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14 Things Every 20-Something Woman Should Start Doing

14 Things Every 20-Something Woman Should Start Doing
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As the new generation, you, the 20-something woman, experience generational gap and lots of discrimination in a world dominated by the “political correct” policy. You need to learn to survive immediately if you want to become a successful woman, spouse, and mother. To do this, you need to master a number of things which will help you understand how this wacky world is made. The way you spend your 20s will define you, so make sure you make the most out of this decade. Some of these activities are to be tried once in a lifetime, others are life-long skills, but make sure you try each one of the these things every 20-something woman should start doing.

Embrace a healthy lifestyle.

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    As a 20-something woman you might have a great, toned body and a slim figure, so you might think you don’t need to take up a healthy lifestyle yet and still rely on Cosmo and chips to get you through the day. A myth about healthy lifestyles: they are restrictive. Ditch this false idea and embrace a rich diet and a good exercise routine which you can stick with for the rest of your life. This must not be restrictive as you must have all the necessary nutriments needed for your energetic life. A healthy lifestyle promotes better health and can keep away chronic diseases like diabetes or heart issues for a lot of years to come.

    Learn to breathe deep.

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      Learning to breathe deep–using your abdomen–will bring you lots of benefits, but to avoid taking up all the space in this article, I will only number a couple of them: good sleep, better posture, a fit body and a positive attitude towards everything around you. Deep breathing is all about using your diaphragm and inflating your lungs entirely. Practice it until you master it, in order to gain all the benefits from this simple lifehack.

      Get enough sleep.

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        The lack of wrinkles and the boosting energy of a 20-something woman are two of the main reasons why young women party all the night and forget to make use of their beauty sleep. But it is time to get enough sleep for the sake of your health and beauty. A good night’s sleep promotes a positive attitude, lots of energy and great skin. Plus, it enhances your memory, as the memories are formed during sleep. Some believe regularly getting a good sleep can help postpone dementia.

        Learn to meditate and manage stress.

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          Meditation is very important for a 20-something woman as life becomes more stressful, while the responsibilities gather with the speed of sound. Yoga and other meditative practices are great ways to manage stress efficiently and achieve a positive state of mind, even in the most unpleasant situations. You also get in touch with your body and learn to listen to it carefully, thus any early sign of disease becomes more visible than before, so you can start healing sooner. Meditation also helps you gain more sensitivity and experience life deeper, as all the sensations will be enhanced.

          Define your fashion style.

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            Fashion has been a matter of importance since women first discovered the wonders of clothes. As you enter your 20s, you should ditch the teenage clothes (most of them) and get a new wardrobe. The new essentials: a little black dress, a clean office outfit for the interview for your dream job, a pair of pants made from wool, pants which fit you now, a skirt and multiple blouses to go with it, and a couple of clothes which make you feel sexy and powerful, regardless what others say about you. Do not forget about underwear as you enter your 20s and turn from a girl into a woman.

            Master the great art of make-up.

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              Make-up is an art, but one can master it with lots of practice. And what time is better to master it than your 20s? Lean how to use subtle make-up to enhance your features, hiding the ones which don’t complement you. Also, look for tutorials and learn how to make stunning make-up to wear at the club. When you’ve mastered this art, you will look great and your confidence will literally boost, turning you into the lighthouse of your friends.

              Learn to cook.

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                The ability to feed yourself is essential, even if you now have someone else to feed you on daily basis. Moreover, cooking is a form of expressing yourself, so you need to master the dishes and put on a great meal out of anything: fruits, veggies, meat or a couple of leftovers. This will also exercise your creativity and ensure a healthy diet.

                Become an avid reader.

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                  The Internet is a great source of knowledge, but one must not ditch the real deal. There is nothing more rewarding than curling on the couch with a good book and a glass of wine. A 20-something woman is mature enough to know what she wants, but the real personal depth can only be made by reading. Pick famous books, controversial ones, the Bible, the Quoran, anything you can put your hands on will help you develop and gain more wisdom.

                  Learn to play chess.

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                    Chess is an old game and exercises the mind a lot, so it can help you stay away from dementia and promotes sharp thinking. Practice chess each time you can, mostly in the stressful periods, as it can lead to a clear head and help you solve your problems. And because it is a game of two, it is a great opportunity to find friends who match your intellect and passions.

                    Become an efficient financial specialist.

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                      As you hit your new (and hopefully improved) life after you finish your studies, as a 20-something woman you will earn your first money. So it’s time to learn how to spend it wisely, as you also need to start saving. As you are in your 20s, you should keep an eye on your finances and look for ways to save when you go shopping. Read the financial news, stay in touch with the new opportunities and take them as quick as possible, after you analyse the risks and put them in balance with the benefits. And learn how to turn your eyes from those Manolo Blahnik!

                      Travel solo.

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                        Travelling on your own is frightening, dangerous and awesome. Get some essentials in a backpack and start your freedom adventure now. Travelling alone means you will not have someone else to rely on, so you will learn to get out of tricky situations and fend for yourself. Travelling alone is also a great way to master other points in this list, like cooking and managing finances. Your social life will boost, not to mention that you will learn new things, embrace new habits and learn about the culture of other people.

                        Learn to touch yourself.

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                          There is no better time to discover yourself than your 20s, so go ahead and learn how to touch your own body. Pleasing yourself is a great way to become aware of your own body and discover what you like and what you don’t.

                          Ditch the social media and make real friends.

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                            Being social is great, but Facebook & co. are not the way to do it. Close that account and go out and make real friends, not those who just give a like to a post. Relationships are essential, and you will be happier and healthier when you spend time bonding with your friends in front of a coffee or at a concert.

                            Try an extreme sport at least once.

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                              Extremes are all about it when you hit your 20s, so make sure you do all the things you wanted to do or have been afraid of. Yes, that’s right: experience frighting activities, so you can then state you’ve been there, done that and had overcome your fears. For a girl who is afraid of heights, experience sky-diving or hiking to ditch the fear and welcome the awesomeness. Later in your life, you will thank yourself for this.

                              Featured photo credit: Hipster Skirmish/Basil Gloo via flickr.com

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                              Last Updated on July 20, 2021

                              How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

                              How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
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                              You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

                              Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

                              Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

                              Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

                              1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

                              According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

                              “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

                              Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

                              Warming up

                              If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

                              If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

                              Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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                              1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
                              2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
                              3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

                              Stay hydrated

                              Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

                              To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

                              Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

                              Meditate

                              Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

                              Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

                              Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

                              Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

                              2. Focus on your goal

                              One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

                              Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

                              Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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                              Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

                              If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

                              3. Convert negativity to positivity

                              There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

                              ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

                              It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

                              Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

                              Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

                              Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

                              4. Understand your content

                              Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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                              However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

                              “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

                              Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

                              Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

                              One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

                              5. Practice makes perfect

                              Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

                              In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

                              Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

                              6. Be authentic

                              There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

                              Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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                              Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

                              To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

                              With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

                              Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

                              7. Post speech evaluation

                              Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

                              Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

                              We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

                              You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

                              Improve your next speech

                              As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

                              Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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                              • How did I do?
                              • Are there any areas for improvement?
                              • Did I sound or look stressed?
                              • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
                              • Was I saying “um” too often?
                              • How was the flow of the speech?

                              Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

                              If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

                              Reference

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