A lot of people are dealing with huge amounts of money problems at the moment and some are looking for ways how they can lower financial stress. More than having to deal with the changes in their finances, the stress is also a big challenge for most people. The mental battle which a lot of Americans are dealing with can be overwhelming at times.
The problem with this is that for one, not a lot of people want to talk about it. They seldom open up and talk about their financial stress. In fact, Everyday Health explains that chronic stress affects all genders and ages in the country. To make matters worse, people tend to keep these worries all bottled up inside them.
One of the reasons why you need to lower financial stress is the fact that it can manifest physically. Some people can have difficulty sleeping at night because of stress. They wake up in the middle of the night and have trouble going back to sleep. For others, they easily get tired of doing simple things around the house. Some even lose focus or interest in activities they used to enjoy before.
These are just some of the manifestations of stress that you need to deal with if you shrug off the problem. But there are tips to help you manage financial stress in your life. This is important especially with the health crisis still going on. It brings its own set of problems and that can compound whatever financial challenges you are going through at the moment.
Identify the origin of your financial stress
If you are trying to find ways to lower financial stress, the first step is to identify where the problem is coming from. It is easy to pinpoint low income or high expenses but at times like this, you need to be very specific. Are you stressed out because you were given reduced hours at work? It is also possible that your side gig is not bringing in what you need to make ends meet.
You might be stressed out that the $600 unemployment boost has stopped leaving you short even with your mortgage payment. You are now worrying about putting food on the table when your unemployment benefits are barely enough to cover your house payments. Worrying about what food to serve in the coming days can be stressful. It might help to know that the administration signed an executive order that should continue that unemployment boost but at $400 per week according to US Department of Labor.
If income is the problem, sit down and go through what you have and what your expenses are every month. The reason for this is to identify how much you need every month. What you earn every month might not be enough so it is important to find that amount you need to raise every month. This gives you a tangible target to work on.
Lower financial stress by working on areas you can change
Once you identify the source of your stress, you need to understand that there are things that are out of your control. Take that $600 unemployment boost for example – there is nothing you can do about it. It is up to Congress to decide whether to extend, ratify, or completely take it out. If you put all your focus on it, there is not a lot you can do about it.
What you can do is look for ways to try and earn extra every month to help you cover what you need for your expenses. You have direct control over how much effort you put in when looking for a new source of income. It can be a side gig, selling items you no longer need online or looking for a new job in your industry.
If there are items you need that have increased prices, it is better to focus on looking for alternative items to buy. You cannot do anything with how manufacturers put a price on their products but you can choose to buy something else. A big part of how you can manage your stress level is how you choose your battles and focus on things you can control.
Focus on the solution and not the problem
One way to lower financial stress is to make sure you do not spend too much time going over the problem and putting your effort into finding a solution. If you were let go at work, do not dwell too much on the problem. Shift gears and focus your attention on trying to put that lost income back into your budget.
Reach out to your network to try and look for job openings they might know about. Start updating your credentials and send them out to companies in your industry. You can also widen your search and consider applying for jobs outside your core competency. The focus is that every bit helps and if you need to learn a new skill to get in then so be it.
Spend time with your hobby
There are times where spending a few hours a day doing something you like can help you lower financial stress. Doing things you love can help you manage your stress level and even lower your anxiety. Of course, you need to be smart with this. You might begin to convince yourself that some vices such as drinking or gambling can help you with your problem.
Worse is if you start to pin your hopes of getting out of your financial problems by gambling what little you have. You believe that one good run or hitting a jackpot can give you an out and bring you back on track. But the reality is that this rarely happens and there is an even bigger chance that you will only push your finances further in the red.
What you can do is to look for ways to turn your passion into income-positive hobbies. More than just being able to pass the time with an activity you already love doing, it can even bring in extra funds every month. Digital design or even reading books can help you find online work that can help you raise extra cash every month.
Get some exercise in
There is no denying the fact that exercise helps people in dealing with stress. On top of this, you also strengthen your immune system. This can be a big help especially with the health crisis still posing a serious threat to people’s lives. If you can find ways to keep your body stronger, you need to take that opportunity.
Exercise will work better if you also watch what you eat. Nutrition plays a crucial role in keeping your body strong and healthy. Like what a lot of experts are saying how you cannot exercise your way out of a bad diet. It does not matter how much you exercise in a day if you eat junk food later on in the day.
One effective way of bringing your stress down is decluttering your space and maybe selling or giving away a few items you no longer use. For one, this gives you something productive to do. There are times as well where cleaning and decluttering gives people a sense of calm and peace. This can also help you raise quick cash if you sell the items you are trying to get rid of.
There are a number of activities you can look into as you try and lower financial stress in the middle of this pandemic. These can help you manage your anxiety and even help you clear up your mind so you can think of ways to move forward with your finances.