Health is something definitely worth “saving” though it might take some spending in order to do so. Mental health is a sensitive issue in today’s society, with many workplaces and policies still struggling to acknowledge its existence and how to treat it. It can be more difficult for a person battling with mental illness to claim disability insurance, or to get compassion and support from their family and friends than a person diagnosed with cancer or a different more visible illness. Though it can happen to anyone at any time, there are things that we can do to make ourselves more resilient and keep up our mental health, avoiding great emotional and financial costs in the future.
- Vacation- We all know someone who prides him or herself on not taking a vacation in x number of years. Is that really something to boast about? Everyone needs time away from work, to relax, to destress, and to allow for the body and mind to rest. This doesn’t need to be an expensive get away trip. It can be something as low key as a camping trip, a day away at a conservation area or a city we haven’t visited in a while, or a day at home. Even if it means that you will have to take time off without pay, you and your body will know when you are in dire need of a vacation, and it’s imperative that you listen.
- Hobbies- Developing talents and interests is a very productive and beneficial task for the mind, keeping it focused on things you like and make you happy. You’ll find that money that you put towards your hobbies and interests always have excellent returns, even if they are not financial. Finding your favorite method of recreation goes hand in hand with happy memories, lasting friendships, and a higher self-esteem. So get comfortable with the idea of enrolling in a culinary course where they teach you knife skills, or enroll in a music school that offers beginner guitar lessons that show you exactly how to play the guitar, because these investments will develop you as a person, while maintaining a good state of mental health.
- Exercise- Exercise and physical activity has been clinically proven to prevent depression, especially recurring episodes. When your body is moving, your body releases dopamine, a hormone which naturally makes you feel happier. Being physically active also reduces stress, helps manage anxiety, and assists with sleeping problems. It also helps with your self-confidence and personal empowerment as physical strength and athletic ability are very rewarding results of regular exercise. Staying in shape and physically active does not have to be expensive, especially in the era of YouTube fitness videos, Groupon, and outdoor classes. Want to get down to basics? Get a pair of running shoes and just hit the pavement! However, if there is a sport or athletic activity that you especially like doing, like kickboxing, swimming, or ballet dancing, don’t feel bad about spending money on it. Making sure that you are engaged in something that motivates you and you enjoy is worth the price. Remember that your mental health depends on it!
It can be difficult to justify expenses incurred on vacation, while engaging in hobbies, or on physical activity, especially if we are budget-conscious. However, we need to remember that some costs give us much more value than we can see right away. Keeping ourselves healthy, both physically and mentally, is something that we should have no scruples spending money on, as the dividends will be paid out later on.