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14 Things Every 20-Something Woman Should Start Doing

14 Things Every 20-Something Woman Should Start Doing

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 November 11, 2019

                              Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional?

                              Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional?

                              A dysfunctional family is more than disagreement or constant arguments. Anything from plain neglect, to abuse and even verbal and physical violence is the everyday experience of those who are part of a dysfunctional family.

                              You know how this looks:

                              • Parents constantly comparing children.
                              • Siblings in conflict because of tolerated bullying.
                              • Domestic violence.
                              • Adultery…
                              • And many others.

                              For all the members, this will mean emotional pain and even trauma; which, in case it doesn’t get resolved, will have a detrimental effect on the individual’s personality and development.

                              Needless to say, the younger members are the most vulnerable, but that doesn’t mean the parents are out of danger, as most commonly the parents play the roles of abuser-codependent, and in some cases, both parts inflicting pain on one another.

                              Most like to think these problems stem from deep-seated issues, and that therefore it’s pretty much impossible to deal with them.

                              This is only true for families not willing to do what it takes, for if only a single member is determined and knows how to do it, the whole family can do a lot of progress.

                              In this article, I’ll break down for you the basic steps of fixing a dysfunctional family. Although it may seem hopeless, it is possible to turn things around.

                              If you have ever felt in this position, or if you know somebody who is, this article is for you.

                              How to fix a dysfunctional family

                              In a few words the solution for a dysfunctional family lies in dropping the ego, focusing on the solution, switching blame for responsibility and doing the work as a unity, for the good of the whole family.

                              And this will accomplish things you once only saw as a dream.

                              Dropping the ego? Switching blame for responsibility? Doing the work? What does all this mean?

                              It’s simple. In a nutshell, it’s that which will allow you to turn a dysfunctional family into a functional one.

                              Let’s take a look at how exactly this can be done. And near the end we will also talk about what you can do in a dysfunctional family with cynical traits.

                              Dysfunctional families where not only problems are well-known, but also nobody seems to want a fix or openly decide to perpetuate the harmful behaviors. Such as the case of abuse and physical violence.

                              There is also a solution for these, it’s just not what you are expecting…

                              Dysfunctional… Or just average?

                              Most families are dysfunctional, though at varying degrees of dysfunctionality.

                              The milder cases, are just marked by “typical” comically-shrouded bullying or lack of interest in other members’ development or wellbeing.

                              You can know a family is dysfunctional if their interactions are anything different than cooperation, solidarity, care and support. But let’s get more specific…

                              A dysfunctional family is one in which members directly or indirectly suffer emotional and/or physical harm inflicted by other members of their family. Most commonly, perpetrated by the parents.

                              Even harmful actions as “passive” as neglect, which is inflicted by inaction rather than action, signifies a dysfunction within the family.

                              Dysfunctional families have conflicts such as:

                              • Unrealistic expectations
                              • Lack of interest and time spent together
                              • Sexism
                              • Utilitarianism
                              • Lack of empathy
                              • Unequal or unfair treatment
                              • Disrespect towards boundaries
                              • Control Issues
                              • Jealousy
                              • Verbal and physical abuse
                              • Violence and even sexual misconduct or abuse

                              You may think a dysfunctional family has very little or nothing to do with personal productivity, but you would be wrong in thinking this way…

                              If a person is not emotionally well, she will not be able to perform as desired, as the emotional harm that has been inflicted will hinder everyday performance in the way of inability to concentrate, lack of mental clarity and low levels of inspiration, motivation and discipline.

                              Having a functional family does exactly the opposite: It creates productive members with no emotional baggage.

                              How to turn it around

                              When you’re part of a dysfunctional family you know it. You can quickly identify in other members the behaviors and conflicts that create the dysfunction.

                              But just in case you’re having trouble telling functional from dysfunctional I will tell you the following:

                              One of the easiest ways you can recognize if you are in a dysfunctional family is to survey your won feelings.

                              We often overlook this, but have you stopped to ask yourself how you feel?

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                              As cheesy as it may sound it really sheds a lot of light on the subject.

                              What behaviors, actions and attitudes in your family you wish were better?

                              Do you think certain behaviors and actions from your family marked you in the past?

                              Sadly, we cannot go back to the past to correct it. But we can do a lot in the present…

                              Correction is possible

                              In order to fix a dysfunctional family, you must start by putting an end to the behaviors and actions that are affecting you.

                              Verbalize it.

                              All members of the dysfunctional family have one issue in common: They don’t put a stop to the harm.

                              Whenever you feel your boundaries being overstepped there is just one single word you have to remember: STOP.

                              This is the door to a better, more functional family, because after this, comes the fix.

                              But first you have to identify and make others know where exactly lies the problem.

                              So go ahead and fearlessly start with “Stop”, followed by your expression of dissatisfaction.

                              Putting it to work in real life

                              In real life it would be something like this:

                              “OK, stop! Every time you belittle me I feel you don’t care. I need attention and respect, and it is your responsibility as my family to provide them to me”

                              Or:

                              “Stop. When you compare me with my cousin it hurts, I feel like I don’t matter and that’s not ok. I ask you to stop doing it.

                              Or:

                              “Please stop. When you start yelling all respect is lost and it turns into a battle of who can do it louder. Don’t raise your voice and let’s work this out the way humans do”.

                              As you can see, here you start by putting a stop to the toxic behavior when it arises. And afterwards you verbalize why it’s wrong and what needs of you need to be fulfilled.

                              This is what you have to remember:

                              1-Stop.

                              2-Why it’s wrong?

                              3-What you need.

                              And this will also work well in case you need to do it for another family member.

                              It’s a family thing

                              A dysfunctional family cannot be fixed by one member alone.

                              Yes, a single member can initiate progress and be the leader of the change. But in order to completely become functional all members must contribute to the solution.

                              In other words, you will need cooperation…

                              So don’t be afraid of asking for it!

                              Approach your family member and ask to be listened.

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                              We sometimes feel our needs are “not that important” or we simply believe they won’t listen. But thinking like this would be like being defeated at an unfought battle.

                              You will be amazed by how much people listen when you voice your needs, especially if it implies showing yourself open, vulnerable and in need.

                              It’s not a free-for-all battle

                              In order to get your family to cooperate, first you must fix your individual relationships with every member of the family. Remember: Relationships are always between two people, and two people only.

                              No matter how complex, the quality of a multi-member relationship (like a family) will always depend on the quality of the individual relationships.

                              Once you have straightened the relationship with every member of the dysfunctional family you will be able to better communicate with other members and help in the betterment of their individual relationship.

                              And this is where we will talk about the fix itself. The one I mentioned in the introduction…

                              The method

                              1. Drop the ego

                              Wherever there is conflict there is ego.

                              You cannot fix a relationship where there is ego, because the ego will want to win. Always. Yours and the other person.

                              Ego craves control and satisfaction, and in many cases, to establish dominance.

                              What does this have to do with a dysfunctional family? Everything. Ego will interfere with every plan you have to fix it.

                              It will make people suborn and defensive. And it will also make them drop responsibility. This is why, the first step is to drop the ego.

                              After you make sure you are not going to allow your ego to interfere you must work to make the other person do the same. How? By speaking from the heart…

                              Tell the other person how important all this is to you.

                              Tell the other person that it’s not a matter of arguing, but just working things out together.

                              Point out how it is not possible for you to do it alone.

                              And ask for sincere attention without any desire of opposition, because what you are doing is by no means in the hopes of harming the other person, but just to better the relationship and stop the damage being dealt to you.

                              You will have to point out the mistakes you need corrected, that’s for sure. And that leads me to the next point…

                              2. Not blame, but responsibility

                              When talking about others’ mistakes we often use an accusatory tone. And that’s natural, it’s what things should be like if ego was not present.

                              But since we are all creatures of ego, this immediately brings the shields up. And then unsheathes the swords…

                              When we blame others they automatically enter a defensive state, and this only leads to a failed negotiation.

                              What you need to do is to shift from blame to responsibility. And even that will have to be done carefully!

                              Instead of telling them off or demanding change or complaining, calmly point what the problem with their behavior is.

                              As much as this feels contradictory, also make them feel understood. You know how difficult it is to accept a mistake, so just make them feel it’s no big fuzz… which does not mean it’s ok, but it takes tension off.

                              You will do something like this:

                              “Hello dad. Can I talk with you for a minute? I really need to tell you something.

                              I have been feeling pretty sad lately and I know this is something you do care about.

                              You see, whenever I talk about my accomplishments you mention something else that makes my achievement pale in comparison.

                              I know you don’t do this intentionally and I know you might have not realized this until now, but I want to let you know this really brings me down.

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                              It would mean a lot to me if you could stop doing it, and it would help better our relationship, because this has already forced me to distance myself from you. And I don’t want that, I want a good, healthy relationship with you”

                              What happened here?

                              We started off with making it something important, something that needs both time and attention. Then we openly show ourselves vulnerable, just as we are.

                              We also mention why he should listen, and shove our feelings there again, because they are important.

                              We describe the issue with no attachment and with no hostile intention. It’s just a description.

                              And then we take the blame off. Just before we assign responsibility without actually saying it.

                              You are not blaming him directly, but you are pointing out the inevitable fact that his actions are causing a dysfunctionality. He is now responsible for changing.

                              This is what “switching blame for responsibility” means. What comes next? Doing the work!

                              3. Doing the work

                              What would any of this mean if, in the end, nothing changes? Exactly, nothing!

                              This is why you must follow up with every change that needs to be done.

                              Do so in a manner that is not hostile. Bring it up in a casual manner, and emphasizing how you both reached an agreement and how that is important to the family.

                              If the person doesn’t follow up don’t hesitate to bring it up again, and tell them you feel disappointed that your honest try at it was not listened.

                              It may even be a subject in itself, and therefore the need for another conversation.

                              “When you go back to old habits it shows that you didn’t really care about what I said. But back in real life you just reinforce how much contempt you show towards me and my feelings.

                              I talk with you because I care. Because although it would be easier for me to just distance myself from you I rather do my part in nurturing this relationship.

                              But there is just so much I can do, if you refuse to do your part I can do nothing else.”

                              You need very clear and positive communication in order to make this work.

                              Love is all you need

                              You must remember that in order for a dysfunctional family to become functional, all the work needs to stem from love.

                              That is the single one requirement for all this to work: Love.

                              And what happens if it simply is not there?

                              What happens if, nobody is willing to do what it takes?

                              What happens if a member of the family refuses to change and is happy with the harm he or she is dealing?

                              There is only one thing you can do:

                              To break away.

                              Let’s be honest, people, especially adults, are very difficult to change.

                              There is a Jewish proverb that I love, which sums it up like this:

                              “We spend the rest of our lives trying to unlearn what we learned before we were 7”

                              If you find it very hard to change the very traits that make your family dysfunctional or if it’s simply impossible, you still have a card up your sleeve…

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                              Although nobody likes to beak away from family members, we must remember we have a responsibility with ourselves as individuals, before any relationship with anyone.

                              You have the responsibility of making yourself happy and free. Because you matter as an individual, regardless of any relationships you have, be it family, friendship or romantic.

                              Putting distance

                              So in case you are dealing with a family member who is simply unwilling to change take both physical and emotional distance.

                              What do I mean?

                              Learn, first, to take their damage in a detached manner.

                              Don’t let it hurt you further. Instead take a deep breath and distance yourself emotionally.

                              Don’t be attached to feelings such as “Why doesn’t she love me?” or “What did I do to deserve this?” or “If he wasn’t like that my life would be perfect”.

                              Simply refuse to keep participating in the emotional downward spiral and accept, even if it’s painful” that there is nothing you can do. Accept that even without that relationship you are whole, you are worthy of love and respect.

                              They are their responsibility and you are yours. So decide what is best for you.

                              Realize it only comes down to two possibilities:

                              I keep the relationship and therefore accept the abuse. Or…

                              I choose my peace of mind.

                              And don’t let your mind fool you. We often think that since we all are imperfect, we must take the good and the bad behaviors of people. And we are especially forgiving towards our family…

                              Well, guess what? We are also responsible adults who are aware and must own to their acts. Never excuse abuse or violence or transgression towards you or anybody else.

                              Choose your happiness and if possible, also distance yourself physically, as it will increase your peace of mind tenfold.

                              How to prevent it

                              There are two key concepts you must bear in mind in order to prevent the dysfunctionality of a family:

                              • To be completely aware of one’s own mistakes and not allow them to impact others and…
                              • To make sure our SO’s are also on the same channel before creating a family (i.e. having children)

                              Dysfunctional families are the product of irresponsible paternity, for the decades-long unresolved emotional conflict ends up surfacing in the family inevitably, and it will for sure harm those who least deserve it: Innocent children.

                              You may notice we went from talking about family, to talking about individual relationships, to talking about you. We went from “them” to “us” to “me”.

                              Why? Because in the end you have the power to fix a dysfunctional family. To correct the mistakes you have in yours and to prevent dysfunctionalities if you don’t have a family but plan to create one.

                              Priorities and clear thought

                              You may be part of a dysfunctional family, but that does not mean you are powerless or that you have to suffer the consequences.

                              You learned today how it’s all a matter of priorities and thinking clearly.

                              You learned that, if love exists, everything is possible. You learned that even when there is no love and no fix for your dysfunctional family, there are still things you can do. It’s a matter of choosing your peace, because you deserve it.

                              Everything will be better if you apply this knowledge. If you talk to that problematic family member. If you help them see the harm they are doing. If you make sure they do change and treat you the way you need to be treated…

                              If you choose yourself over that toxic family member. If you refuse to justify the harm that others can do to yourself. If you realize the most important relationship you have is with yourself.

                              And lastly, that you also have to be aware of your actions and be open to criticism. Because we might be unknowingly harming others. And that would be us creating a dysfunctionality. Don’t allow it to happen.

                              Dysfunctional families are not impossible to fix. It just takes love, cooperation and responsibility.

                              But if you tried and those elements are not present, just choose yourself instead.

                              Featured photo credit: Xavier Mouton Photographie via unsplash.com

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