Each year we hear our family and friends mention their New Year’s resolutions. What goals have you set for your family? What about your career? How about your financial health? Or your wellness? Take a new approach this year and focus on investing in yourself.
What does it mean to invest in yourself? Investing in yourself allows time to develop our talents and build upon our weaknesses. Investing in yourself is a form of self-love, and we must love ourselves to be able to provide the best in other areas of our lives. The value and potential you possess is vital enough to your well-being that giving yourself the time and energy you deserve will develop growth and create results. And, before you protest, investing time, money, and energy in yourself is not selfish. By feeling your best and performing at the top of your abilities, you will better serve your kids and family, your career, and your friends and communities.
Self Care vs Self Investment
Self Care has become something of a cult buzzword. You’ll find #selfcare attached to photos of glasses of wine, a smiling group of friends, or an indulgent dessert. Sometimes, these things may be what taking care of yourself requires. (We all deserve a treat of some kind from time to time!).
However, true self care involves much more than a one-time splurge of time, money, or calories. Caring for and investing in yourself requires forming healthy habits, being intentional about setting wellness goals for yourself, building time into your busy schedule to focus on caring for your mind and body, and pursuing opportunities for personal, intellectual, physical, and emotional development.
One thing we commonly hear from women? “I’d like to feel better about myself but I’m too busy with …”. We think that conversation needs to change. “I’m making time to take care of my mind/body/soul because I am so busy and have so many depending on me to be stable, healthy, and happy.”
Think about that for a moment. Taking care of you first isn’t a luxury if you have others depending on you – it’s a requirement. Sort of the whole “secure your own mask before helping others” line from the flight attendants. If you aren’t performing at and feeling your best, how can you expect to show up fully for those around you?
Since our expertise comes in the form of physical wellness, we’ll focus on that topic but the other areas (mind/soul) are definitely vital as well. Focusing on your health will increase self-esteem, help relieve stress, and will give you a goal that requires no one’s input but your own. Living a health-centered lifestyle also helps decrease the risk of illness, both acute and chronic. Studies show that those who regularly exercise are 65% less likely to have a common cold or sinus issues. It also drastically reduces risk factors for diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
Don’t worry – if you don’t (yet) love exercise or can’t picture making that the first step, there plenty of other ways to start taking better care of your health. Nutrition, regardless of level of physical activity, is so important in our overall well being. There are so many diet plans, meal prep Pinterest posts, and Instagrammers declaring their love of healthy food, so we know it can be very easy to feel overwhelmed. Where do you start the process of investing in your nutrition?
You can work with a registered dietician to address specific health goals and help you analyze what will best fit your lifestyle and wellness needs. You can start food journaling to bring your awareness of what you consume to the forefront. And, you can simply start making nutrition a focal point of your day by planning ahead for the chaos of the day-to-day hustle (don’t let the morning rush force you to grab a processed snack or the craziness of lunch rush hour force you through a drive-thru).
We’ll say it again, investing in your health is not a luxury, it’s a requirement. Just like you try to deposit money into a savings account each month, you should be building your wellness. Start investing time for exercise – even a few minutes of HIIT a day or a quick walk. Start investing time for meditation and relaxation – maybe the first five minutes of your morning before everyone else needs you. Start consuming foods that fuel your body and make you feel your best. Have a support system to keep you accountable for changes you want to make and to provide you with the tools and motivation you need.
A well-balanced atmosphere provides a well-balanced lifestyle. We should all be spending at least as much time educating ourselves and dedicating ourselves to healthy lifestyles and diets as we do to maximizing returns on investment.
These changes and investments in yourself not only provide countless personal benefits, but they provide your family with a role model, an active parent, an engaged employee, and a happy and reduced-stress individual.