We all know that chronic stress can have some pretty severe effects on our health, from migraines, stomach aches, ulcers, and insomnia to more severe things including weight gain, depression, strokes, and heart attacks.
Back in December of 2020 CreditWise released a survey showing 73% of participants said worries about finances were their number one cause for stress. This beat out politics, work, and family stressors. In other words, the majority of people agree that money can be stressful! Losing a job, unexpected health problems, emergencies , or compounding debt can all lead to an increase in stress that can affect nearly every aspect of life. If left unchecked, the associated health problems have the potential to lead to high-cost medical bills, which then leads to even more financial stress.
So where does the cycle end? How can we overcome the stress associated with money? The best solution is to avoid unnecessary debt and stick to your budget or spending plan…but things don’t always go according to plan.
If you have encountered money problems, there’s a few things you can do to help alleviate some of your stress and start to work your way out of your financial woes. The first thing is to focus on the things that are within your control, such as sticking to a budget. If you spend your time focusing on the things outside of your control, you’ll only feel more overwhelmed and will lose the power you DO have.
Prioritize your bills and make sure you are paying the essentials first. Often you can talk to creditors and see if they are open to offering temporary solutions such as repayment freezes or not reporting missed payments to credit bureaus.
As soon as you are able, start saving money and then track your money-saving or debt payment progress. Having a visual reference can help keep you positive and focusing on your accomplishments.
If you have taken these steps and still feel like you’re losing ground, don’t be afraid to reach out to a financial advisor. Their experience and insight can help take some of the extra weight off your shoulders as well as developing a plan focused on your specific needs and goals.
It’s important to make your health a priority during times of stress. Stay active and keep your body moving. Exercise is one of the best ways to burn off stress and anxiety. Aim for exercising 3-5 times a week. Eat healthy meals with plenty of vegetables so your body is getting the needed nutrients. Above all, get adequate sleep. Let the worries go for the night and start fresh in the morning. Experts say sleep is the number one key to improving your health. When you get enough sleep, you’re able to think with a clear mind and keep much of the anxiety away.
Money stress doesn’t have to control your life or ruin your health. If you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed with worries about money and finances reflect on the things you can do, both with your money and your health, empower yourself and take action.