The first few weeks of lockdown were novel. While we might be ashamed to admit it, the sleeping in, relaxing, and time spent with family was nice. But as we enter into year two, it’s becoming more difficult to continually feel “stuck” in place. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways you can invest in yourself.
4 Smart Ways to Invest in Yourself
We spend so much of our lives expending energy on things outside of us or that don’t belong in our “basket” of personal responsibility that we ultimately forget to cater to our own needs. But there’s never been a better time to reorient our focus and consider specific ways we can invest in ourselves for personal growth and development.
Here are several ideas that are certain to put you in a better position moving forward:
1. Initiate Positive Swaps
When it comes to investing in yourself, it’s important that you begin with a right view of what it means to do so. Psychologists often discuss this topic by clarifying the distinction between self-care and crutches. Self-care is something that makes tomorrow easier. Crutches, on the other hand, make today better at the expense of tomorrow.
Investing in yourself looks like identifying and avoiding crutches so that genuine acts of self-care can replace them. Examples of crutches include caffeine, drugs, fast food, screens, alcohol, and online shopping. And while these might seem like acts of self-care in the moment, they’re ultimately robbing us of bigger and better things tomorrow.
When you identify a crutch in your life, you have to do more than remove it. In order to benefit your mind and body, you must swap it out for something else – something positive. For example, you might swap out an over-dependence on alcohol with an early-morning exercise routine that gets your blood pumping. Or instead of binge-watching Netflix every night, you might spend an hour reading before bed. Perhaps you could turn off the news and spend more time meditating. You get the idea!
2. Invest in Professional Development
There’s never been a better time to invest in your own professional development. Whether you’re looking to grow your knowledge and expand opportunities in your current career, or you want to acquire a brand new set of skills that can be strategically leveraged to launch a new career path, there are plenty of options that can be initiated from the comforts of your own home.
Take respiratory therapists, for example. There are ample opportunities to get your required continuing education while at home. Many of these online CEU programs are self-paced and easy to integrate into your daily routine. Just 30 minutes per day could help you become a more knowledgeable and skilled therapist.
3. Work on Your Relationships
In the normal hustle and bustle of life, it’s easy to become so consumed with your own “survival” that you let important relationships lapse. But what better time than now to invest in some of those relationships that you’ve neglected over the years?
Set aside 30 minutes per day to connect with someone important in your life. It could be a best friend from years back, a former colleague that you were close with, a sibling, or even your roommate. By investing in these relationships, you’ll find much more meaning and fulfillment in life.
4. Declutter and Organize
The fact that the declutter/minimalist movement has exploded over the past year is no coincidence. Research continues to prove the power a clean and organized physical environment can have on the mind. Perhaps you should give it a try?
By decluttering and organizing your home, you can restore a great deal of clarity to your life. Not only is there less “stuff” to consume your thoughts and energy, but you instantly feel as if you’re the one who is in control of your environment. This creates a significant shift in how you feel about yourself and those around you.
Set Yourself Up for Success
Lockdown has been tough on everyone. And while we all have unique circumstances and needs, there’s something powerful about investing in yourself and attending to your own needs that leads to personal growth and development during a time when most people are moving in an opposite direction. Hopefully this article gives you some inspiration you can use to become an even better version of yourself in 2021 and beyond!