Managing stress in difficult financial times is important as stress can have a severe impact on your overall health.
Steps For Managing Stress in Difficult Financial Times
Managing stress in difficult financial times is important because failing to do so can result in:
- Lower immunity
Most would love to manage their stress, but just don't know how. The following steps may help you:
Talk to Your Financial Advisor
After you've read your 401k and other statements, pick up the phone and schedule a meeting with your current financial advisor. Prepare for the meeting by gathering all of the appropriate paperwork and by writing down any questions you may have. What types of questions should you ask? Ask about anything that you don't currently understand. Some topics may include:
- The diversity of your portfolio
- Fees, including those that pay your advisor's salary
- Future planning
Tune Out the Pundits
A large part of managing stress in difficult financial times can mean tuning out some of the talking heads that are a staple of cable television. To be sure, you obviously don't want to insulate yourself from current events, but as long as you know that you have a sound financial plan, there really is no need to listen to the incessant chatter about whether the markets are up or down.
Take Even More Control
Taking even greater control of your finances, along with the steps above, will help you keep your stress levels low. Take this control by:
- Paying off your debt: As long as you have debt, no matter the debt, you are losing money by paying on the interest. It goes without saying that this extra money you are throwing away on interest can easily go to building your savings account. Break the debt cycle by removing, not adding more money onto your credit cards; freeze them, put them in a draw, cut them up (just don't close the accounts). Just do whatever you need to so that you are not "charging" items anymore.
- Make additional payments: Avoid paying the minimum balance on cards. Instead, pay extra; even an additional five dollars will help cut down on the amount of time it will take you to pay off your debt.
- Start saving: Treat the amount you plan on saving each paycheck as another bill- automatically deduct it and place it in your savings account.
- Build an emergency fund: Ideally, this fund should have enough money to cover your bills, including rent or mortgage for up to one year.
Additional Steps to Take
Once you have a savings account, an emergency fund, a nest egg, and zero debt, you should begin to feel calmer. Stay that way, or feel even more relaxed by:
- Meditating: Take fifteen to thirty minutes each day to sit still and calm your mind.
- Get the right amount of exercise: Getting the right amount of exercise for your body will help you feel that much calmer. Do whatever form of physical exercise you enjoy; run, walk or bike. Try to do your choice of activity at least five days a week.
- Let it out: Don't hold your feelings inside. Instead, talk out your concerns with a loved one or write it out. Getting it off your chest will help you feel much better.
Taking Care of Your Mind, Body and Finances
Managing stress in difficult financial times is not easy, but it's not impossible to do either. The key to keeping your stress levels low is taking the time to create a plan. In conjunction with this financial plan, you should also take a look at how you are treating your body and spirit overall. Are you taking the time to nourish your spirit by doing things that you love? In addition, are you spending time working out your muscles so that they work efficiently? Doing these three things will help you keep your stress levels low, and help you to feel more balanced and in control.