Last weekend, I woke up with a kink in my neck so bad that I couldn’t move my head at all to the right. It was sending shooting pains down my arm and shoulder. I was pretty much debilitated all day, and couldn’t even sit down and stand up comfortably.
I wracked my brain with how I ended up with the kink in my neck and then remembered a conference call during which I had my phone at work resting on my shoulder, instead of using a headset. The call lasted for an hour so my neck wasn’t too happy with me when I finally got off the call. It seized up while I was sleeping.
I went to massage therapy, as I get it with my extended health benefits, the following week. My massage therapist lectured me for quite some time about being active after work because sitting is so bad for your spine. She told me some horror stories, but I was sold. I needed more weight bearing exercise, and I knew it. If I didn’t take care of my back, I risked the possibility of developing osteoporosis or just back problems in general. Taking care of my back by stretching and exercising more is a huge investment in my future.
On the way home, I was thinking about how so many of us (myself included) worry about finances for the future but we don’t take care of our bodies and health the way we should. These little non-financial investments will typically end up benefiting us financially in the long run, as our medical bills won’t be as high.
There are so many ways that you can invest in yourself non-financially. Here’s what I’ve come up with:
Take Care of Your Hearing
Listening to really loud music and not wearing ear protection when in a loud situation is not very good, especially if you are thinking long term.
Sure, that concert may have been fun, but when you start to lose your hearing prematurely, how much will you value those concerts and loud music?
Take Care of Your Eyes
I have a friend that works for an optometry clinic and she’s always telling me about how I should be wearing sunglasses. I think my eyes are pretty much invincible, and take for granted that I don’t need glasses or contacts yet.
Wearing eye protection when in a dangerous situation, not rubbing your eyes, and wearing sunglasses even if it’s not sunny out are all investments in your future.
Take Care of Your Body
There are so many ways that you can take care of your body, but when I say this I mean stop eating junk.
Junk food every once in awhile isn’t bad, but when you’re eating processed food for every meal, it can really upset your body.
We’re so used to processed food in our culture that it’s not even seen as bad, but think about it. Even the yogurt your buying that isn’t natural has flavors, colors, and dyes, as well as preservatives in it that aren’t supposed to go into your body. Watch what you are putting in your body and it will pay off immensely in your future.
All too often, people think of exercise as just going for a run, or hitting the treadmill, or going for a bike ride, but weight bearing exercise is extremely important for your muscles as well as your bones.
Add some weights to your workout routine. Of course, cardiovascular exercise is good for your heart and blood flow and brain function, but doing both is what is going to benefit you in the long run.
Take Care of Your Brain
Staying sharp is so important. You can have the healthiest body in the world in your old age, but it’s all for naught if you don’t have a sharp mind.
Meditate, challenge yourself, learn something new, don’t just zone out in front of the TV when you get home from work at the end of the day. Do something that exercises that big, important organ that we all sometimes take for granted.
Take Care of Your Relationships
Having healthy, strong relationships can be just as important for your health as the food you eat. These relationships can provide stress relief, laughter, and fun, as well as somebody to lean on when things aren’t going so well.
All of these things provide an important non-financial investment in your future. If we don’t all start making non-financial investments in ourselves, we won’t be around to enjoy the financial investments we’ve made.
How do you invest in yourself?