Economic Stress is a challenge that is quite common for a marked amount of the population. The following are 6 steps to cope with economic stress, and the emotional struggle you are experiencing as written by mental health expert Dr. Karen Ruskin.
1. Remind yourself that we are in a turbulent time where financial challenges is not uncommon and you like many on this rocky boat will too find calmer waters and land. In the meantime, consider how to feel stable while on a boat that feels so unstable.
2. Utilize positive self talk as it significantly affects your emotional well being. Do be sure to include the following:
a) State to yourself your top 3 positive attributes and remind yourself that who you are is not taken away from you in economic crisis. You are still that person with positive attributes.
b) Remind yourself that you are an emotionally strong person.
c) Life is not without challenges. Therefore, assume and expect challenges will arise and state to yourself that you know that you have the courage, strength, and wisdom to cope effectively with those challenges.
3. Connect with those that care about you and you care about (i.e., family and friends). Spend quality time just enjoying being with them. This does not need to entail spending money. Some humans when hurting instinctively disconnect and that leads to isolation which can bring on depressive symptoms. Access your emotional support network of those you trust.
4. Utilize action oriented stress management techniques. A few examples include: journal your feelings (it is a form of expressing), exercise (affects the chemicals in your body and helps you physically feel strong), get proper sleep (this offers you the energy you need), listen to relaxing music (effects mood), make wise food choices (affects your body and mind).
5. Be conscious of what you are including in your environment as to whether it is a mood downer or an upper. For an example, depressing television shows affect your mood, rather choose programs that are more pleasant for the mind.
6. Stimulate yourself. Whether you read an interesting book or magazine, draw, or shoot hoops, find an item that is a form of stimulation and implement it.
7. Each day consider and implement one thing that you can do to help your financial situation. For example, if you were laid off, consider what action oriented step you can take to find another job. If you have a job with a salary below your financial needs, consider if there is something creative and healthy that you can do to bring in extra money. If you determine there is nothing you can do to increase your current financial situation, consider what budgeting steps you can take to adjust to your current circumstance so you feel like you are taking control of what you can.
If you have read this article and have additional ideas that you have implemented that have helped you to cope with economic stress, you are welcome to share your opinion.