How to Manage Financial Stress

How to Manage Financial StressMoney is a huge part of our lives + financial stress can come with it. Even if you’re not motivated by a big paycheck, we all need a level of financial stability to have a good quality of life and be able to do the things we want to. As a result, when we’re under financial stress, it can impact every aspect of our lives and feel incredibly restrictive and overwhelming.

Unfortunately, financial worry is part of the daily reality for many people, especially in times of change. Plus, the number of scams in circulation is on the rise, meaning that even financially comfortable individuals may have an unexpected change to their finances. So how can you manage the impact this has on your health and wellbeing, and gain a feeling of control? In this post, we share actionable tips to help you get through this challenging time.

Gain control via tracking and budgeting to reduce financial stress

When a problem feels overwhelming, it can be hard to break it down and see what elements you can actually have some control over. In terms of finances, you may feel like you never have enough money, but can’t quite understand why. Tracking your income and expenses can be a fantastic way to understand your financial situation, before you look at any potential changes.

You can track this manually using a spreadsheet, but many banking apps will offer a free tool to help you categorize your expenses, and then periodically review them. If your spends are categorized automatically, make sure you review the tags to ensure you’re getting accurate data.

Once you’ve got information about your finances, you can create a budget, and see where you might be able to make some changes. Even tiny swaps can make a difference when money is tight, or you may be able to see if you can spread your bills out to a payment schedule that better suits your income pattern.

Seek help and advice from experts

How to Manage Financial StressFinancial worries can feel incredibly isolating, especially when money is a taboo subject in many communities. However, you are not alone – there are plenty of experts out there who can help you. Whether that’s someone at your bank, or via reputable online resources such as expert podcasts or newsletters, improving your financial literacy is a great action to take when it comes to tackling financial stress.

There are even some organizations that offer free financial advice sessions, on a first-come, first-served ad hoc basis. Getting some one-on-one time with an expert can really help you see what changes you may want to consider, or inform you about other lines of support.

Keep a healthy routine

When you’re stressed, it’s easy to let your routine slip and let the problem overtake your mind. However, it’s really important to take good care of yourself and prioritize your health and wellbeing – especially when you’re struggling.

Make time for exercise, activities that you enjoy and spending time with loved ones, to balance out the stress and give your brain a break, even for a short while. Experts say that exercise in particular is a great tool, as it releases endorphins and helps relax your muscles and relieve tension. It can also help to combat anxiety and depression, so even if it’s just going on a walk, make moving a core part of your daily routine.

It’s also vital to eat well. We’re all familiar with the concept of comfort food – who hasn’t reached for some chocolate when they’re stressed – but whilst a little treat is fine, relying on them won’t help your state of mind. Make sure to incorporate fruit and vegetables into your diet (tinned is often cheaper than fresh, and lasts longer so can be split across several meals) and drink plenty of water.

Consider attending a support group to help heal alleviate financial stress

How to Manage Financial StressWhen you’re in a hard situation, sometimes meeting others who are in the same boat can help. You feel less alone, and you’re able to gain advice from people who are further ahead in the process, or have been where you are before. Even if you don’t get any advice from it, it’s a space to admit that you’re struggling, which can be essential if you’re having to be strong outside of this safe place.

You may feel some shame around your situation, but you’re not the first person and you won’t be the last to struggle with financial stress. Joining a support group can be invaluable – a space to come together and feel understood. Look for one in your local area, or even online, and try out attending one meeting.

Being in financial difficulty can feel overwhelming and scary, but there are steps you can take to help manage the situation. Reach out for support, take care of yourself and improve your financial literacy to gain a feeling of action and control.

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About Lauren

Lauren is the Content & Community Manager for Wellness Force Media. According to Lauren, wellness is about finding gratitude and joy in doing any type of physical or self-care activity that we love. Wellness means providing ourselves with self-love, good nutrition, and the inner peace that our individual minds and bodies need.

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