In fact, according to Newswire, a Capital One Canada and Credit Canada Debt Solutions survey stated that 44% of Canadians believe that their financial situation negatively impacts their mental health. Research has long since proven that money stress adds to health problems including migraines, depression, mood swings, insomnia, absenteeism, and cardiovascular diseases, among other ailments and challenges.
Your health, wellness, and happiness can greatly improve by creating a healthy, sustainable financial situation. Here are four simple ways to cope with money stress and work your way back to good (financial and emotional) health.
4 ways to cope with money stress
- Relax. Breathe. Know that money comes and goes. Money stress can be alleviated.
The first step in coping with money stress is to acknowledge how you’re feeling mentally, emotionally, and physically and get to the root cause(s) of your stress. If it’s money, write down how you’re feeling and why. Sometimes getting the issue out of your mind and down on to paper is the first step in letting go and defogging your mind to see the big picture.
Remember that money was made to exchange hands. It ebbs and flows. Sometimes you’ll be blessed with a lot of it and at other times, perhaps such as now, you may find yourself needing more money, being in debt, and having it stress you out.
Relax. Go for a walk, get out in nature, have a calming tea and bath, clear your mind, write down what’s causing you to worry, and know that you’re on the right track.
- Understand the big picture of your personal finances.
Now that you’ve given yourself a moment to acknowledge that there’s an issue, make a plan or get someone (a friend, colleague, loved one, counselor, or professional) who is good at getting organized to help you make a plan.
Check out your past finances, where your money is going, how much interest you owe, how much savings, investments, and income you have—and do the same of your partner, if you’re in a financial partnership. Write it all down. This might be overwhelming and challenging but it’s a necessary step.
- Make a plan and budget and stick to it.
One of the best ways to cope with money stress is to make a plan.
It’s your roadmap out of debt and financial stress. Your guide out of the tunnel, so to speak. Trust me, I’ve been in debt before and know the depths of money stress. A plan is something you can grab on to that has the potential to take you to a brighter, healthier, more sustainable financial future.
Here is a helpful blog post we wrote on 15 ways to pay off your debt faster that you could check out to help make a plan and budget.
- How much income do you have coming in bimonthly or monthly?
- How much is your basic cost of living?
- How much money do you have left to work with for debt management, savings, and extra spending every month?
- Do you need a side job?
- Can you cut extra spending?
- How much debt do you owe?
- How much interest are you paying? Can you reduce that?
- How much money can you afford to spend on getting out of debt or saving?
- When do you want to get out of debt by?
If you’re serious about getting of debt, especially quickly, some old, bad money habits will have to go. Consider what they are and say goodbye to them for now (or for always).
- Ask for help and council.
We all have our strengths and weaknesses.
Perhaps you are organized, but not great with money management. Or, perhaps you are great at making money, but you’re better at spending it. Surround yourself with people and professionals who complement where you could use some extra help.
For example, at Progressa, we help people like you to cope with money stress and manage your money and debt in a healthy, sustainable way. We provide one-on-one information sessions to ensure that we are both a good fit for each other and advise you on how to get back to a good financial footing now and in the long term.
There are many great resources out there, however, to help you cope with money stress and work your way to financial health. Look to friends, family members, community centers, financial advisors at banks, and volunteer centers, as well as online blogs for extra help when you need it.