Many men have a curious blind spot when it comes to investing. We’ll spend months trying to figure out the perfect car or house to buy, we’ll pore over research trying to figure out how best to allocate our retirement savings or what stocks to invest in. However, we’ll often forget to invest in ourselves. Whatever you do in life starts with you. Having a healthy body and mind enables everything else you do. Yet when it comes to seeing a therapist for a mental health issue or getting help for a substance use disorder, too many men can’t be bothered; never mind that a mental health issue or a substance use disorder affects everything else you do in life. Many of the guys that struggle for years with substance use issues don’t hesitate to call their mechanic the moment they hear a strange sound in their cars but they won’t take steps to fix a major problem in their own lives. The following are some ways you can build your most important asset–yourself.
See a therapist.
Men are notoriously reluctant to seek help for mental health issues, especially depression, which many men perceive as more of a woman’s problem. Most mental health issues affect men and women equally and some, like schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders affect men disproportionately. Most mental health issues respond at least to some degree to treatment so every day you put off getting help is a day you suffer unnecessarily. Better mental health improves your capacity for other things, such as work, relationships, and just enjoying life.
Get treatment for addiction.
Few problems undermine your self-efficacy to the same degree as a substance use disorder. Substance use becomes your priority and you feel less in control of your own life. It’s like the substance is making decisions for you and they aren’t the decisions that are good for you and your family. Not only that, substance use issues devour money. The more you drink or use, the more you have to drink or use to get the same effects. That gets very expensive. Some people end up scamming and stealing to support their substance use. On the other end, substance use seriously impairs your ability to make money, often leading to poor work performance or job loss.
Get a gym membership.
The two items above are ways to plug holes in your bucket; these two are about adding more water. First, get a gym membership and get in shape. Some people think a gym membership is a waste of money but really it’s an investment–if you actually use it. Paying for a membership increases the chance you’ll actually use it. It gives you more options than if you just bought a stationary bike or a couple of kettlebells to use at home. There’s also a social aspect to the gym and a sense that you have a separate space for exercise. Most importantly, the time and money you invest in exercise comes back to you in the form of better mood, better sleep, and greater productivity.
Take some classes.
Finally, take some classes. Your ability to earn more money and to live a fulfilling life are directly related to learning. It doesn’t matter whether your new skills help you by making you better at your job or just satisfy your curiosity; constant learning expands your abilities and your worldview. While there’s a lot you can learn these days just from books and the internet, taking a class is often a shortcut. Paying a few dollars now will save you a lot of time and frustration when you’re trying to learn something new.
It’s easy to forget that you are your own biggest asset. It’s often hard to quantify the return on investing in yourself but if you use a little common sense, that return can be considerable. Addiction is an emergency that’s costing you a lot of time, money, and pain. Getting it under control is probably the single best way to improve your life. At Tree House Recovery of Orange County, California, we help men build a better life without drugs or alcohol. Call us today at 855-202-2138 to learn more about our unique approach to wellness and recovery.