Wise Ways To Invest In Yourself As Winter Approaches
With Old Man Winter on the way, what better time to sit down and evaluate your current lifestyle? What investments could you make in your life to make 2021 better than 2020? Granted, this past year has been chock-full of challenges, but that doesn’t excuse you from trying to become the best version of you. Consider the following eight wise ways to invest in yourself as the seasonal change approaches.
1. Participate in fall house cleaning
You don’t want to end up whirling like a dervish with a dust rag the day before your holiday guests arrive. Make a fall house cleaning schedule and pencil in chores each week — that way, you don’t end up overwhelmed by trying to complete too much at once. For example, one week, you might clean the oven, toss the science experiments out of your refrigerator, and tackle the pantry. The next, you could schlep your comforter to the dry cleaners, and muck the Augean stables, er, clean your bedroom closet and donate those size-2 skinny jeans from 1996.
2. Get your finances in order
Concerns over money keep countless people tossing and turning at night. What would happen to your loved ones if you and your income disappeared? While you may not need a medical exam to purchase life insurance, getting one can net you a lower rate while protecting your family from the unexpected. Another way to invest in yourself is to create a realistic budget. If you sit down with your bank statements and organize expenses into categories — their software may do this for you — you can identify places to pare back or pad income.
For example, maybe you can make coffee at home while preserving Friday night pizza night. You could drop TV subscriptions you no longer use. Why not pick up a side hustle one or two evenings a week to build your emergency fund if your nine-to-five doesn’t pay enough to let you save?
3. Touch base on your career progress
Given the COVID-19 pandemic, you might consider your most significant 2020 accomplishment to be making it through without losing your mind from stress. However, you’re ambitious, and you want to make a difference through your skills — and reap the rewards. Schedule a one-on-one with your manager to discuss your progress. Ask tons of questions to show dedication to improvement — such as, “I see you have a concern with my organization. How would you suggest managing my caseload more effectively?”
If things go well, ask about what you need to do to get to the next stage. You can say, “I’m excited to play a role in this organization and hope to advance. What steps do you suggest I take to get to the next level?”
4. Solidify your exercise routine
It gets more challenging to squeeze in a workout as the days grow shorter. That’s why it’s so crucial to solidify your routine now — it will feel unnatural to go a day without lacing up your tennies when things grow hectic. Ideally, find something that you can do both indoors and out. While outdoor exercise does include more mood-boosting benefits, you still produce endorphins on a treadmill. You don’t want to throw in the towel on fitness because of a snow day.
5. Begin a manageable meal-prep program
Do you shy away from meal prep because you like the spontaneity of choosing your dinner? You still can eat what you want — but you won’t have to chop mushrooms and zucchini for your pasta after 10 hours at the office. All you need to do is select various dishes and chop up the ingredients on your day off. Then, place them in BPA-free storage containers to keep them fresh until use. When you fire up the wok, you’ll feel like a celebrity chef who had a prep cook complete all the heavy labor.
6. Nurture your social ties
When the holidays approach, it’s natural to feel nostalgic for the days when the family all gathered around the tree. Guess what? You can create new memories, and they start by reaching out to those you hold dear. Get in touch with an older family member — if you have the means, invest in an iPad for grandma so that you can chat face-to-face from anywhere. Reach out to your social circle and start coordinating holiday plans so that you don’t all throw a bash on the same day. Maybe you could mutually host one massive potluck?
7. Tend to your spirit
People consist of more than the mind and body. Your soul needs a little nurturing, too, in the form of self-care. You can interpret that term however you like. For some, curling up in a hot bath with an equally steamy novel counts. For others, you might practice yoga before bed or adopt a meditation practice. Religious sorts might start attending more services — whatever makes your spirit smile.
8. Prepare your home for the coming season
Danes and Norwegians practice “hygge”, which means a feeling of cozy contentment. They know a few things about surviving harsh winters well in their neck of the woods. Adopt this spirit as you prepare your home for the coming season. Break out all the throws and cozy pillows for napping, and leave books scattered on end tables. Clean out the fireplace and hire a chimney sweep if necessary so that your hearth is ready for warm flames and maybe a kitty or two soaking up the heat.
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