An overwhelming amount of Americans say they feel stressed about their finances. With uncertainties in the economy, constantly-changing markets, and huge life changes, it’s easy to get caught in an anxiety spiral. Know that you’re not alone.
Everyone’s financial situation is unique and needs specific solutions. But, there are things you can do to take care of your mind when you’re dealing with financial stress.
1. Talk about your stressors
Financial stress is a heavy burden, whether you’re worried about keeping the lights on or managing debt. Stress can make you feel physically ill and mentally isolated.
It’s important to break that cycle and be open about what you’re experiencing with people you trust. Talk to your loved ones and trusted financial advocates about your finances and how they affect your well-being.
2. Understand what you can and cannot control
Many financial stressors are out of our control, like the state of the job market. As you identify your money stressors, acknowledge what is out of your control. Concentrate on what you can influence in your life.
Feeling regret over past financial choices will also lock you back into a self-critical loop. Dr. Jud Brewer, the author of Unwinding Anxiety, says you should approach these stressors with a growth mindset. Instead of mulling over past missteps, consider how you can use that past choice to prepare for your choices in the future.
3. Make a plan
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to making a financial plan. But giving yourself a guide to your finances will help you feel on track and in control.
Start by setting goals for yourself. Do you want to move? Are you paying off debt? Set your sights on working towards a goal, instead of focusing on weathering your finances.
Then, build a plan. Check out our guide to building a monthly budget that fits your lifestyle or how to plan ahead for disasters.
Want more mindfulness tips from your neighborhood financial experts? Listen to our episode about managing money and stress on the Dream, Plan, Live podcast.