We all get caught up in our routines: We wake up, go to work, do a couple of errands, make dinner, and repeat the cycle all over again the next day. Our wants and needs (think: that yoga class and massage you keep putting off) often take the back burner to the more practical and pressing matters of life.
But the truth is, you are the most important investment if you want to live a long, healthy, and meaningful life. Self-care is the new health care, after all—and it’s not a selfish act. If you are depleted, distracted, and uninspired, you’ll have an energy-draining effect on those around you, but if you’re fulfilled, enthusiastic, and purposeful, you have the power to lift others up along with you.
So what are some of the most powerful "self-investments" you can make that will pay off in the long run? The beauty is that there are so many options, and they don’t have to be over-the-top indulgences. The Immersion, lululemon’s first retreat aims to help you carve out more time in your life by prioritizing personal development, physical fitness, relationships, and stress management. Here are four simple ways to invest in yourself that can boost happiness, improve physical and mental well-being, and lead to an overall more balanced life.
Sweat: Move your body every day.
Physical activity is one of those no-brainer investments in your health. In addition to being associated with an increased lifespan and reduced risk of all sorts of diseases (from diabetes to arthritis to heart disease), moving your body more is equally beneficial for the body and mind.
Research has shown that regular exercise can reduce anxiety, improve memory and thinking skills, improve sleep quality, and be as effective for treating depression as prescription drugs. It’s also one of the most effective ways to clear cortisol (the stress hormone) from the body, helping you better cope with the more challenging moments in life. The best part? You don’t have to run a marathon or do an intense boot camp workout to experience these perks. In fact, yoga—with its combination of physical movement and intentional breathing—may be the ultimate mind-body workout.
Current recommendations say to aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise every day to reap the benefits, but if you are truly enjoying the type of exercise you do, chances are you’ll far exceed that. At The Immersion, sweat is a key pillar—but not without an element of enjoyment and pleasure. The variety of yoga classes and higher impact workouts aim to help you release and bask in the moment—and the stunning beachside Malibu doesn’t hurt either.
Personal Development: Commit to trying new things.
What gets you up in the morning? What lights your creative fire? What do you need to do to feel whole? The truth is, you don’t really know until you’ve experienced it. That’s why making a commitment to learning new skills and engaging in fresh experiences is so important. That might mean taking a cooking class, going for your yoga teacher certification, traveling solo, or starting a blog. It could even mean going on a wellness retreat like The Immersion, a retreat by lululemon, where personal development is one of the key pillars. Every day presents you with new opportunities (a yoga class, a mindfulness technique, an inspirational speaker) that could change your perspective on life.
In the short term, trying new things like these might make you uncomfortable, and that’s completely normal. But the more you commit to doing things that aren’t part of your regular routine, the more you’ll let go of the fear and prevent it from holding you back. Stepping out of your comfort zone can also reveal previously unknown talents and passions you might have, helping reveal what you’re really supposed to do with your life and giving you a greater sense of purpose. Having a clearer sense of purpose, in turn, has been associated with a better ability to handle negative life events and living a longer, healthier life.
Relationships: Make (and maintain) meaningful friendships.
As an adult, it can be really hard to make friends. Oftentimes, building new relationships requires a giant step outside of your comfort zone, to the point where it can seem hopeless to even make the effort. However, research shows that the effort is worthwhile in the long run. Studies have found that having more friends makes you significantly happier, which, in turn, is associated with a longer lifespan. Quality of friends is important, too. Having someone to talk to that you trust can make you more resilient and better able to cope with stressful situations—which anyone who has ever vented to a friend about a bad job or relationship can understand.
However, as an adult, opportunities to meet new people seem to be few and far between compared to our childhood days. The solution: Put yourself out there and consider signing up for an event, workshop, or retreat where you’re more likely to meet like-minded people with whom you can have meaningful conversations about things you both enjoy.
Like to get outdoors? Consider joining a hiking Meetup. Love knitting? Sign up for that Pints 'n' Purls event you always see on Facebook. Love yoga? Maybe this is finally the year you allow yourself to go on a yoga and wellness retreat, where you’ll fully experience connection as you bond with 50 other health enthusiasts in community-based yoga classes taught by world-renowned instructors like Janet Stone.
Give yourself permission to relax and indulge in self-care at lululemon’s first wellness retreat—for the ultimate investment in your health and well-being.