Grounding yourself during financial turmoil

Fotolia Recession Letters_10074365_Subscription_XXLIf you’re finding yourself stressed by the current mix of financial chaos, don’t get pushed into panic mode, even though your costs may be going up just as your benefits are going down. The Government shutdown – or slimdown as some are calling it – as well as glitches in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and debt ceiling debates remind us that we can’t always control our circumstances. But there are some things we can do to cope with the disturbing state of affairs.

Here are 5 tips to help you settle down and deal with anxieties about your personal economy:

Take control of what you can. While you likely don’t have control over many areas of your life, find the ones you do and prioritize them. Look over you own personal budget and make decisions about how you can revise it. Commit to an exercise plan. Decide to spend time in meaningful activities.

Practice stress reduction strategies. If you’ve used meditation, yoga or guided imagery in the past, begin to include them in your daily schedule again. If you’ve never used a relaxation technique before, begin with deep breathing exercises or a daily walk. You’ll feel the tension begin to drift away.

Get help. You don’t have to do everything yourself. When you ask for what you need, you’ll find that family and friends are there to support you. Encourage them to lend a hand and you’ll find that you don’t feel so overwhelmed. 

Reframe your challenges. Instead of focusing on your frustration, anger or disappointment, let go of these negative feelings and search for ways to move beyond the crisis and into acceptance or even a solution model. Direct your efforts to managing your response rather than remaining stuck in the morass of the problem.

Express your gratitude. Think about what brings you joy and whom you want to thank for that. Let them know how you value their connection and appreciate their role in your life. And when you volunteer to assist those who are needy, you’ll feel better, as will they.

Remember to be patient with yourself. It takes time to make the changes you need to balance your life and find the resiliency to cope with the stress caused by these uncertain times.

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