People in their 20s keep making these same health mistakes

Loneliness Can be Deadly, Mental Health and Heart Health

So, you think you can "adult."

As 20-somethings tackle what for some may be the unfamiliar terrain of a 9-to-5 job, paying bills (including tens of thousands of dollars in student debt) and struggling to have a social life in the midst of it all, it's inevitable that something will fall through the cracks. And, more often than not, the first thing millennials will neglect is their physical and mental health.

Here are a few of our most egregious offenses:

Skipping regular check-ups

As children, it was standard procedure to get an annual physical at the doctor's. If you dragged your feet all the way to the office as a kid, it's likely you're not going at all as an adult. According to a survey conducted by Zocdoc, 93% of millennials don't schedule doctor visits, with 43% of respondents of all ages saying they instead opt to self diagnose using the internet.

Source: Giphy

A number of factors can affect these findings, including the increase in work hours for the millennial generation making it difficult to find time for a doctor's appointment and the sheer price alone of health care.

Not getting enough sleep

As a society, we're getting less sleep now than ever, with an average sleep time of just 6.1 hours. Millennials suffer the worst of this pattern, with only 29% of the demographic reporting that they get adequate rest on a daily basis, according to Newsweek.

Source: Giphy

A 2010 Pew study suggested one possible cause for the discrepancy: Over 80% of millennials sleep beside their phones, which can glow and vibrate to life at all hours of the night, which can disturb sleep cycles.

Ignoring mental health issues

In the 2014 American College Health Association's National College Assessment, data showed 21.8% of students reporting anxiety and 13.5% reporting depression. And psychologists say most mental health conditions typically arise between the ages of 18 and 25, with disorders like depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia cropping up in young people ages 18 to 20.

Source: Giphy

While mental health issues are getting more attention than ever with celebrities speaking out about their own experiences and an entire month dedicate to increasing awareness, there are still some pervasive stigmas that prevent people from reaching out for help.

New York City designer Jessica Walsh combats these stigmas on her Instagram account Let's Talk Mental Health, where she and co-designer Timothy Goodman post illustrations tackling stereotypes surrounding mental illness.

On her website, Walsh writes, "I hope in our generation we can move towards ending the stigma and shame around mental health issues, and I hope to contribute to this movement even if it's in a small way."

RELATED: 20 mistakes making your home unhealthy:

20 mistakes that are making your home unhealthy
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People in their 20s keep making these same health mistakes

1: Not Keeping a Barrier Between You and Your Bedding

Use zippered dust-proof casings for pillows and mattresses. The pore space of such casings is so small that dust mites and their waste products can't get through.

2: Vacuuming Without a HEPA Filter

Use HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters to prevent tiny particles of dust from being blown back out into the air.

3: Forgetting to Change the Vacuum Filter

Changing the filter is an essential part of keeping dust out of the air and preserving the life of the machine. Change the filter once it's showing wear and tear or every six months if you're using a HEPA filter.

4: Forgetting to Change the AC Filters

Never run your heating or air conditioning system without filters, and be sure to change them at least every three months.

5: Not Ventilating Your Bathroom

Running the exhaust fan (and making sure it's vented to the outdoors) helps remove moisture from this naturally humid room.

6: Not Attending to Your Gutters

Leaky gutters can cause excessive moisture to enter your basement or crawl space. If you don't have covered gutters, frequent litter removal is a must year round.

7: Too Many Textiles in the Bedroom

Carpeting, rugs, pillows, upholstered headboards and chairs are all dust catchers. Consider minimizing furnishings for an easier-to-dust environment.

8: Too Many Textiles in Your Living Area

The living room is the same as a bedroom. Keep upholstery to a minimum to reduce the amount of dust mites.

9: Inviting Allergens Into Your Yard

Avoid plants that are wind-pollinated — grasses are among the worst pollen offenders.

10: Not Following Your Nose

If you detect a musty smell in your home, inspect closely until you find the source of the smell. The sooner you find the mold, the easier it will be to remove.

11: Not Organizing Your Home Office

Clutter can harbor a plethora of dust mites — this includes stacks of papers, old magazines and office equipment. File paper inside a cabinet to stay organized and keep dust away.

12: Wearing Shoes Inside the House

Not only is wearing shoes indoors a health risk, but it can also increase allergens. Wet leaves bring in mildew and pollutants from grass get trapped on the bottom of shoes. Take your shoes off outside, or put them in a washable tray as soon as you walk in the door.

13: Letting the Trash Pile Up

You could attract some unwanted guests (like mice and roaches) inside your home if you let your trash pile up. Their droppings can worsen your allergies, so make sure you stick to a routine of taking out the trash.

14: Displaying Houseplants

You may enjoy your beloved fern, but houseplants encourage mold growth. Mold spores live in warm, wet dirt, so limit the amount and time you display them.

15: Letting Your Pet Sleep in Your Bed

Your favorite part of the day may be snuggling up to your fur baby, but pet dander traps allergens — which means you're inviting those allergens to your bed. If you can't resist the cuddles, then you should completely shave your dog. Just kidding — just be sure to bathe them once a week.

16: Keeping the Temp Too High

Dust mites and mold love to live in warm climates. Keep your thermostat around 70 degrees to help keep them at bay.

17: Installing Wallpaper in the Bathroom

Patterned wallpaper is a beautiful addition to any room, but installing it in wet rooms (bathrooms and kitchens) can increase the risk of mildew. Opt for tile or textured paint that's mold-resistant.

18: Not Using the Exhaust Fan When Cooking

If you love cooking, all that steam from the stovetop will produce excess moisture. Turn the exhaust fan on to reduce it, helping to decrease the chance of mold.

19: Ignoring Your Bathmat

Think about it. You step onto your bathmat completely wet on the daily. To keep it fresh (and to keep mildew away), hang it to dry after every use, and stick it in the washer once a week.

20: Avoiding Protective Wear While Gardening

Even if you aren't highly allergic to pollen, it can still irritate your eyes, nose and throat. To prevent this, always wear a mask and gloves while working in the yard.


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