Listen up, ladies and gents. Your thirties are calling. They want you to be your best self…and it’s easier than it sounds. Your thirties are a decade to learn and grow, but they are also a time to refine your habits. Inject meaningful doses of health into your routine now, and your 60-year-old self will thank you later. Your thirties are a great opportunity to take stock of your daily routines and ensure that you feel good inside and out. From careers and family life to food, sleep, and fitness routines, there are hundreds of individual habits you can cultivate every day to feel your best. So let’s get to it. Nine healthy habits ahead.
Advocate for yourself.
By the time you’re in your thirties, you are your own biggest supporter. You have seen the ups and downs and know which direction you want to go. Whether at work or in relationships, it’s important to take stock of your needs and goals and advocate accordingly. To create the future you want to live, you have to speak up. Be your own best advocate by seeking out those conversations and people who will support you on your journey.
Be an at-home master chef.
Take a leaf from Julia Child’s book, and master a few delicious dishes. By the time you’ve entered your thirties, you have the opportunity to eat out less and whip up more in the kitchen. Teach yourself how to eat healthy: Try new veggies, and tackle that tart that you’ve been eyeing on Pinterest. Take it one step further, and create a signature meal—not just a dish, but a full, healthy meal (from salad to main to dessert) that you can whip up in an hour or two for special occasions and impromptu dinner parties.
Cultivate mental health.
You exercise and eat nutritious foods to promote a healthy body, but it’s just as important to nourish your mind. Each person’s mental health is different, so it is essential to tap into your specific needs and meet those needs—whether that means scheduling time just for you each week or seeking opportunities to talk with a therapist. There are hundreds of ways to nourish your mental health, but you have to make it a priority and actively seek out those opportunities.
Grab some Zzz’s.
When you’re in your thirties, you have to demand a full night’s sleep. Between fussy babies and late nights with friends (not to mention those midnight hours you spend catching up on work), essential hours of slumber slip away, never to be seen again. Because sleep has such an enormous impact on your well being, try to create an environment in which you can sleep soundly—for as long as possible. Create a nightly routine, buy new bed sheets (don’t skimp on that thread count), and invest in a sound machine if external noises constantly wake you up.
Whether you’re going to the local YMCA to work out or walking twice a week with a group of friends, it is essential to get up and move. Especially for those languishing at desk all day, your body and mind are healthier when you take time to exercise. Develop a weekly fitness routine so working out becomes a healthy habit that you just can’t miss. And if scheduling is the problem, grab a yoga or Pilates DVD and do it in your living room after the rest of the family has gone to bed. Add a regimen of multi-vitamins and drink more water, and in no time, you will be on your way to feeling more energized.
Give the gift of presence.
Whether at home or at work, it seems like everything requires your attention. Even though you feel pulled in a hundred different directions, try to put the phone down and be present in the moment. Whether that is playing with your kids or typing an email, try to press pause on the never-ending flood of thoughts and to-do lists, and just take in what is in front of you. Cultivating attention to the present moment will bring a measure of peace to your day.
Put your pals on the calendar.
Once you pass thirty, it’s easy to talk about getting together with your friends, but it is notoriously hard to make it happen. We feel good when we are around people who make us feel good, so carving out time to spend with friends is essential. Put a brunch on the calendar, or make concrete plans for a phone call with a long-distance friend. You’ll feel great once you’ve caught up, and—whether it’s an hour-long meal or a ten-minute phone call—it will be a shining spot in your week.
Seek healthy finances.
Encouraging healthy habits starts from the minute you wake up in the morning to the moment your head hits the pillow at night, and that extends to finances. If your financial life isn’t what you want it to be, small changes can contribute to bigger, more meaningful results. Schedule a meeting with a financial planner, or start by saving small amounts each day. If you have a goal in mind and a touch of discipline, you can make big things happen.
Stick to a skincare routine.
At 30 years old, you are long past the days of falling asleep in full foundation and mascara. First of all, it’s bad for your face, and second of all, you want to nourish your skin and take care of it—it’s your body’s largest organ, after all. Always take off your makeup at the end of the day (micellar water and makeup removing cloths do the trick), and develop a skincare routine—including cleansing, moisturizing, and, the all-important layer of sunscreen—so that your skin can continue to look great and stay healthy.