Dennis Moore, M.B.A., CFP®
President, Financial Planning Association® (FPA®)
Taking aim at potential sources of financial anxiety with meaningful steps is key to relieving pressure and maintaining a firm handle on your finances.
If you’re stressed about your financial situation, covering your expenses from week to week and month to month, your employment status, your health, or about what the future holds, you are not alone.
Pervasive feelings of concern, worry, stress, and anxiety have accompanied the pandemic, but meaningful actions are key to relieving that pressure and maintaining a firm handle on your finances.
Relieving financial anxiety
Start with some deep breathing. Spend a few minutes focused just on breathing from the base of your belly, up, then slowly out. A brisk walk, jog, run, meditation, yoga, or some other exercise also helps relieve stress and reframe your mindset.
Stay grounded by reminding yourself of long-term goals. Be mindful that there will be bumps in the road during your financial journey, and take time to review the steps to achieving your long-term goals.
Prioritize what is most important to you financially in the short term. Is it debt reduction? Reducing household spending? Finding a job? It may not be possible to accomplish everything all at once, so focus your efforts on one goal, and give it your full attention.
Create a written plan or strategy for meeting goals. Big goals happen one step at a time, so put in the effort to formulate a plan to accomplish your goal. People who already have a financial plan created by financial professionals are ahead of the game. If you don’t have a plan, consider enlisting a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. To find one in your area, check out the FPA’s searchable national database at www.PlannerSearch.org.
Reward yourself for successes. Be sure to reward yourself (and others in the household) for achieving a goal or taking an important step toward meeting a goal.
Regularly unplug from media. Try tuning out social media, television news, media pundits, and other “noise” for significant periods of time. It can help you be present and in the moment, instead of living in the past or worrying about the future.
Recognize you have reasons to be grateful. Remember the good things you have in your life: family, friends, and a caring community. Show the people around you your gratitude, perform small acts of kindness for others, and find ways to stay connected with people and causes you care about.