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What People Mean When They Say ‘Adulting’

5 Interesting Therapy Techniques For Trauma Work Presented by BetterHelp

What People Mean When They Say ‘Adulting’

The article is developed in partnership with BetterHelp.

Have you ever heard your friends decline to go out on weeknights and say they’re “adulting”
instead? You may not know what that means, but it doesn’t sound like much fun, does it?
You’d certainly be forgiven. Adulting is a relatively new word that sprang up when younger
millennials began striking out on their own after finishing school. People have been doing it
forever—well before the term became ubiquitous on the internet. In short, it means taking care
of responsibilities routinely expected of people with their own jobs, apartments, pets, and

How does one adult, though? It varies between people, but there are a few things you can do to
metaphorically cross the barrier between childhood and adulthood.

Staying Healthy

Your parents or guardians probably took you to your pediatrician now and then when you had a
fever. Many children have to get vaccines before they attend public school. High school athletes
usually undergo physicals before being cleared to play sports. You don’t magically shed the
need to see a doctor once you turn 18.

High costs can certainly hamstring access to care, but adults should see their doctors once a
year; those with chronic conditions might have to see specialists more often. Your physician can
monitor important markers of physical health like your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood
sugar. Being healthy is more than just being physically fit, though.

The links between mental and physical health are numerous and growing. Accordingly, young adulthood brings about many new stresses. Between ensuring you’re performing well enough at
your job and having enough money to cover necessities, you might find occasion to speak to a

Being Financially Secure

The first order of business here is to determine your monthly earnings. This is easier if you are a
salaried employee or an hourly one with a regular schedule. The amount you make must be
greater than your routine expenses. Regular expenses usually include rent or mortgage, food,
utilities, phone bills, and transportation. It’s also important to put away some money for
emergency expenses like car trouble or an unexpected hospital stay.

You might also want to retire someday. If so, you should start planning for it as soon as
possible. Any portion of your earnings you can set aside for retirement helps, but you might maximize your savings by putting money into an IRA or other retirement account. Ask your
employer about matching 401(k) programs they sponsor. Your future self will thank you!

Keeping Important Deadlines

You might feel like your life as an adult is ruled by deadlines. You’re not alone.

On top of paying the regular expenses we previously mentioned, you might have streaming
subscriptions, a gym membership, and lines of credit to worry about, not to mention taxes on
your care and home. You will need to keep a maintenance schedule for your car and other
vehicles you own.

If keeping up with all your recurring expenses feels too much, consider automatic payments.
Don’t forget to update them if you change your credit card or bank information, though.

Cooking Healthy Meals

It might be tempting to get fast food whenever you don’t feel like cooking. After a long day at
work, the last thing you want to do is head to the kitchen to expend even more energy.
Constantly eating out can deplete your finances and lead to an unhealthy diet, though.

To make cooking at home easier, invest in quality pots, pans, and utensils. It also helps to beef
up your spice drawer. Beyond that, cultivating a nutritious diet is largely up to you. Vegetables
(especially leafy greens), fruits, fermented dairy products, fatty fish, and whole grains are
important parts of many healthy diets.

Many people sing the praises of vegetarian and vegan diets. Everyone has different dietary
needs, so it’s best to consult a doctor or nutritionist before drastically changing your eating

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