Managing Chronic Financial Stress
The term financial health doesn’t just affect a person’s finances. In fact, a person with poor financial health may also have poor physical and mental or emotional health. For example, a person who is under stress, potentially caused by the lack of financial wellness, could experience “the release of cortisol, memory and concentration suppression, increased heart rate, and blood pressure, faster breathing, and a reduction in metabolism.” The link between financial health and physical/mental health becomes easier to see when there is more at risk than just your credit score.
Managing finances has become more of a full-time concern and less of a leisurely activity as people’s debt steadily increases with no signs of relief in sight. The end seems to get only further away as your credit card interest rate rises, your mortgage payment is late, or medical bills go into a pile on the counter to be dealt with at a later time.
While it may not seem like it right now, financial problems and stresses are quite tangible as solutions are available to help pull you out from under the weight of chronic stress that you may be experiencing. Many times, there are more financial stresses than meets the eye. Here are some tips for how to regain control over your stress and finances.
Don’t Cut Out Healthcare|
Just because you are trimming your budget to help in managing your financial wellness, don’t cut back on healthcare or basic necessities. Smaller health issues left untreated could turn into larger issues that require additional intervention, which could lead to more stress. In fact, debt can create emotions that take a negative toll on your overall health. Some people can begin to experience anxiety and frustration when they start to think about how to attack their debt. Instead of refraining from visiting a medical practitioner when an ache or pain arises, or when you start feeling overwhelming anxiety or hopelessness, stay on top of your physical and mental health by setting an appointment with your doctor and asking for help.
Create a New Normal of Living on Less
Learning how to live within your means, or your newly established means is not a bad thing. However, it can take some getting used to. Start by creating a reasonable budget to which you are able to maintain a commitment. A proper budget will help cushion your bank account with some funds that can be used to help pay down debt or moved to a savings account for unexpected emergencies. Strategies for living on less could include switching to a streaming service instead of satellite or cable TV, meal planning based on budget-friendly items, and go hiking or workout at home instead of maintaining your gym membership.
List Your Stresses
Grab a paper and pen and set aside ten minutes to make a physical list of your stresses. What keeps you up at night? When it comes to financial stress, do you wish you could stop thinking about it? Once you have your list, underline what would be most relieving to be able to cross off the list. This will become your target to try and eliminate from the list. If your number one stress is debt, then you would make a new list of each of your types of debt (i.e. credit card, medical expenses, student loans, car payment, mortgage, etc.). Identify which of these is most easily paid down, and start there. Physically write out a plan of attack for your debt and select a reasonable date for which your goal can be achieved.
Lifestyle changes are one of the easiest and most efficient ways to start making meaningful changes that can help manage chronic financial stress. If the stress becomes too much, contact EmployeeMoney to help relieve any of your immediate unexpected financial concerns by consolidating some of your debt into one, fixed-interest loan with manageable payments. We are here to help!