Invest in yourself: Three low cost ways to alleviate stress and recharge

Feeling stressed out? Worried you're not taking the necessary time to relax?

Don't worry, you're not alone.

According to a new survey from TD, more than two thirds of working Canadians surveyed said they experience moderate to high levels of stress at their job. This was especially true for people working in health care, social assistance, finance, insurance and real estate.

At the same time, while nearly everyone agrees that taking time to de-stress is important, more than half of us don't take the time to invest in ourselves as often as we'd like. Even though both men and women believe investing in yourself is "very important" – with women being slight more likely to agree than men (66 per cent compared with 57 per cent) – we're still not taking the time to bring down those stress levels. 

Why?

More than two thirds of those surveyed (67 per cent) said they don’t invest in themselves as much as they’d like to because they can’t afford it.

The survey also found that age plays a factor in reported job stress. Millennials and Gen Xers who participated in the survey were more likely to say they experienced high or moderate stress levels at work, compared to Baby Boomers (68 per cent for Millennials and Gen Xers and 59 per cent for Boomers).

But no matter your age, finding moments to de-stress and invest in yourself doesn't have to be costly. Here are three lower cost ways to invest in your well-being:

  • Take a staycation designed to beat stress over a vacation: Attending a local yoga retreat or a relaxing spa weekend could help you feel calmer and happy about the money you saved by not buying an expensive flight (in addition to avoiding any travel delays). Many urban spas also offer deals "off season" in the summer when they are less busy, so with a little planning you could save even more.
  • Start a higher-interest “me” fund: Plan to invest in yourself like other items you’re saving for, such as a car or new computer. One way to do this is by adding a little money each month into a tax-free savings account to help build your cash faster. You could also set up automatic transfers using an Automated Savings Option that works best for your needs. Not sure how much you need to save? This Personal Cash Flow Calculator will give you a sense of how and where you spend your money to determine a realistic savings goal.
  • Use your tax refund strategically: Enjoyed a great staycation and still can't kick the travel bug? Consider investing this year’s refund into a high-interest savings account to cover the costs of next year’s vacation. And for short-term savings goals, consider putting some funds into a safe but flexible product with a guaranteed rate, such as Cashable GICs.