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Articles by the Counselors at Edmond Family Counseling

Invest in Yourself

Thursday, January 25, 2018

by Sheila Stinnett, Executive Director

I have recently become focused on the idea of investment. Maybe it’s because I am in my fifties and my thinking has shifted toward retirement or maybe it’s the intense focus our society places on monetary security as we age. Financial investing is pro-active, it’s future focused and a sign of good judgment. Saving for a rainy day is responsible, admirable and mature. How much should you save? How should you invest? Who do you trust to manage it? In this rush to be financially secure are we missing the chance to invest in something even more precious? What about investment in self?

Self-investment needs to be a priority. A healthy individual balances time between meeting the needs of others and meeting their own needs. Mastering the art of setting practical effective boundaries is as pro-active and future focused as ownership of stocks and bonds. Ensuring you meet your physical, emotional and social needs are as responsible and admirable as meeting your IRA goals.

Self-investment, just like financial investment should start with a critical evaluation of where you are and where you want to be. Being overwhelmed and overly focused on others or other things can impact your ability to be productive by endangering your health, disrupting your thinking, impairing your capacity to manage your emotions and ultimately damaging your potential.

Effective self-investment starts by utilizing the power of time.Making and protecting time for engaging in activities which nourish self are vital to functionality. Something as simple as taking a day just for yourself may seem novel, but may hold the key for beginning the journey of self-investment. Many Americans, unlike individuals from other cultures, may view taking time for oneself as a selfish luxury. Just in terms of vacation and holiday time, U.S. workers lag substantially behind workers from other countries. The 16 days of vacation and holiday time provided to most Americans is significantly less than the 30 plus days offered to workers in European countries.

However, time away from work may not be the only factor impacting self-investment. The quality of the time taken also impacts us. What activities we choose to engage in when we are making time for ourselves are equally important. These pursuits should be focused on meeting our needs not the needs of others. We must take care of ourselves if we are to be effective in caring for and nurturing those around us.

For 2018, I making the commitment to actively participate in self-investment. I have challenged myself to find two days a month which I will primarily devote to meeting my own needs. Following the rules of good goal setting, I am writing this down and as well as sharing it with you to ensure accountability. With self-investment in mind, I will utilize the hours I spend at work to complete what I must and the hours away from work to engage in putting me first. As it is a Saturday and I am at the office, at my desk, working to complete this, it is probably best if I decide to begin my journey of self-investment tomorrow. Join me and make a commitment to self-invest in 2018. I’ll be sharing updates in future newsletters and welcome your comments! sttinnett@edmondfamily.org



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