While they may not all be of the financial variety, many of us make multiple daily investments. For example, we might invest in our businesses, relationships or even a particular TV show (Stranger Things, anyone?). Now imagine if you threw as much time, energy and money at yourself in order to be the best possible version of you. Your potential would be boundless, wouldn’t it? If you’re looking for an investment with a guaranteed great return, start with yourself – it could be the most profitable investment you ever make. Here’s why you should start investing in:
Everything starts with your health – you’ll never be able to kick those life goals without a healthy body and mind to back you. Increased stress levels can cause a depressed immune response, which means sickness will follow you around in times of emotional strain (terrible timing, right?). At times when your adrenaline is running at peak levels, you need all the nutrients you can get. Philosopher Hippocrates had the right idea when he said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Get your diet back on track with minimal effort with a fresh food delivery service like Youfoodz, which has over 60 tried-and-tested options that cater for every dietary requirement. From the super clean to the super-clean-but sanity-keeping, their menus prove that healthy doesn’t have to be boring. Don’t forget to re-invest that downtime too (which you’ll have considerably more of now that you’re not wandering down supermarket aisles or chopping carrots) – some simple mindfulness doesn’t take long, but the benefits are endless.
The payoff: Less occasions of illness, more energy for to-do list ticking and a general overall improvement in daily life.
Most of us consider our confidence to be something set in stone – you may spent your whole life accepting your fate as someone who quakes at the thought of public speaking or taking charge in a meeting but it doesn’t have to stay that way.
Confidence in yourself and your abilities isn’t going to happen on its own so put some time aside to really take clear steps towards cultivating that poise. Try power posing like Amy Cuddy, start a daily session of working through positive affirmations in the mirror, journal your achievements at the end of the day – all of these activities help to affirm the power of you and what can be achieved by a little bit of conscious effort.
The payoff: A more centred, confident sense of self that acts as a little inner coach for the highs and lows of life.
Finger painting and colouring books aside, nurturing your creative side isn’t just about being able to successfully throw a piece of pottery to put your spatulas in. Your creativity comes to the forefront in overcoming roadblocks, thinking outside the box when it comes to new projects and being able to thoughtfully consider the ideas of others.
Don’t think that you’re at odds with that ‘creative person’ tag – even accountants and engineers have to get creative to get their jobs done sometimes. Find a creative outlet that suits you, be it painting, baking or gardening, and consider all the ways it works to make you more in tune with making different choices, trusting your instincts and going with something that’s a little left of centre.
The payoff: You’ll start to see less problems and more solutions in work and in life (and you might also have a killer veggie garden at the end of it).
Your memory bank
Making an investment in your memory bank is one of the most rewarding investments you can make in yourself. Go on that big trip. Drop everything and go to the beach on a sunny day. Throw rationale out of the window and surprise your friend on the opposite side of the world. It’s a lot easier to regret the things you haven’t done than the things you have, so give yourself permission to do the things that make you happy – you deserve it.
The payoff: Spontaneous, liberating experiences that extract you from the burden of the everyday.
Your spare time
Are there certain things you would like to do or achieve but just don’t feel like you have the time? Like any savings account, you want return on your investment of time. Don’t feel great after binge watching Netflix? Find a better place to spend your precious time.
If you’re not sure where all those additional hours are drained, try using a time tracking app like Atracker or Now Then to shed some light on your situation. Sometimes there are time sucking activities we’re not even aware of (hello there, Snapchat!) Are there any periods throughout the day that could be put to better use? The daily commute is usually a biggie; instead of mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, pick up a book, write that to-do list. But don’t feel like you have to pack that spare time with activities either – sometimes a good daydream on your commute can do wonders for your overall mentality. Your time is precious so make sure you’re using it productively (even if you’re using it to not be productive and take stock of your situation).
The payoff: The space to switch off from stressful projects and gain a sense of achievement from things that don’t pay the bills.
You may no longer be in full time education but that doesn’t mean the opportunity to develop intellectually has passed. Cultivating your current skillset can be as formal or informal as you like; download a language instruction app like Duolingo, (after all, being bilingual can help stall dementia and Alzheimer’s, not to mention strengthen the task-switching ability of the brain), invest in that online university course that might be your ticket into a new career. If you’re looking to expand your horizons in your current job, utilise any free training available from your current place of work, get certificates and add them to your résumé. This sort of investment will pay dividends both in your mental wellbeing and who knows where you’ll end up in the future?
The payoff: Your investment could prepare you for that trip to France or that career path pivot.