Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Relative Costs of Self-Care

I had a brief conversation the other day with a friend who was lamenting the high cost of psychotherapy. She felt guilty for spending so much money on what she calls monthly 'maintenance' or 'self-care'. I half jokingly pointed out that therapy is a lot cheaper than a drug habit (prescription or otherwise). So it's all relative.

I find it interesting that people will easily pay upwards of $100 a month for a local gym membership that they rarely use, $70 per hour for a personal trainer, $350 to an accountant to file their taxes, $75 a week for housecleaning, $20 a week on dry cleaning, etc. But they're not willing to pay anywhere near a fraction of those amounts for psychological, spiritual or emotional forms of 'self-care'.

The point that I'm trying to make is nothing new. Other bloggers have said the same thing much more eloquently than I ever could. But it's good to be reminded about the basics...namely, that it's important to invest in yourself first. Not just your education, career or physical health, but your emotional, spiritual and mental health as well. It's more than okay to spend some hard earned dollars to see a therapist, counselor or spiritual director if it'll help contribute to a more joyful, purpose driven or goal oriented life. Sure, your net worth will take a short term hit. But the long term rewards are priceless.


Single Ma said...

You may not think so, but this was eloquently stated. I agree 100%. You've given me something to think about because I've been really stressed this week. Instead of getting my hair done on Friday, I may consider a visit to the spa for a much needed, long overdue massage. This is theraputic(sp?)for me.

IRA said...

Hello Singlema. Sorry to hear that you've been having a busy week. So, go get that massage! I expect a full report on Monday :-)
One of my most frugal friends schedules regular, bi-weekly appointments with her chiropractor/massage therapist. She works in a very stressful environment, and she's on her feet a lot. And it's taken a definite toll on her neck and back. She's only in her late 20s, so I worry about her long term health. But at least she's trying to take care of herself. Now, if only I could convince her to get a new job...