of the baggage from our childhood stays with us independent of how old we are, unless we are able to process this trauma and deal with it fully. That's not to say that only people who have had 'bad' childhoods will have challenges as they mature into adults and beyond. And having a less than perfect youth doesn't automatically mean you can't be an emotionally healthy adult. 

Along with the stresses of adulting, there are specific challenges that you face in your twenties which will be outlined below. 
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As a twenty-something, you fall into the millennial category which has its own very unique associations. Millennials, people coming into adulthood in the early 21st century, tend to be achievement-oriented, highly ambitious, and having grown up in the world of digital technology, are well versed in the digital world. One of the less positive traits associated with millennials is the increased propensity to suffer from mental health issues. 

Mental Health
Society places a great deal of pressure on young people. For the twenty-something who has perhaps gone through college, you are now at the stage where society expects you to start, for lack of a better word, producing. But with so many options available to you, it can feel incredibly overwhelming. The career path you choose to go down, or finding the right relationship can feel like an incredibly important decision. And the perceived failure of any kind can lead to a lot of stress and can result in mental health issues. 

Navigating your way through the many goals and deadlines of your twenties can be a minefield. Not only do you have to make many decisions on your academic progression, career, and relationships, but you have to do so in a social media bubble, which encourages perfection and constant comparison to your contemporaries. The power of social media can affect many people in negative ways and the failure to achieve often unrealistic standards of beauty, or success, can fuel anxiety and depression.

Recognizing that your twenties will be full of challenges, some expected, and other unexpected will allow you to have realistic expectations of this time in your life, and hopefully allow you to put these challenges in perspective. View these years as 'foundational years' where you are creating the building blocks to your future life. Setbacks are a natural part of evolving as a human being, and with failure comes growth. 
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Physical challenges 
In your twenties, your body is physically at its strongest. Your bones and muscles have developed to be at their peak functionality, and if you lead a healthy life, then your body will function optimally. 

Nonetheless, there are still many areas that will continue to shift and adjust well past your teens, and one of these areas is your teeth. By the time you reach your twenties, your teeth will have gone through years of wear and tear. Still, hopefully, good dental habits are paying off, and visiting the dentist regularly (every six months to a year) will mean you keep on top of your oral hygiene. Our teeth continue to move in our twenties. If you wore braces in your teens it is essential in your twenties to continue to wear a retainer, or your teeth will move back to their original position. Years of wearing braces will go out of the window, as well as the money spent on getting that perfect smile if you do not wear your retainer. If you didn’t have braces, you may need them now, and have to face the challenges of uncomfortable teeth and learning which food to eat with braces.

It is very common for wisdom teeth to come through in your twenties, with impacted wisdom teeth (wisdom teeth that do not emerge fully in the mouth) causing all kinds of problems. Wisdom teeth are teeth that don't function inside the mouth, and as such are often removed as a solution to the problems that can result from these teeth. 
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Skin conditions 
There is a rise in adult acne among adults. Hormonal fluctuations, stress, and diet are all factors that can lead to acne. When you're a teenager, you can put it down to the natural fluctuations in your hormones, but when you're in your twenties, it's very frustrating to see your skin breaking out. There are many reasons you can find your skin breaking out in your twenties, and stress and inflammation are two of the biggest causes.

Adjusting your skincare routine will certainly help control your breakouts, but if you are going through a lot of stress, this can appear on your skin. Stress causes hormonal fluctuations which can aggravate the skin in people predisposed to adult acne. An overload of sugar can also result in inflammation which can cause an imbalance in your skin.

If you are stressed and likely trying to deal with your stress with sugary foods, then you will be exacerbating the problem. Try eating a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods such as fish, grains, and vegetables. Adult acne is embarrassing for many people, but the reality is that most people suffer from the occasional breakout well after their teenage years. 

On top of the many challenges that you face in your twenties, the physical problems are the ones that are more easily dealt with than the emotional. Looking after your emotional well-being, and being a little more forgiving and understanding of yourself will go a long way to help get you past this transitional period. 

*contributed post*

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