The holidays can be one of the most stressful times of the year. Dealing with problematic relatives, travel, and planning can all cause a lot of anxiety that catches us off guard each and every year. One of the biggest contributors to the tension during the holidays is budgeting and financial stress. What are a few ways that you can ease your mind over your holiday debt problems? Read on to find out!
#1: Make a plan –
Having a plan in place will make your financial situation seem like less of a “lost cause” no matter where you’re starting from. Take a minute to assess your situation completely and write it down in detail. With all of the details laid out in front of you, you can start to work out a road map to getting through the season in one piece. It may not be easy, but at least you’ll have an idea of what you’ll need to see things through. You can use our free budget builder tool to help you get started: www.onlinebudgetadvisor.com
Often, anxiety is the result of uncertainty. Even if you don’t have a solid plan in place yet, you’ll feel more at ease just knowing where you stand. Even if you are faced with your worst-case scenario, from now on you’ll know exactly what that looks like and you’ll be prepared to meet it head-on.
#2: Meditate –
Some people still think that meditation is something silly, or a new-age invention that doesn’t really work. It’s often been billed as a kind of snake oil, but lately, science has been backing it up as a therapeutic tool, and it’s even used in clinical settings these days. At the very least, it’s cheaper than prescription pills that have nasty side effects.
There are a lot of different ways to meditate, but they all depend on a quiet attentiveness to the present moment. In the past, transcendental meditation has been the preferred method in the west, but in recent times a practice called mindfulness has been gaining ground. There are meditation groups all over the country where you can learn from experts and other students, or you can pick up a few good books on the subject. There are also tutorials online for free. You’ll be surprised at how simple it is to pick up, and how easy it is to do in any given setting. You can practice meditation in the park or on the floor of wherever you so choose.
#3: Exercise –
This is another cure-all stress reducer, and it should be just as effective during the holiday season as any other time of year. When you exercise for stress reduction, you don’t need to concentrate on any particular fitness goals. Don’t be worried about your weight or your performance. All that it takes is a light jog or brisk walk every other day. Weightlifting, stretching, sports, and any other physical activity will help to relax you. Exercising releases those “feel good” endorphins.
Take any opportunity you can get to help yourself, even and especially when your debt problems are weighing on your mind. As long as you’re feeling well, you’ll find it easier to take on any problem, including financial stress.
#4: Mix and match –
If you have any hobbies that you enjoy, never put them off just so you can rip hair out of your head over your finances. Your first step is to make a plan, and at every opportunity, you should be following through with it. But if at any time you’re not working on your finances, don’t spend another minute stressing out about them. Don’t feel guilty taking a day off to practice your golf swing or go fishing. Don’t allow your head to spin when you’re sitting down to read the daily paper. By all means, enjoy a cup of coffee to yourself in the morning before you roll up your sleeves to do real work. You’ve heard the saying “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
We don’t mean to make it sound as if your finances are not something worth taking time out of your day for. We understand that there are times when your finances should be your TOP priority. But we also know that you need time to decompress and relax a bit. Make a plan, set financial goals, and do everything you can to meet them. But if you’re losing sleep over it, these helpful tips are a few ways that you can get back to a good night’s rest. You can always try free credit counseling to help relieve the stress of unsecured debt. We’re here for you, and we’ve helped thousands of people with their financial stress and debt!