15 Healthy Habits Every Girl Has To Have Before She Turns 18

Living a healthy lifestyle is about so much more than just dieting and exercising. Self-care is so important, and developing the right healthy habits early in life will not only help you live longer, get sick less, and feel more energized, but they’ll also make you happier (among many other things). Unfortunately, living that kind of life often gets a bad rep. Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter are full of memes about how pizza is your one true love and how exercise should really mean Taco Night. Fitness gurus who wax poetic about eating clean and working out are seen as too extreme and annoying. This kind of view on healthy habits can cause people to ignore them completely.

The truth is this: getting into self-care isn’t just about swapping out all pizza and cheese for kale and vegetables. It’s not about eating clean and never touching processed foods. It’s not about exercising for three hours a day or saying things like, “No excuses!” It’s about doing things that are good for your mind and body, and sometimes, those things don’t involve food or the gym at all. Seriously! It’s time to start focusing on your mental and physical health so that you can be the best person you can be. And yes, I know that sounds very corny. I’m just really passionate about this! Here are 15 healthy habits every girl has to have before she turns 18: 

Drink Herbal Tea Every Day

One great healthy habit that doesn't always get enough credit is herbal tea. You should start drinking at least one cup of herbal tea every day from now on - even if you drink coffee every morning. There are so many benefits to drinking herbal tea that it's hard to mention them all, but the highlights include giving you more energy, giving you antioxidants that help protect against a lot of different kinds of cancer, reducing your risk of a heart attack, hydrating your body, improving bone strength, and preventing neurological diseases. Plus, it's delicious!

In the past year, I've started to try to drink at least one cup of tea every day - I usually have a cup around three in the afternoon, when I start to feel myself crashing and need a boost, but I don't want all of the caffeine in coffee. It can also be really relaxing and soothing to have caffeine-free herbal tea before bed.

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Establish A Skincare Routine

Skincare is so incredibly important, and I'll probably always regret that I didn't pay more attention to it growing up. It wasn't until the last few years that I forced myself to develop a skincare routine, and I really wish I had done it earlier, because my skin feels and looks so much better than it ever has. You should establish one ASAP based on what your skin needs.

For an example, my skincare routine goes something like this: at night, I start by removing all of my makeup with makeup remover. I then use a deep cleanser to wash my face. I then apply a face mask (more on that in a little bit), wash that off, apply toner, then serum, then overnight moisturizing mask mixed with Vitamin E or jojoba oil, put on eye cream, and finally go to sleep. In the morning, my routine is: wash my face with an energizing/exfoliating cleanser, apply toner, serum, day face cream with SPF, and some daytime eye cream. Find the products that work for you and do something similar!

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Meditate Or Do Yoga Daily

Everyone out there is stressed out or feeling frustrated with something. It's really important to learn how to relax and unwind, and that should involve something that really works. You should put aside at least 20 minutes every day to either meditate or do yoga (or a mix of both). I love doing yoga every morning. It makes me feel more awake, it makes me feel stronger, and it just puts me in a great mood. It also really does help with my anxiety.

Those benefits are legit, too! According to this infographic, daily yoga can help prevent diseases, improve brain function, put you in a good mood, and so much more. You can watch free YouTube videos if you'd like (I love

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Make Basic Healthy Foods

There's nothing wrong with eating pizza, chips, popcorn, ice cream, tacos... all that good stuff. Everyone should indulge in their favorite foods! But let's not pretend that it's okay to eat junk food every moment of every day. It's not. You have to try eating healthy sometimes, and what that really means is you should learn how to make some basic healthy foods. Give yourself some basic cooking lessons and aim to cook yourself something healthy a few days a week.

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Read Every Day

Reading is so important, and I really don't want to hear that you're not into it. I mean, sure, some people hate reading, but... why? In all seriousness, you should try to read at least one thing for at least 20 minutes every day. There are actual
health benefits to reading every day. They include making you smarter, fighting neurological diseases like Alzheimer's, sleep more, and stop feeling stressed out.

There's no limit on what you can read! Grab classic literature, or go for a romance novel. Read the latest YA book, or an autobiography. If you can't seem to get into a book, read a magazine on a topic you're really interested in - I'm sure you can find one. Read the newspaper! Just read!

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Use Face Masks At Least Three Times A Week

I swear by face masks and constantly feel surprised when people tell me they don't use them. Face masks can make your skin look and feel awesome, especially when you use them regularly. There are so many options out there, but one of my favorites are sheet masks. Sheet masks deliver an incredible boost of hydration and moisture that rivals other skincare - that's why they're so popular in Korea and Japan. I use a sheet mask almost every night. You can alternate between masks too - use a sheet mask one night, and a pore-cleaning charcoal mask the night.

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Get Outside

Get some Vitamin D, gir! And no, not that Vitamin D, ya pervs. I'm willing to bet that not enough of you go outside every day, and now that spring is here, you have no excuse. Go out and enjoy the fresh air. It's good for you! It gives you energy, can make you happier, and boosts brain power. I personally feel miserable when I can't get outside - the days I spend in the sunshine and fresh air are the days I'm at my absolute happiest.

You don't need to go on a serious camping trip to get this done. Go for a 15 minute walk every day. Start exercising outside. Go on a picnic. Explore. Have an adventure. Sit on your porch with your homework. Anything! If you get into the habit now, it will soon become second nature. But if you constantly stay inside, you'll be that way forever... and that's not healthy.

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Clean Your Room Once A Week

I'm super messy, and so I need to follow this advice personally. Cleaning is a healthy habit because it makes you feel better - it makes you feel more productive and organized and can help clear your head. Instead of letting the clothes pile up and your sheets get totally wrinkly, start cleaning up after yourself. Then, one day a week, spend some time cleaning up whatever is left. Get into this habit now!

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Stretch Every Day

Even if you don't work out, you should be stretching every day. Stretching relieves stress, helps your body heal, make you more active, increase endurance, protect your body from getting hurt, makes you more fluid, helps you concentrate, and improves balance, among other things.

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Find An Exercise You Love

I know you hear this all the time, but seriously, start exercising. I can't stress how important it is, and it's definitely not just about losing weight. There are so many other benefits of exercise, like boosting your immune system, making you happier, and keeping you healthy inside and out. The trick is finding an exercise you genuinely like. I personally love running outside and doing SoulCycle, but those aren't for everyone! Find what you like and do it regularly.

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Wake Up At The Same Time Every Day

I know it can be hard to wake up at the same time every day. If you have to be up at 6 AM for school on the weekdays, you probably want to sleep until 11 AM on the weekends. I get it, but you should try to keep things consistent. Doing so will make you less tired throughout the week - it gives your mind and body balance. You'll adjust to getting up at that time and your body will become so used to it that it will stop being difficult.

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No Screen Time For A Certain Amount of Time Every Day

A few weeks ago, I did a no technology challenge during non-work hours, and it was kind of life changing. I know try really hard to put aside time each day where I don't look at my phone, computer, iPad, or TV. It's tough, but worth it! Give yourself a 30 minute or hour long technology break every day to read, hang with friends, sleep... doesn't matter, as long as it doesn't involve a screen.

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Schedule You Time

One healthy habit that's so important is learning when to say "no" and when to have "you" time. Getting rid of stress and anxiety is incredibly important, and sometimes you just need time to be on your own doing the things you love.

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Drink More Water

Everyone says it for a reason: it's important. There are endless reasons why you should drink more water, and that could take up an entire post. It keeps you healthy, it makes you look better, it gives you energy, it fills you up, it hydrates you... again, the list is endless. If you don't like water, add lemons or fruit to make it more exciting.

Source: iStock

Which of these healthy habits do you have already? What did we forget to include here? Fill me in in the comments!

You can follow the author, Jessica Booth, on Twitter or Instagram.


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