Investing in yourself
We spend our time with friends, family and at work. We spend money on birthday gifts for
others and social occasions. Social interaction is great; and as humans we thrive off
relationships with other people. However, investing time in ourselves is also very important.
Sometimes we focus too much on others and we need to take some time to focus on our
mind, body and happiness.
When was the last time you planned something nice for yourself? Something new,
something you've been wanting to do for a while?
If like me you live on the Northern Beaches in Sydney you will also be spoiled for choice
when it comes to beautiful nature trails, ocean swimming and stretches of sandy beaches. It
has been proven that getting outside for just 30 minutes of fresh air a day has multiple
benefits. You can read more here.
If you don't have lots of time, then there are some quick fitness options to build into your
Manly who specialise in small group training. Or how about just taking a walk along the
beach in Manly before you start work for the day?
Here are some other great tips for getting out and about in Manly and the Northern
Zumba class - The Manly Village Public school holds energetic, fun classes every Saturday morning.
Going for a picnic - try out the Manly to Spit Bridge walk, or up to North Head in Manly.
Surf lesson - Enjoy an exciting lesson with Manly surf academy
A lot of us spend the first two decades of our life in full time education. As we get older, our
learning tends to slow down and we become lazy and unwilling to learn new things. It is
important to continue to use and improve our cognitive functions to reduce the risk of
developing conditions such as dementia.
Learning and stimulation
My 95-year-old neighbour plays games (such as sudoku) for 30 mins a day to keep his brain
active and his reflexes stimulated. Here are some fun games you can download to your
phone or you can visit the Harbord Diggers near Manly and Freshwater who host weekly
poker and chess nights.
Getting creative is also another way to stimulate our minds as well as reducing stress and
- Make some candles
- Attend an art and craft class
- Paint by numbers
- Do a puzzle
- Make a birthday card
- Go to a drama class
Tip: Go in with the right mind-set. No matter what new skill it is you’re trying to pick up, you probably won’t have a blast at the beginning, but learning is part of the process.
Making it happen
You might be reading this list and thinking wow that all sounds great…but I couldn't possibly
go on my own.
When you're doing something solo, you can go at your own pace, think and reflect, discover
new things about yourself, and improve your self-esteem.
People are too afraid to do things on their own, to go to a class where they don't know
anyone. One of the challenges with new hobbies is the fact that you’re meeting new people,
new groups, new experiences, and that triggers a lot of that anxiety we have about being the
You might be thinking 'everyone will be looking at me', 'everyone will know I am new', 'people will be watching what I’m doing'. We've all had these thoughts and anticipations when we join a new group of people.
This is called the spotlight effect and it is the phenomenon in which people tend to believe they are being noticed more than they really are. The problem with this form of thinking is that it increases your anxiety and can prevent you from taking actions that are in your best interest, simply because you’re unnecessarily worried about what other people might think.
The good news is, there are some ways to reduce the feeling of social anxiety.
Here are some tips to make it easier for you:
Prepare before you start – before you go, do a bit of research online or watch a quick video on YouTube so you know what to expect. This way you will feel more confident and will be worrying less about what is going to happen.
Conversation starters - Instead of worrying about what people think about you, you can try to focus on getting to know people. Think of some topics to discuss if an awkward silence arises.
Try looking at yourself directly from someone else’s perspective. The more you commit to trying to see things from a different perspective, the more clearly you will be able to think about yourself, so try to truly visualise yourself while being in someone else’s shoes. Would you have negative thoughts, or would you try and make them feel welcome and at ease?