Stress Awareness Month is an essential time in 2020. With all that’s going on in the world, it can be difficult navigating the Coronavirus, finances, and everything in between. Money is can be a source of stress from time to time.
Even so, it’s important that you and your friends and family deal with stress now to avoid health problems and heart disease. With more than 30% of Canadian adults claiming to experience extreme stress daily, it is your duty to identify and reduce the excess stress in your life.
Signs of Stress: Financial or Otherwise
Now that Stress Awareness Month is upon us, it’s time to check in with ourselves. You may already know how stress is affecting you and your relationships. But do you know to what degree? Or are you even aware of it at all?
Read the following questions and answer them honestly.
- generally irritable or arguing with your spouse and family members over money?
- experiencing anxiety, high blood pressure, or panic attacks?
- hiding bills, receipts, or other things from your spouse?
- receiving calls from debt collectors about the money you owe?
- stress eating or gaining weight?
- preoccupied or unable to focus at work or home?
If your answer to two or more of the above questions was “yes,” you may be experiencing extreme stress due to your finances.
Because April is Stress Awareness Month here in Canada, now is the perfect time to address your worries and find solutions. Learn more about managing financial stress below.
Ways to Incorporate Stress Management into Your Routine
Most working adults have little time to add items to their daily agendas. However, taking care of oneself is the only way to reduce stress. Consider the following tactics to better manage your stress levels.
Exercise can do wonders for your physical body, as well as for your mental health. Doing regular exercise can increase endorphin levels in your body, which can make you feel happier. The next time you get the urge to skip a workout, compromise and go for a walk. Any activity is better than none.
Closing your eyes and taking a deep breath can go a long way in improving your mental health. That’s all meditation is. Either lay down or sit in a comfortable position, and breathe. Just five to 10 minutes per day can help to clear your mind and prepare you for the challenges ahead. If you’re new to meditation, search for some guided ones online.
For some reason, many people resist talk therapy. However, speaking to a professional can help alleviate stress and challenge you to look inward at your behaviour and patterns. There are very few people who say therapy with the right professional is detrimental to their health.
Something as simple as colouring can help alleviate stress and take your mind off your worries. Other creative ideas include:
- Writing or journaling
- Playing an instrument
- Making up lyrics to music
- Playing chess
- Doing a puzzle
Reducing Financial Stress and Debt
Of course, getting your financial house in order is one of your top priorities. If you have a nagging worry over your debt, Stress Awareness Month is time to act. You can start by speaking to a trained credit counsellor. When you do, he or she can:
- Help you develop a working budget
- Discuss your spending habits
- Identify areas where you can improve spending or save money
- See which debt relief options are best for you
If you’ve been avoiding this, commit to making the call today. Seeing your monetary position may sting, but dealing with it will pay off in the long run.