50 pieces of advice women would share with their younger selves

Be more confident, look after your physical health and learn to say no are among the top 50 things women wish they could go back and tell themselves. A survey of 2,000 females aged from 18 to 65 and over, commissioned by Vitabiotics Wellwoman, found that stop caring what others think, don’t waste time with negative people, and don’t let opportunities pass you by, featured high on the list of advice.

Health was a prominent theme with those being surveyed advising to make sure you understand your own body, look after your mental health and consume treat food and drinks in moderation. It wasn’t all serious as women would also advise their younger selves to go on all the holidays they can, take more photos and to leave their eyebrows alone. Other pearls of wisdom included prioritising friends over romantic partners as they’ll be around longer, being yourself, and that if something needs to be a secret, it’s probably not a good idea.

A spokesperson for Vitabiotics Wellwoman, said: “They say hindsight is a wonderful thing, and that is often the case when you look back at things that have happened in the past. I’m sure we’ve all got things we’d love to be able to go back and tell our younger selves now that we have lived through it and come out the other side. It’s easy to look back and think about how you would do things differently – life is all about learning from experience. But empowering women to share that knowledge and experience with younger generations is key – women should support women to give their health and wellbeing a boost as much as possible.”

The study also found 55 per cent of women admitted there’s nothing they’d like more than to go back and pass advice onto their younger selves, but a quarter admitted they probably wouldn’t listen. However, there were some generational differences in the advice they would pass on, with older women more likely to tell the younger them to pay into a pension, learn from their mistakes and have a healthy diet. Whereas Gen Z and millennials are more likely to recommend taking more photos, looking after your mental health better and not feeling like you must attend every social event. Meanwhile 22 per cent of all women admitted health and nutrition related tips would be a priority to pass on to the early version of themselves.

It also emerged 52 per cent sought advice from others when they were younger, with parents seen as the best source of help, followed by grandparents and best friends. It works both ways though as nearly one in five (19 per cent) have also given advice to an older person that they went on to take. And 88 per cent think it’s important for women to help and support each other as much as possible.

The research also revealed 46 per cent feel January is a great time to reflect on advice they’ve received and act on it. Health and fitness are the most common areas to reflect on during the new year, along with finances, diet and nutrition, and their appearance. A spokesperson for Vitabiotics Wellwoman said: “You often receive advice and tips, but sometimes it’s only later that you look back, reflect and wish you had taken it on board. But the new year is a great time to do this and re-evaluate things to make your health and wellbeing a priority.”


  1. Be more confident
  2. Stop caring what other people think
  3. Learn to love and accept yourself
  4. Learn to say no
  5. Don’t waste time with negative people
  6. Have faith in yourself
  7. Put into a pension scheme regularly, even earlier in life
  8. If things aren’t working out, make a change
  9. Don’t let opportunities pass you by
  10. Look after your physical health more
  11. Save 10 per cent of your wages every month
  12. Learn from your mistakes
  13. Go on all the holidays you can
  14. Tell your friends and family you love them often
  15. Be yourself, don’t be a sheep
  16. Don’t be afraid to speak up and share your opinion
  17. Make sure you eat a healthy balanced diet
  18. Listen to your gut instinct
  19. Look after your mental health better
  20. Spend more time with your parents/grandparents
  21. Try and live in the moment
  22. Invest in property as early as you can
  23. Just relax and enjoy the ride
  24. Have a good skincare regime early
  25. Worry less about the future
  26. Resolve arguments quickly because you never know when the last time you might see someone may be
  27. Eat more of the foods that are good for you
  28. Never feel it’s too late to change career
  29. Celebrate the little wins
  30. Appreciate your own children more when they are tiny
  31. Take better care in the sun
  32. Dress up for yourself, nobody else
  33. Be more independent
  34. Take more photos
  35. Spend more time with your friends
  36. Consume ‘treat’ food and drinks in moderation
  37. Seek medical/professional advice if something is concerning you
  38. Learn more about ‘female health’ so you can better understand your body (e.g. periods, fertility, menopause)
  39. Leave your eyebrows alone (don't overpluck them!)
  40. Prioritise friends over romantic partners – they’ll be around for longer
  41. Be disciplined with your time
  42. Don't get rid of any clothes because they'll most likely come back into fashion
  43. Don’t settle down with a partner until your thirties
  44. Forget FOMO – you don’t have to go to everything
  45. If it has to be a secret, it’s probably not a good idea
  46. Set yourself physical challenges (e.g. 10,000 steps per day, a 10k run)
  47. Take vitamin supplements to support your diet and health needs
  48. Read better books
  49. Ask for more pay rises or a promotion
  50. Don’t be afraid of rejection when asking someone out

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