Updated: Apr 7, 2018
Sometimes life feels like you sat on the controller and accidentally hit the "fast forward" button, but then no matter how hard you press on the button to go normal speed, it's inevitably stuck.
It's a crazy month at work— you have 2 work parties this month in addition to 4 deadlines and 2 make-or-break client meetings. Your home life is a carnival (minus the candy)— your parents are pressuring you to get something done, your sibling is taking your clothes and your pet hasn't been groomed in months. How do we process these chaotic moments of life, especially when we least expect them? The answer is simple. Invest in yourself.
When you take time to invest in yourself daily, you create strength and build extra capacity in your brain to tolerate life's most unexpected moments. Think about it. When those crazy moments eat up our day (planning the work party or tracking down your sibling), we get stressed because that leaves less time for us to sleep, shower, work out, eat a well balanced meal or call a friend. It's damn hard to save the world on an empty stomach and 2 hours of sleep. Please, try it, be my guest.
Here are 4 tips on how to invest in yourself so that you can live your best life and accomplish great things.
1. Get moving.
I feel like a broken record player, but physical activity is essential for human function. Aside from increased longevity and the reduction of a long list of diseases, exercising is a great tool for stress management and increasing cognitive performance. Sometimes I even forget this, but there has never been a time where I returned from a run and thought, "well that was pointless." Every step works your brain. It's never pointless.
Try yoga, an online workout tutorial, a run in the park or a nice hike outdoors. I actually just discovered the website All Trails has a free phone app called that tells you nearby hiking trails. Give it a shot!
2. Learn that thing.
You know that thing you've always wanted to learn how to do? Do it. Spend 30 minutes each day working on that skill. Whether it's learning how to play violin, speak mandarin, design graphics, or even just finishing the book you've always wanted to finish; there are free & simple ways to learn anything. The only thing stopping you from learning and/or progressing is you. Don't be your own obstacle.
Open up your calendar and start off by setting 30 minute intervals at least 2 days a week to dedicate toward learning that thing. Look up tutorials on YouTube. Search Google for an instructor. Download a free language app. Give yourself another reason to love yourself.
3. Deep Scrub.
According to Forefront Dermatology, your skin sheds about 30,000 to 40,000 dead cells every minute. This means you are constantly shedding dead skin. Now your skin renews itself every 28 days, but why not help a brotha out every once in a while? Use a washcloth and warm water or a scrub from your local store, and start with your scalp and move to your toes. Light a candle and play your favorite jams. Put your phone on silent and leave it in the other room. Disconnect from technology and reconnect with your body.
4. Practice Meditation.
I use to see the word "meditation" and run. It's intimidating! Where do I start? How does it work? Am I doing it right? These were all the questions I would let get in the way of me just doing the darn thing. For me, taking a meditation course was the only way I'd get into it. My Type A personality needed to know it was doing it correctly so I wasn't waisting my time. Sigh.
If you're anything like me, (or not at all, it doesn't matter) just sit upright with your eyes closed. Try not to lay down so that you avoid falling asleep (if you do fall asleep, then you really needed sleep, so you should work on that). Make sure your eyes are restfully closed, not forced shut. Relax. Focus on your breathing— breathe in, breathe out. Count your breaths slowly up to 10, then shift your focus to your mind. Allow thoughts to come and go as they please. Eventually you will get to the point of a thoughtless meditation. After 20 minutes, start wiggling your fingers and toes & rise slowly.
Here are other ways to invest in yourself:
Shopping for local, organic ingredients at the farmers market
Creating morning/evening routines
Reading a book that you're genuinely interested in
Sleeping 7-8 hours each night
Spiritual / religious practice
Show yourself that you can make time to take care of you and save the world. The powerful energy you cultivate from investing in yourself will not only help you thrive, but it will also rub off on those around you.