Even though life and finances can be extremely difficult at times, it’s always important to use all available means to achieve balance that can aid in taking back control when the unexpected happens.
Finances and unforeseen costs can have an impact on your mental health and put you in a stressful situation that can last for days, if not weeks. Overstressing, on the other hand, is not a very healthy option. To help you maintain financial peace when the unexpected happens, we've put together a simple strategy for staying calm when financial stress manifests.
- Identify your top financial stress points and write them down
It's usually a good idea to list the sources of your stress in order to determine where it may be coming from. This might be anything from a monthly budget that is out of control to an unanticipated expense. The art of identifying your financial stress points can =aid you in deciding where to focus your attention if you are under pressure to make a payment. This will inevitably result in a focused approach to determining what must be paid off first.
- Track your finances
One of the best ways to really get an overview of where your finances are going is to track them, break them down into smaller categories and find out which ones are causing the most financial pressure.
As mentioned above, tracking your finances is a great strategy to remain vigilant when it comes to how much you spend. Keep all receipts for a month, even if the expense seems minor or meaningless. See how effectively you can keep track of your spending, compile a detailed list of where you can cut costs, and identify any areas where you might be overspending and use those areas to save and allocate available funds to outstanding debt.
- Get your budget right
Include the costs of your required transportation, food, and accommodation each month. Plan for additional expenses, including saving cash for unforeseen expenses. For a more in-depth breakdown visit the Money Academy for a user-friendly Budgeting Course. Budgeting is a lifelong journey, and it may seem repetitive at times, but putting a lot of effort into it can also alleviate a lot of stress on a weekly and monthly basis.
- Start small
Once you have a clearer understanding of your cash flow and where it is going, you can start searching for ways to make minor adjustments that could reduce stress.
Helpful Strategies to cope with stress
Stress can impact both the body and the mind. We've outlined some helpful strategies to assist you in taking back control of your mental health and your finances.
- Try some meditation
Strengthening those brain waves can connect breath to body and stimulate more positive thoughts. Meditating is a great way to stay mindful, bringing calm and perspective when stress is peaking. Calm is one of the best meditation apps right now; it asks specific questions before hand to set up a curated meditation set for each individual. It's narrated by some great characters, as well as a couple of famous ones.
- Head outdoors
At times when we are in a stressful situation or are experiencing financial difficulty, being outdoors can help us feel at ease. Taking a few minutes to yourself to go outside for some sunshine and fresh air may just be the timeout you need.
- Find things you enjoy doing
A tried-and-true method for staying a little more peaceful is to get out and do activities you truly enjoy. This could involve taking a walk or jog, or it could be as easy as adopting the practice of making oneself a cup of tea as a time out ritual. Reading is a fantastic way to unwind for a bit. One approach to engaging with the world around you while enjoying some alone time is to spend five minutes reading an article or blog post about an interest of yours.
Another tried and tested stress relief strategy is to take a 10-minute timeout. This can give you a short time to truly assess what the problem is and how to best negotiate the situation.
- Deep rest for deep stress
Rest and sleep are well-known methods for allowing the body and mind to truly relax, reset, and take a break from extreme worries. Try to be consistent in your sleeping patterns, and avoid bright screens such as phones, laptops, and televisions at least an hour before going to bed. A lower light environment is a great way to assist the mind in relaxing and knowing that sleep time is approaching, allowing our minds to move into rest mode.
- Distress with a curated playlist
This works for many people, and the playlist can include any type of music as long as it aids in your relaxation. When the mind is under a stressful load, white noise is said to help it relax a little more. Why not put it to the test and see where it takes you? We've compiled a few playlists to help you get started on the path to less stress.
Finances will affect us to varying degrees throughout our lives, and we will not always be able to control the unexpected financial worries that could arise. However, there are resources, tools and strategies that can help us all manage our Mental Wellness, especially when it comes to financial stress. It is therefore critical to invest in financial tools and strategies to assist us in proactively managing our Mental Wellness, developing habits that will come in handy when the unexpected occurs.
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