Frequently we are guilt-tripped into feeling like somehow we aren’t allowed to be better. We get into this stale mindset and are convinced that we’re either 1. fine the way we are or 2. we should be spending our time, energy, or resources on “more important” things for our families, relationships, job or community.
As I have written about before I “invest” in myself in various ways, and I think it’s one of the most valuable things a person can do. Prioritize yourself, your needs and your mental, physical and emotional health before everything and you may find your life seems to flow a little easier.
- Therapy – I wrote about this previously here, but investing in time with an unbiased third party can help sort through thoughts and emotions. It can be SO helpful, cathartic even.
- Coaching – I not only engage in therapy, but I engage in coaching. This differs in the way that my “coach” is not my therapist, more of “counsel”. My coach helps me dig into my emotions, work on focusing my ambitions/goals and clarifying the steps I am taking toward creating the life I want, in all aspects. Coaching can be very specific, or it can be broad, but if you want to challenge your self growth, investing in a coach for any focus area is money well spent. 6 months to a year of coaching may be all you need – or maybe you want to try it out for a longer period…either way, it’s a worthy investment.
- #treatyoself – OK – this is a bit cliche – but in my post about “Little Luxuries” I talk about how important it can be to inject some beauty, enjoyment or luxury into your day to day. This is another form of “investing” in oneself, since it’s easy to be like “well I should spend this money on the kids/my spouse/the house or whatever” – but really it is SO OK to spoil yourself in some ways.
- Get your health right! – THIS is huge (and admittedly not always cheap) – but investing in your HEALTH is something that can’t be overlooked. Do you suffer physically from various ailments? Those things, as small or insignificant as they may seem, can cause a snowball effect of epic proportion. For instance:
Say you get poor rest/sleep. This can cause you to be distracted or tired at work, snappy with your coworkers, friends or loved ones, and even gain weight. Maybe all you need is a new, fresh set of bed linens. Perhaps you need a fan to control the heat in your bedroom at night. Could an ergonomic pillow or upgraded mattress help? An eye mask or ear plugs? Any of the aforementioned items could be purchased for a relatively small investment – but can help both immediately and immensely.
Maybe you have an ongoing pain in your tooth. You put it off again and again because something else seems more urgent, and then BOOM all of a sudden a routine filling has morphed into a full fledged infection and quadrupled in cost. You might even miss a day or two of work because of it now, which means more money lost!
The point is – your health (mentally, emotionally AND physically) is something you might not always be able to repair or “get back” so don’t wait until the damage is too far done.
- Travel – Take the time off and spend the money to have experiences! Some of the most magical people and things are no more than an airplane ride away. Learning about other cultures, eating different foods, dancing to different music and feeling new climates can be life changing! Allow yourself time off and don’t make “vacation” into some shameful word. You earned the money and time – so take it!
If you want some help budgeting for it or planning – check out my travel post!
- Take that class/Learn that skill – Do you have an interest in something but never got formally educated or trained? Why not? Investing in your personal development or professional growth can SEEM like a huge undertaking – but there’s never the “perfect” time or conditions for anything really, so you might as well get started. Do some research and see if there is a local certificate program, free course or online resources to dip your toe into the pool before diving in, if you’re feeling hesitant. I can say from my own experience, I already had a degree – but I wanted to study culinary arts, so I did it, and I loved it! *Read about it here* Some of the best people, connections, and memories I had came from it and in all my educational pursuits, I have never regretted time or money spent learning. Just like traveling, education is something no one can ever take from you, so that investment is truly yours forever.
Of course, there will ALWAYS be things WE want, and things competing with those wants, and balancing those is something that must be practiced. Don’t forget that you matter.