Throughout my pregnancy, I have been attending yoga classes. Since I started attending these classes a lot of my stress levels are just lower, in general. On top of being good for my physical health, each class has helped improve my mental health as well. I’m less likely to freak out if I can remember the most important part of yoga: to breathe. That got me thinking about how people manage their financial stress and what we do to cope in our own family.
How We Deal With Financial Stress
This isn’t to say you can breathe your way through your financial hardships (though a yoga class or two may help you refocus). However, you can use some things from yoga to help yourself deal with financial stress.
- Breathe: Sometimes you need to just step back and take a breath. This isn’t the end of the world and a nice cleansing breath can help with your stress levels.
- Balance: Search for a way to balance out your finances and bring your stress down. Planning helps me a ton!
- Set your gaze: Consider your goals. Is what you are stressing about really going to hold you back?
- Drown out distractions: What things are distracting you from reaching your goals? Find a way to drown those things out.
- Just unplug: Every once in a while, you need to just unplug. Cut off social media, emails, and maybe even your phone for the day. Recenter and come back with a fresh attitude.
Now, my husband doesn’t do yoga. He is more of a jiu-jitsu guy. Thankfully, we have ways of working through our own financial stress together. Normally, he is the calm and collected one. He makes phone calls, mends things when they are broken, and makes the problem (even if temporarily) go away. I am the planner. I sit down and figure out how we can avoid finding ourselves in that situation again.
For many couples and families, this is a great way to manage financial stress. You assign “jobs” to the people in charge of finance. My husband isn’t the best with planning, so bill pay and mapping out our finances each month is my job. He’s a better spender. So, when there is a big purchase to be made, he does the research. It works for us. For the most part, it is about what works for you.
Other Ways to Cope
What works for us won’t necessarily work for you. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to cope with financial stress. Here are three ways I’ve seen be beneficial for other families.
- Have a true understanding of your financial situation. Oftentimes, stress stems from not knowing exactly where you stand financially. Take time to get to know your money and where you stand with your debt and long-term financial goals.
- Take a social media detox. Social media can be great, but it can also leave us looking at everyone else’s lives and saying, “That could be me.” People start envying one another and, sometimes, overspend trying to keep up with the Joneses. Turn your social media notifications off for a week (or more). It can do wonders!
- Consider counseling. Financial counseling can be a great tool if you are really struggling with managing your stress. Look into low-cost and even free options in your area.
Dealing with financial stress can be a killer. Once you find a way to manage your own stress, it can make a world of difference. You may even find you are meeting more of your goals and seeing more progress in your finances.
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Amanda Blankenship is the Director of Social Media for District Media. In addition to her duties handling everything social media, she frequently writes for a handful of blogs and loves to share her own personal finance story with others. When she isn’t typing away at her desk, she enjoys spending time with her daughter, husband, and dog. During her free time, you’re likely to find her with her nose in a book, hiking, or playing RPG video games.