Investing in yourself is one of the best things that you can do for your overall happiness and well-being, but what does it really mean and how can you do it? When you hear the word “invest,” you might think of stocks and bonds, but investing in yourself is a broad concept that doesn’t just mean taking care of your financial health; it also applies to every aspect of life that contributes to improving your overall well-being. After all, the goal of life isn’t just to survive, it’s to thrive.
As a society, we’re often given conflicting messages about investing in and taking care of ourselves — on the one hand, it can make you uncomfortable or feel like you’re being selfish, and yet you may know deep down that you deserve to say yes to yourself and your needs. At SHEbd, we believe that investing in yourself can help you live your best life, so we wanted to provide you with a few ideas to get you started and to inspire you to take action.
What Does “Investing in Yourself” Really Mean?
What investing in yourself really means is that you make yourself and your needs a priority and give yourself permission to put yourself first. We’re all familiar with pre-flight safety demonstrations, where you’re instructed to put your own oxygen mask on before attending to others. This is because you won’t be able to help anyone else if you don’t first help yourself. In the same light, if you don’t invest in yourself and you’re always worrying about everyone else, you won’t know what you’re really capable of achieving and you could find yourself wondering where all the time has gone.
Benefits of Investing in Yourself
Improved confidence, better health, happier relationships, and achieving your maximum potential are just some of the benefits of investing in yourself. By addressing your current needs and anticipating needs that may arise in the future, you take more control of your present and future happiness.
Like money, your time and energy are also precious commodities that, when put to good use, can help you reap many meaningful rewards. Don’t worry about being selfish, because as self-help guru Tony Robbins says, “Invest in yourself or no one else will — stop being afraid of what could go wrong and start getting excited about what could go right.”
How to Invest in Yourself
Your needs naturally evolve depending on where you are in your life, so you’ll first need to sit down and make a list of all the things in your life that you’d like to change, improve, or place more focus on. What important needs are demanding your attention right now and in the short-term, and what needs can you anticipate arising in the future?
Allow yourself enough time to imagine where you’d like to be next year, in five or 10 years, and even 20 or more years from now. While 20 years can seem like a long time, it’s never too early to start planning for the future, regardless of your current stage of life.
With that being said, there are many ways to invest in yourself, but here are just a few ideas to get you started.
Invest in Your Health
Without a healthy body, you won’t be able to accomplish very much, and you really can’t put a price on your health. It probably goes without saying, but ensure that you make a plan to exercise, eat right, take time for self-care and incorporate mind-body-soul practices into your daily schedule. Make sure you get the appropriate medical checkups for your stage of life, and if you feel overwhelmed or stressed out, schedule a consultation with a mental health professional to help you get back on track.
Incorporating SHEbd CBD products into your daily routine is another way to take charge of your overall well-being by helping you deal with stress, helping regulate your mood, promoting a better night’s sleep and even improving your sex life.
Invest In your Financial Health
No matter how enlightened you may feel, we all know that money makes a big difference in almost every area of life. Without a proper grip on your finances, you may feel like you’re drowning in a financial whirlpool, and if you can’t pay your bills, you won’t be able to give much focus to anything else.
According to financial expert Suze Orman, one step to achieving financial wellness is to “live below your means but within your needs,” meaning you stop spending more than you have, which frees up money to pay down your debts and to even start investing. Focus on getting rid of credit card debt first, because rising interest rates can eat into your finances to the point where you’re basically barely treading water to make ends meet. Give yourself a challenge this year to spend less than you did the previous year. And even if you only have a few extra hundred dollars, you may want to look into making some smart investments using robo-advisors or online platforms.
Invest in Your Career
Like it or not, the fact is that we spend around one-third of our lives at work. That’s more than 90,000 hours in total for the average person, so it’s important to make sure that you’re as happy as possible in your career and that you’re heading where you want to go. Find a mentor, update your LinkedIn Profile, build your professional network, or think about making a career change. Consider whether you need more education or additional certifications to help you become more attractive for promotions within your current company or to make you more attractive to potential future employers.
Invest in Lifelong Learning
You’ve probably heard the expression that life is a journey, not a destination. Fighting stagnation, focusing on personal development, and committing to lifelong learning can help to ensure your quality of life later on down the road. Think about your personal interests and goals, and make a list of what you’d like to learn or skills you want to cultivate. Take an online course or read up on a topic that interests you. Join a Meetup or another organization of like-minded people in your community to explore your interests.
Invest in Meaningful Relationships
At the end of the road, your relationships and connections with others are what really matters. An 80-year-long Harvard study found that “embracing community” and forming meaningful relationships is more important for happiness than money or success. The researchers report that relationships “protect people from life’s discontents, help to delay mental and physical decline, and are better predictors of long and happy lives than social class, IQ, or even genes.”
If you’ve let some of your relationships slide, make an effort to reconnect and reach out. If you’re in an unhappy relationship or you have friends who are energy vampires that leave you feeling drained instead of supported and inspired, then think about setting boundaries, make yourself a priority, and cut negative or unfulfilling relationships out of your life.
Don’t be afraid to be your own cheerleader — everyone deserves to live up to their full potential. If investing in yourself sounds daunting at first, remember that you don’t need to accomplish everything or make multiple changes all at once. Start off with one area of your life and build up from there. Remember that you set the stage for your future in the present and what you do today determines your tomorrow.
Stacy Mosel, LMSW, is a licensed social worker and psychotherapist. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in music from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, she continued her studies at New York University, earning a master of social work degree in 2002. She writes in the fields of mental health and holistic wellness, drawing on her prior experiences as an employee assistance program counselor, individual and family therapist and assistant director of a child and family services agency.