April 19, 2021

Caring for Yourself in Times of Financial Distress

Caring for Yourself in Times of Financial Distress

By Sheila Johnson

When you’re stressed out and looking for relief, finding nothing but self-care options that cost a lot of money can often make you feel even worse. Thankfully, there are ways you can give yourself the gift of kindness physically, emotionally, mentally, and yes, even financially with a bit of planning. Alternative Health Tools is an exceptional place to start, so make sure to check out the podcast and blog.

Getting Your Finances in Order

Stress over money issues is one of the most significant causes of anxiety for most people. One of the best gifts you can give yourself is to tackle the issue head-on and look for ways to get yourself into a healthy financial state from which to operate. In addition to creating a household budget and looking for ways to cut back on all but the essentials, consider big-picture moves that can have a meaningful impact on your wallet like debt consolidation or refinancing your home. These two approaches can help you make your way toward financial health. Consult with a reputable mortgage lender and/or qualified credit counselor to help you review your options and identify the most fiscally sound approach.

Get Creative With Self-Care Measures

Even when finances are tight, there are still many ways you can treat yourself with love, kindness, and compassion that don’t cost a dime. Carve time out of every single day to sit in silence and meditate, go for a nature walk while you listen to your favorite music, or pick wildflowers to brighten your room. Join with friends, in-person or virtually, for regular yoga sessions, book discussions, or old-fashioned gab sessions. According to Mayo Clinic, relationships with friends can actually improve your health! The key to making yourself a priority is to set aside time in which you are taking care of yourself without excuse, justification, and most importantly, without interruption. Even the act of prioritizing yourself, if even for a brief period of time, will help you regain your sense of self.

Give Yourself Small but Delightful Treats

While it might sound lovely, you don’t need a $500 spa day to make you feel like you’re pampering yourself. Establish a small budget for special yet cost-effective treats like your favorite coffee, a poetry book from a second-hand bookstore, or watercolor pencils and parchment for creative doodling. Buy a beautifully scented soap or bath salts, a pair of cozy socks, or new loungewear that makes you feel special. While these aren’t bank-breaking expenditures, they are worthwhile investments that will make you feel uplifted while still in control of your finances. And if you’re unwilling to loosen the purse strings too much, search for coupons so you can enjoy discounts when you shop online.

Do for Others   

When we’re feeling down about ourselves or our circumstances, sometimes the best medicine is helping others who are less fortunate. Volunteer at an animal shelter, read virtually to residents in an assisted living facility, or get a group together to pick up trash and plant flowers in your neighborhood. Bake cookies for a neighbor, offer to drive someone without a car to a doctor’s appointment, or volunteer to babysit for an overworked single mom. Invite friends to a free concert or go alone and enjoy the solitude. Sometimes, the act of reaching out to others is self-soothing and helps you put your own issues into perspective.

It’s far too easy to let our minds wander and dwell on all of the things that we wish were different in our lives. According to Chopra, the intentional act of practicing gratitude on a daily basis is a lovely way to remind ourselves of what we have, rather than what we lack. Make time in every day — even when you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed — to make a list of the things you’re grateful for. It might be as simple as the fact that the sun is shining, that you have food on your table, and that your children are in good health. This approach can help you feel focused, centered, and light rather than down and blue. It also helps you appreciate the things in life that are truly good.  

~ Sheila