When it comes to spending money, it can be scary to pay for larger expenses and regular habits that we see as draining our funds and compromising our future security. However, some of these expenses are actually beneficial for your health and should be seen as an investment in your personal wealth and wellbeing.
As a certified health coach, I work with people on finding their true power and owning their worth. Taking care of yourself is the only way to be productive during the day and to take care of those around you. Together, we work on integrating self-care practices into their lifestyles so that they can feel healthier and happier day-to-day. These self-care practices can surely add up, as many require ongoing expenses for maintenance, and the numbers on your credit card statements can be tough to stomach. Yet, if we shift our perspectives to see these expenses as investments in ourselves, we can indulge guilt-free and know that every penny is worth it.
Here are fifteen ways to invest in yourself that will make a huge difference to your health and wellbeing. Taking care of yourself is nothing to be ashamed of, and it is incredibly deserved.
1. Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
Taking chances can be a great way to invest in yourself, your growth and your success especially longterm. "The best way to learn new things and grow is to try things that are different and that force you to think about things you haven't had to before," says Jeremy Greenberg, web designer and owner of digital marketing agency 97, over email with Bustle. Take a stab at the stock market, try a new fitness class or attend a lecture in your field that might pave the way for future endeavors. "This exercise is sometimes scary, but when someone is scared they are most likely to learn new things, " says Greenberg.
2. Ask For Feedback
We often like to think that we know it all, but we definitely don't. Being honest with yourself and realizing that you have plenty to learn from others will help take you to new heights professionally and socially. "Ask for feedback on your strengths and weaknesses," says Greenberg. "Be open to hearing things that are tough and take the time to consider if you are able to improve upon those 'tougher' changes that could then help your growth," Greenberg adds.
3. Read Others' Work
Reading what other experts have to say is a great way to enhance your knowledge base and gain some fuel for personal brainstorming sessions. "Read books, articles, and posts from all kind of experts. You will start to see some things that make others succeed and then you can channel that into your personal growth," advises Greenberg. It's also helpful to connect with these people; perhaps, you can send them an email providing your opinion or a compliment on their piece and a request to further discuss.
4. Buy A Gym Membership
Investing in a gym membership is a terrific way to keep your body healthy and even make friends (especially if your gym offers class or group workouts); yet, the price can be a deal breaker. "It's not just a matter of evaluating the cost of a gym membership - it's also a matter of evaluating the opportunity cost of spending time in the gym," says personal trainer and owner of South Loop Strength & Conditioning, Todd Nief, over email with Bustle. "It's a tougher sell to prioritize spending time in the gym," says Nief, "Having an understanding that they're...potentially improving their energy throughout the day, their sleep quality at night, their long term risk of disease, and their ability to focus and be productive may be the missing link in terms of truly investing in fitness."
5. Go Organic When Possible
Eating organic foods can increase nutrient intake and keep us protected from chemicals, GMOs, additives and pesticides. Because organic can be pricy, it's best to follow the "Dirty Dozen, Clean Fifteen" rule when grocery shopping. For instance, pay extra for apples, pears, strawberries, stone fruits and leafy greens, and save your dollars on avocados, bananas, cauliflower and asparagus. Here's a hint: if you eat the skin, try and go organic.
6. A Worthwhile Mattress
If you can't sleep well, you can't function well. Sleep is so critical for our everyday activities, emotions, eating habits, stress and physical performance. The cost of a mattress can be scary, but it's well worth the cost for overall better wellbeing in all facets of your life. When you notice your mattress is too broken in, get an upgrade as well. Mattresses that are too soft can hurt your back.
7. Electric Toothbrush
Between the toothbrush itself and the disposable brushes that you need to change roughly every three months for optimal dental hygiene, the cost can be a bit crazy. However, imagine the damage of having a cavity, poor gums and other dental woes? Also, studies show that people who have nice teeth and smiles are more likable, so keep your teeth clean for better success in personal and professional settings.
8. Making Time For Friends
When we are so busy with work, travel, partners and family, it's hard to squeeze in time for friends. However, studies show that having a network of friends can make us happier and increase personal growth. Force yourself to keep in touch, through text, phone call or email, but more importantly through face-to-face opportunities. Make a plan to see one or two friends each week, and if you have time for more, go right ahead!
9. A Good Set Of Knives
Knives that are of high quality can be pricey; yet, flimsy knives don't last as long and can raise your risk of injury when cooking. Keep preparation time safe and simple by using a good, sturdy knife that will efficiently chop vegetables and make cooking time quicker and easier. Plus, it's hard enough to find time to cook, so shaving a few extra minutes off is a nice perk!
10. A Vitamix Or Other Great Blender
Especially if you are health conscious and are savvy in the kitchen, a Vitamix blender is expensive, but well worth the cost. You can make pretty much anything in it! From morning smoothies and juices to lunchtime soups, and from snack time dips to homemade ice cream for desserts, there's so much versatility that will save time, money and energy for you in the long run. Because you're cooking more, you'll save money on groceries, eat healthier foods and enjoy leftovers to shorten meal prep during the week.
College, graduate school, masters programs, and more: these higher education costs can get ridiculous! It's common to take out student loans in order to attend, and then we often stress about the established debt that can take years to pay off. However, investing in a great education and your progression in whatever career or lifestyle you want is a true investment in yourself and your worth. Own it, study hard and be proud.
12. Insurance, Though Not All
While not all insurances are essential necessarily, there are a few, such as health insurance, car insurance and homeowners insurance, that are critical for financial security and your health. Accidents can happen, and it's important to have a great insurance policy to help you out and prevent a massive bill that can kill your savings. As for health insurance, you also want to make sure you are in good hands. Spend a bit more for good coverage.
13. Comfortable Shoes
If you can find cheaper shoes that fit, that's great. Unfortunately, most inexpensive shoes either don't last very long or can damage your feet once you leave the store. Shell out some extra cash on comfortable, long-lasting, shoes. Your feet carry you around during the day, and if you wound them, it'll impair your ability to function and can lead to injury (and more medical bills!).
14. A Great Massage
Studies show that regular massages can boost happiness and health by keeping your stress levels lower, your body relaxed, muscles up to optimal speed and strength, and your feel-good, hormones high. It's also important to spend money on a good massage, as a bad one can lead to injury and muscle pain. Do something and #treatyoself without guilt.
Beyond work travel, personal vacations every now and then can make you feel happier and more refreshed. Whether you travel independently or with loved ones, taking that time off and putting work stress on hold is a great way to give yourself the self-care it needs. Plus, vacations don't have to break the bank; you can take a road trip to a nearby destination, go camping, or even plan a "staycation."
Taking time to give yourself the self-love it requires and investing in your self-worth and future success might be costly, but the longterm benefits outweigh the costs. Prioritize areas in your life that could use some extra dough, and don't feel guilty about making an investment in yourself.
Images: Pixabay (4); Pexels (12); Isla Murray/Bustle