Today I wanted to talk about six ways to deal with financial stress. This has come off the back of two conversations I’ve had recently with two ladies, both of them in their fifties. These ladies had two fairly similar situations; both were in positions of financial stress and actually financial stress that wasn’t necessarily caused by their own doing.
So I wanted to share some tips with you this morning about ways to deal with financial stress. One of the things I’m a big believer in is that often getting into these money conversations with ourselves could be really difficult, because if anything is too stressful, we tend to just find something else to do. Or we continue to get into this scarcity mind set, and it drains all of our energy, and it feels so bad that we just don’t do anything about it.
1. Raise your Vibe
I’m a massive music fan, so often if I’m not feeling great on a particular morning, my energy levels are not great, my hormones are all over the place, or something is just going on in my personal life – anything that’s making me feel like it’s shaking my foundations – then I’ll just stick some music on. Lots of you right now are doing your tax returns, and have that awful feeling in the pit of your stomach when you’re feeling like you should have done it earlier in the year. So we put it off until the last minute.
So tip one is just stick a music track on. Ideally pick a track that you could relate to money. Last week, for example, during my 5 day Plug Your Money Leaks challenge, I was playing Jessie J, Price Tag. It just gets me moving and feeling good, and then I feel more likely to want to tackle the thing that I have been putting off. So think about could you go into a different environment, even head into a coffee shop and get yourself a nice treat? Do your paperwork there, or any environment that makes you feel good.
2. Get it Out of Your Head
The second it is to just start by writing a list. I use a really simple notepad and I just dump everything out on the page. I’ve already dumped out a lot of the emotional stuff because I do a lot of journaling, usually in the evenings. So once you’ve brain dumped everything out, you can then use my SHOE method.
S – Someone Else.
Does it have to be you that is responsible for everything on that list? Could you maybe delegate some of those activities? Could you share those activities, perhaps with a partner? For example, could you go and have a chat with somebody who is an expert like a bookkeeper, or money coach, or going to my free community and ask your questions? Can it be done by somebody else, or can you get somebody else to support you?
H – Happen Later
Does it have to happen immediately? Is it urgent? Is it a priority. Does it have to be done now? Does it have to be done today, or could it be done later?
O – One Thing
Sometimes we get so overwhelmed by our to-do lists, and I always think to get it out on paper just takes away some of that stress. So pick one thing. What’s the one thing that is either the most important or is going to remove stress when you do it? Get that one task done first. Some of you may have read the book Eat That Frog. Eat the biggest problem first because everything else is a breeze in comparison.
E – Emergency
Is there something on that list that 100% has to be done? For example, if you’re sitting there and it’s January 1st and you need to do your tax return because it’s a deadline, and otherwise you’re going to get a penalty, then that’s an emergency. If your car has just broken down and needs repairing, that is an emergency.
3. Shift Your Energy, Shift Your Language
If you’re telling yourself “I have to do this tax return“, then your your whole body is going to reflect that. Your whole mind set is going to reflect that. You may not want to do it, in which case outsource it. If you can free up some of that energy and time to go and do something that you actually enjoy, that’s one solution. But if you really have to do it for yourself and you can’t outsource it, then change your language.
Shift your language to “I’m really looking forward to doing this.” Your brain will look for evidence to support that view, so remember, the overwhelming stress is just a feeling. Stress never physically kills anybody. It’s what it does to your body internally that could be really harmful to your health, and the same with overwhelm. So if you get rid of the overwhelm, get rid of the stress or manage it as best you can, think of it like the ultimate self care.
Managing financial stress is self care. And is really, really important. I talk a lot about self worth being more important than net worth. Once you open up the opportunity to be kind to yourself, and to have more confidence, then you’ll make more money. So shift your language.
4. Focus on Here and Now
I hear this a lot, particularly from ladies who are coming into their fifties and sixties, they all of a sudden think “Oh, gosh, I haven’t got long left. I’m nearly 60, no one’s going to want to work with me.” But re-frame that – how many years of experience do you have? Could you list all the things that you’ve done in the last 40 years of your career? A change in language, a change in energy is really useful. But focusing on the here and now could often take away some of that overwhelm. So don’t worry right now about the financial future IF you’re in a sticky situation right now and that’s causing you financial stress. Deal with the here and now, and deal with the future later.
5. Get Crafty
It’s really important to craft some time for yourself to deal with some of these tasks on your to do list, and one of the things I find really useful is that once I’ve done my to do list I then identify what I’m going to do that day, and then I’ll put that into my diary and actually allocate blocked out time to get those tasks done. I’ll craft out that time because if I don’t craft out the time, it doesn’t happen.
6. Have Fun!
It’s a bit like if you go to the gym when you really don’t want to go to the gym, and you reward yourself afterwards. It makes you feel good, it’s going to make you want to go back to the gym. So think about how could you reward yourself afterwards. Have some fun afterwards, even if that is just playing a music track and being silly and dancing around your kitchen, going for a nice walk in nature, having a nice cup of tea with a blanket, or having a bath in the middle of the day. Something really nice just for yourself, and remember, that’s the reward that you’ve got coming at the end of that task.
BONUS TIP – Make it a Habit
Make it a regular occurrence. Try and get into the habit of going through these steps. The best way to do that is to anchor yourself against something. If you make this part of your daily routine it’s more likely to just happen because it becomes a habit. For example, if in the mornings you always make a cup of tea, that could be your opportunity to get your brain dump done.
From a financial perspective, we actually gave out a free download in December that helps you to write a letter to money, which I think is a great exercise to do at the start of the year, or really at any time of the year. In this exercise, you actually sit down and write to money as if it was a person, which is an interesting thought, isn’t it? If money was a person, what would they look like? What would they sound like? What would they be wearing? Would they be a man? Would they be a women? Writing to money as if it was a person can be a really insightful exercise.
I’ve done a lot of work around this, and this is why I teach a lot of the things that I do because it it does absolutely change your life. It doesn’t matter how experienced you are, even experts in this area still have to work on their relationship with money.
In Summary: 6 Ways to Deal with Financial Stress
- Stick some music on and raise your vibe
- Brain dump everything out using the SHOE method
- Shift your energy and language
- Focus on the here and now, not worrying too much about the future if that’s causing the stress.
- Craft out time for yourself
- Have fun and reward yourself
- BONUS TIP – Make it a habit
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