With the current economic state of our world, financial stress is on the rise — and rightfully so. Many have lost jobs, businesses, and even their own personal assets as a result of the pandemic-induced shutdowns across the globe. While this is very much our reality in 2020, it’s important that we remain healthy and prioritize our own wellness while navigating this difficult time period. Though there isn’t necessarily a clear path to mental wellness, here are some tips you can try to be sure you are prioritizing your health even through financial difficulty.
Identify the Problem
The most important part of improving your mental wellness, in any case, is to identify the fact that you are stressed and for what reasons. Try to pinpoint and write down what aspects of your finances are concerning you. This could be a low income, a volatile investment, or a struggle to make ends meet. From there, develop a plan of attack for bringing your finances to a state of comfort and stability.
Create a Budget
While this seems like a financial task you wouldn’t want to address amidst money-related stress, a budget can be what sets you up for wellness in the future. Making a plan of the amount of money you expect to gain and lose on a monthly basis can help to relieve some of the stress from uncertainty. To create your budget, start by:
● Determining all your means of income
● Create a list of your monthly expenses
● Decide what expenses are fixed and variable
● Adopt a savings plan
These steps serve as a basis for your budget and can certainly assist you in establishing stability in your finances.
Step Away from Media
A large part of mental health concerns in 2020 come from our overwhelming amount of media consumption on a daily basis. According to a survey conducted in April of this year, the average American spends almost 8 hours of their day consuming digital media.
While this may seem like it has no correlation to your financial stress, you could unknowingly be reacting and stressing from feelings of comparison, haste, and overburdening – ultimately influencing or straining your relationship with your finances. Given that we live in such an “instant” society that revels in fame, success, and riches, you may be trying to carry the weight of what you consume online. In return, it may be causing you to stress about your own financial state.
Instead, take a step away from social media or news channels to help clear your mind from the weight of society and your personal finances. Try setting app time limits on your phone or if you’re up for it, take an entire week or month away from screens. Doing so will help you to fully focus on your own health and wellness.
Establish a Routine
A great stress-reducing tactic that works for many is to establish a new routine both in your finances and personal life. When spending money, try to develop a habit of only spending on “wants” a limited number of times each month.
In your personal life, however, try looking for new hobbies and social groups to help take your mind off of the stress of your finances. Common stress relieving classes like yoga and spin cycling can be helpful in starting your day off well and creating healthy relationships within your community. Be sure to schedule stress-relief practices throughout your day to ensure that you are taking care of yourself consistently; not just every once in a while.
Prepare for Future Financial Decisions
To avoid continued financial stress in the future, try preparing yourself for large purchasing decisions ahead of time. For example, when looking to buy a house, start by getting preapproved for a mortgage first. This small addition to your homebuying journey can help you decide how much money you should be prepared to spend before beginning your search. It may even allow you to be more competitive in a bidding war for a specific home.
If you’re starting a business that needs financial support, plan for it now. Explore your business loan options and save as much money as you can in advance. Making small changes like this today to prepare for your future can help to ensure that you are not battling the same wellness issues in years to come.
Staying mentally healthy can certainly be a challenge. Thankfully, small tips such as these can help change your outlook on your finances and life overall. In addition to these steps, be sure to talk to your peers or an advisor about specific plans you can implement. In any case, take breath and enjoy your journey one step at a time.