OPINION: Market watch: 5 tips for investing in yourself in 2024
As we kicked off the new year, there has been an abundance of “new year, new you” tips as well as meaningful advice shared to help us achieve our financial goals. Lowering debt, budgeting, saving and investing are all typical recommended strategies to grow what we have. As we closely watch the market, it is critical to protect and invest in the most valuable asset available: you.
As a community, we must prioritize — and normalize — investing in our health, utilizing resources, including our time, to ensure that we are as physically and mentally healthy as possible. It is critical, particularly during these challenging times when we are experiencing high levels of stress and anxiety, as well as witnessing increasing violence, inflation, social injustice and civil unrest.
While we cannot control these external factors or the actions of others, we can continue to learn how to develop healthy ways of coping with daily triggers and finding value and “growth opportunities” in ourselves.
Investing in yourself begins with honesty — being honest with yourself, your personal struggles and how they make you feel. Are you dissatisfied with work, disappointed in your financial choices or anxious about the future? Whatever the hurdle or issue, it is important to acknowledge it for what it is and truthfully express to yourself how and why it affects you emotionally. Starting there helps you develop a strategy to respond and, hopefully, reduce the stressors in life. Additionally, it might help clarify what you need to avoid for a healthy mental state and what you need to embrace more in your life.
We cannot assume that just because we have reached a certain age that there is no room for growth or change. Being open to learning and exploring new things can be rewarding for our mental and physical health. Always wanted to learn how to build your own furniture? Do it. Curious about that best-selling book that’s trending? Download it. Been wanting to visit that new local restaurant? Get dressed and go. Embrace your innate curiosity and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Thankfully, self-care has been normalized, and more people are embracing the notion of taking time for themselves. I deliberately take a few moments to pause throughout the day. It can be so rewarding to pause and break away from what you are doing or thinking at the moment. It might also help you prepare for your next task or provide a new perspective on an idea you’ve been pondering. Sometimes it can be hard to pause, even during calming experiences such as a spa day at home, our minds keep racing. That’s why it’s important to practice pausing every day. It’s a great way to advocate for ourselves and overall wellness daily.
Another way to invest in yourself is to carve out time to stop and take in everything around you. From observing people and listening to the sounds of your surroundings to feeling the wind pick up or smelling all the scents of the season, try to take a few seconds to be present and appreciative of what’s in front of you. This can serve as an amazing calming affect and a priceless gift you can give yourself.
When you feel you have failed at something or things don’t turn out the way you expected, give yourself and others grace. Also, know that it’s OK to fail and not be OK at times. During those moments, it can be helpful to find something positive in the experience. Try to find something beneficial or positive each day to help reshape your outlook.
Checkup, check in
I believe that your health is the most prized possession. Even if you feel everything is fine, make sure you schedule your annual checkup and health screenings. Visit your health care provider to understand what is happening within your body. Some diseases may not produce symptoms at all. If you are putting it off or don’t want to know for fear of something being wrong, embrace your fears and make time to learn about your health. It is one of the best ways to invest in yourself and could be lifesaving.
Dr. Bayo Curry-Winchell is a board-certified, family medicine physician practicing urgent care medicine. She is based in Reno, where she serves as the medical director for Saint Mary’s Medical Group as well as the medical director for the Washoe County Sexual Assault Response Team and is founder of Beyond Clinical Walls. Additionally, Curry-Winchell is a regular national medical correspondent and TEDx speaker.