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Navigating Mental Health in Your Early 20s: A Guide for Young Women

As a young woman in my early 20s, I know firsthand how overwhelming and confusing this new stage of life can be. The challenges of university, relationships, and identity can have a significant impact on our mental health. But we're not alone! Here are some tips and tricks that have helped me take care of myself and prioritize my mental health.

Feeling lost

Feeling lost is something that I have experienced many times in my early 20s. At times, it feels like I don't know who I am or where I'm going. However, I've found that journaling is a great way to gain clarity and perspective. Taking a few minutes each day to reflect on my thoughts and feelings has helped me understand myself better. Additionally, talking to someone I trust, like a friend or mental health professional, has provided me with valuable insights and support. Trying new things, like joining a club or volunteering, has also helped me discover my passions and interests.

Feeling stressed

Stress is a common feeling for university students, and I'm no exception. According to the Psychological Association, young adults between the ages of 18-25 have higher rates of mental health disorders compared to other age groups. In fact, 1 in 5 young adults experiences a mental health condition. Additionally, a survey conducted by the university Health Association found that 60% of university students report experiencing overwhelming anxiety, while 40% report experiencing depression. Prioritizing self-care has been essential for my mental health. I've found that taking time for activities that help me relax and unwind, like practising yoga or reading a book, has been incredibly beneficial. Creating a schedule and making a to-do list has also helped me stay organized and reduce feelings of overwhelm. Additionally, getting enough sleep and maintaining a consistent sleep schedule have been crucial.


In my experience, questioning my identity has been an ongoing process, and I've realized that it's okay to feel unsure at times. It's natural to change and evolve as we grow older, and sometimes that means reevaluating our values, beliefs, and goals. Reflecting on these aspects of myself has been a helpful tool in understanding who I am and what I want out of life.

When I've taken the time to reflect on my values, I've found that they help guide me in making decisions that align with who I am as a person. This has given me a sense of purpose and direction. Similarly, reflecting on my beliefs has allowed me to better understand what's important to me and what I stand for. I've found that my beliefs have a significant impact on my identity, and being true to myself means being true to my beliefs.

I've also found that setting goals for myself have been a helpful way to navigate my identity. Goals provide direction and motivation, and achieving them has given me a sense of accomplishment and pride. Through setting and achieving goals, I've gained a deeper understanding of who I am and what I'm capable of.

Lastly, being open to trying new things and embracing change has been crucial for my personal growth and self-discovery. Stepping out of my comfort zone has allowed me to challenge myself and learn new things about myself. Even when things haven't gone as planned, I've gained valuable lessons and experiences that have helped shape my identity.

Overall, reflecting on my values, beliefs, and goals, and being open to change and new experiences have been helpful to navigate my identity and find confidence and security in who I am.


Social media and the internet can have a significant impact on our mental health. I've found that taking breaks from social media can be helpful. Constant exposure to social media can be overwhelming and impact my mental health. Taking regular breaks and limiting my time on social media have been incredibly beneficial. Additionally, focusing on my strengths and what makes me unique, rather than comparing myself to others, has been helpful. Practising self-compassion has also been important. Treating myself with kindness and understanding has helped me feel more confident and secure in who I am.

You are enough

Taking care of mental health in our early 20s is crucial, as this is a time in our lives when we're facing significant changes and transitions. From starting university to entering the workforce, we're navigating new environments, relationships, and responsibilities. These changes can be overwhelming and can have an impact on our mental health.

Prioritizing self-care is an essential aspect of taking care of our mental health. This can involve taking time for ourselves, practising mindfulness or meditation, exercising, and getting enough rest. When we prioritize self-care, we're showing ourselves that we value our well-being and that it's okay to prioritize our needs.

It's also important to seek help when we need it. Reaching out to a friend or family member for support, seeking professional help, or accessing mental health resources on campus or in the community is important. Seeking help can feel scary or vulnerable, but it's a sign of strength and shows that we're taking our mental health seriously.

As young people, we may also struggle with feelings of not being enough. It's important to remember that we are enough just as we are. Our worth isn't defined by our achievements, grades, or external factors. We're inherently valuable and deserving of love and respect.

Navigating mental health in our early 20s can be challenging, but it's also an opportunity for growth and self-discovery. Through prioritizing self-care, seeking help when we need it, and embracing our inherent worth, we can take steps towards improving our mental health and well-being. Remember, we're not alone, and it's okay to ask for help when we need it.


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