Uncertain times can be overwhelming, and financial insecurity is a major source of stress for many people. As the current economy faces numerous challenges — from the pandemic to rising mortgage rates and rents, and the possibility of a recession — you can benefit emotionally by incorporating ways to reduce financial anxiety at a time like this.
Financial anxiety is a type of anxiety that originates from stress about money, income, and/or the state of one’s financial situation as a whole. While money stress is becoming more and more common among Americans as a result of the difficult times our economy has faced over the past few years, there are steps you can take to manage your finances and reduce your financial stress levels.
1) Accountability Is Key
In times of uncertainty, creating a system of accountability for yourself can greatly help to relieve some of the financial pressure you might be under. Creating a budget and sticking to it can help you to stay on track financially. By tracking your spending, saving money, and meeting your financial goals, you are sure to feel more at ease when it comes to your finances, as preparing for unexpected costs and expenses can relieve fears of financial surprises down the road.
2) Take Control
Uncertain times can be daunting, but by taking control of your finances, you can reduce your financial stress and gain peace of mind. As mentioned above, remaining accountable for your spending, making a budget (and sticking to it), as well as setting aside money each month for unexpected expenses will enable you to feel more confident and in control of your financial situation- even if it’s just a little bit to start. Additionally, tracking your progress over time will help you to recognize your improvements and make adjustments to your spending and saving routine. Keeping your long-term goals in mind, take control of your future by setting intentions on where you want to be financially in the years to come.
3) Curb Uncertainty
Uncertainty is a huge stressor in people’s lives, and financial insecurity is almost always near the top of the list. By establishing an approach to finances where honesty is paramount, we are able to truly analyze where our spending has gone awry and begun to sew the seeds of financial anxiety. A large part of creating new spending habits that you can stick to depends on being realistic and honest with yourself as you create a budget that will work for you. By taking these steps, we can start to gain control over our finances and reduce the stress caused by financial anxiety.
When anxiety shows up in our lives, it is rarely about one particular thing. Typically, life’s many stressors will build and compound on each other when left unaddressed. When things are shaky financially, we can be prone to extra anxiety, especially when it is outside our control and hard to determine a time when things might get back to normal again. Taking control of your mental health and establishing the parameters needed to adequately manage your finances is a great first step to take to reduce your financial stress and anxiety.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you’ve got money on the brain:
- Take a break. Relax your mind and your body for as little as 10 minutes per day with a walk, some light exercise, or a short meditation or breathing exercise.
- Make a plan. Establishing a plan for how you will move forward in your financial journey is always more effective than allowing your mind to race.
- Talk it out. When feelings of anxiety are too overwhelming to handle alone, it can often be helpful to talk to someone about what you’re experiencing. Whether you reach out to a friend, family member, or therapist, be open to outside support to help you through.
Feeling down or anxious in today’s times is completely normal. For those who may be experiencing anxiety, it is important to recognize that you are not alone.
If you find yourself feeling down for many days at a time, struggling to maintain healthy sleep habits, or noticing drastic changes in your appetite or level of alcohol consumption, it may be time to seek support from a medical professional.
Don’t hesitate to reach out for support. Bloom Health Centers believes that you should never have to feel alone in your journey toward better mental health. Our unique Care Team Model supports both in-person and virtual appointments. With clinical locations throughout the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., region, our dedicated team will design individualized treatment options to support you. Contact us.