Guide to self-development (Part 8)
Text: Aina Masood
Previously, we have been focusing on growth and working on ourselves. This month I want to draw your attention to investing, investing in yourself. Parallel to your financial bank account is the concept of having a mental health bank account. It works the same way as a financial bank account. You can make withdrawals and deposits, be in debt or be preoccupied with reducing your spending and increasing your earnings. It is essential to focus on your psychological wellness so you can avoid being mentally bankrupt.
Investing in ourselves aims to make ourselves more experienced, well-rounded people by engaging in different activities. These activities could vary from person to person but may include reading, journaling, organising tasks, creating schedules, or taking online courses. Research suggests you experience increased productivity, satisfaction, and happiness when investing in yourself. But how do you do this while keeping your mental health bank account balanced?
Let’s first have a look at standard withdrawals and deposits to our mental health bank account:
Investing in yourself looks like feeding the column on the right-hand side and keeping the column on the left-hand side at the minimum.
#1 Sit down and reflect:
You can start by being reflective and honest with yourself. Where do you spend most of your time during the day? Are you making more withdrawals than deposits? If yes, try to explore that further. If you are making enough deposits but not seeing any positive life changes, consider if you require a different kind of deposit. For example, maybe instead of forcing yourself to read a book, you can spend an hour with a friend and see if that helps. Sometimes, all we need is to mix things up a little.
#2 Make daily deposits:
Stress and worry are parts of life and often essential for survival. However, considering they aren’t going anywhere, we may be more consistent with our promises. Daily deposits can look different every day, but everything is good if you make the deposits.
Investment is when you will be focusing on a long-term goal. Here, it is essential to remember what values in life you want to live by and try to work towards those. What are your values? How can you invest today in becoming closer to your ideal self?
#4 Being mindful:
You can use mindfulness as a tool for bookkeeping your mental health bank account. Mindfully engaging in our mental health bank is crucial to monitor any red flags or keep an eye out for emotional spending habits. Ask yourself, have you been feeling drained lately? How do certain kinds of people make you feel? Where are you spending most of your time? Are you keeping that mindless scrolling at bay?
"Investing in yourself is the most profitable investment that you will ever make."
Some investments that you can make for yourself include, but are not limited to, learning a new skill, taking online courses, nurturing a hobby, advancing your education, staying updated, being curious and creative, etc.
Conclusively, investing in yourself is the most profitable investment that you will ever make. Your consistent effort to better yourself plays a role in determining your quality of life and nurtures your personal and professional growth. Using the concept of mental health bank account helps streamline and simplify investing in yourself.