The One BEST Investment You Can Make
When you find investments that give short term success coupled with long term gain you've hit the jackpot. The worst feeling is when you realize you've missed your opportunity, like Starbucks or Microsoft, Amazon or Google. If only we would have invested in those early days!
There is another type of investment though that is even more beneficial than any of these. When it is done consistently it has the power to change your future. It is the most important investment you can make; You.
There are countless reasons WHY you should invest in yourself : long term health, mental health, physical health, it can boost creativity and productivity, it helps you have a fresh perspective, etc. I'm sure you're thinking, yeah I've heard all of these! But the reality remains I don't know how to squeeze it into my schedule, or I don't have the finances to be spending days at the spa!
I feel you! Having the knowledge of why investing in YOU is good is one thing, trying to put it into action is another. So here are my favorite ways to invest in me, to help kick start your thinking on how you can start investing in YOU!
1. Move It
I go through seasons on this where running is my thing, or going to the YMCA, or right now doing a 30 minute HIIT workout is what's doing the trick. But all of them have the same thing in common, moving. There is a lot of science behind the Why but honestly, the reason I get out and move is because it really does make me feel better. Right now because life feels super full, I've been blocking out 30 minutes just for me a few mornings a week. I'm not trying to break any Olympic records but I am feeling better and better every week I spend time intentionally moving. Exercise pays big returns in my investment bank.
Give me a good book and bye bye! I'll gladly read all day. Most of our vacations include at least one day where I get to just sit and read to my hearts content. But in the day to day? I choose reading over TV most nights. It meets that investment need for me that watching something simply can't. It's why I love taking the kids to the library and book stores, I'll take all of the stacks of books please! But guess what there is actually lots of science that backs Why reading is good for keeping your mind sharp, improving sleep, helping with creativity and more! Bingo, I guess it's a good one.
3. Quiet Mornings
Even though I'm a morning person through and through, when our kids were little and waking up early, I would get so irritated! It took me a while to figure out why. I'd say that I'm a morning person, which in my mind meant I should be cheery and joyful in the morning, right? That's when I realized I loved mornings because I liked being the only one awake, I like the stillness and quiet, I like having that time for my own thoughts. Having even 30 minutes to myself in the morning helps me dive into the day with a completely different perspective. So, as often as I can I set my alarm to get out of bed before everyone else. It helps my days to start them the way I need to instead of by everyone needing me.
4. Digging in the Dirt
I'm not sure if it's the fact that I'm outside, or because the end result is pretty flowers, vegetables, sunshine and fresh air or the loads of science behind it, but time in the garden = mental clarity for me. Beyond the satisfaction of creating a beautiful patch of our yard, just sitting and breathing in the peace does something for my soul. Before we had our own yard Aaron and I would go to a friend's house to plant a garden, we'd load our deck with potted plants or we'd spend time at local parks, but always it came back to some way of digging in the dirt. Winters are by far the hardest in this department, so come summer time I soak up all the time I can outside!
5. Time Unplugged
In a time that revolves around texts and emails, phone calls, computers, kindles, iPads, podcasts, webinars and more I will gladly take hours, days and even weeks where we get to unplug from it all. It's actually probably one of the reasons I like real life books! But this is a tricky one to include on a daily basis because being connected is necessary. More and more though I'm turning everything off in the evenings for big breaks of untethered time to unplug and connect with the people around us.
Yes, I would say digging in the dirt is connecting to nature, but this is bigger than the garden. It is a literal breath of fresh air when we can load up the kids or friends and head out into the wilderness, to see creation in it's raw element. Getting away from all the to do lists, house projects, cleaning, shopping and have time where we are reminded of how deeply connected we all are to this planet. Time to reflect and space to breath. This definitely is not a daily practice but more of a plan and schedule these breaks in through out the year.
7. Leisurely Meals
If you've read my other posts you know I dig dinner and time at the table. So of course it's included on this list! The meal does not need to be fancy or even homemade, (although it's my preference ;) ) what really fills my soul is long leisurely evenings sitting at a table with friends and family, talking, sharing stories, laughing and simply enjoying life together.
Investing in ourselves is not as cut and dry as depositing a 20 dollar bill in a savings account. It takes a little thinking and an immense amount of intentionality and mindfulness, but friend it is WORTH all of it. The benefits you will feel initially along with how it will affect you long term cannot be ignored. The benefits are everything and even though there is no way to reverse how you've been treated in the past, today is the best day to start investing.
Give yourself the gift of taking care of you. When you do you will have so much more to give to everyone and everything around you. You'll see life from a new perspective, you'll be inspired in new ways, quite simply you'll be healthier and happier which makes for better days for everyone.