Many people are finding themselves feeling stressed and anxious about their financial situation in these tough economic times.
You may have lost your job, seen your income drop severely or be struggling to deal debt, mortgage repayments and increasing costs childcare, fuel etc.
You might be more fortunate and may be managing OK financially now, but are worrying about the future, possible redundancy, household charge, increased taxes. There are many things you can do to help manage stress in these difficult times and to live as well as you can.
Top Tips for coping with financial stress
Many people when it comes to financial concerns the first thing they do is deny and put their head in the sand. Lift your head up there are any in the same position. Its nothing to be ashamed of.
Seek help rom a family member or friend you feel comfortable talking to. Don’t let yourself become isolated because you feel embarrassed, ashamed or guilty - there are many others in the same situation.
Set up an appointment with MABS. Money Advice and Budgetary Service (MABS) is the only free, confidential, independent and non-judgmental service for people in debt, or in danger of getting into debt, in Ireland. Their Helpline ( 0761 07 2000 ) operates Monday to Friday from 9am to 8pm. You can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Identify the particular things causing you financial stress and make a plan. Go to the MABS website www.mabs.ie and use their helpful tools. Write down ways you can reduce your expenses and plan a budget to stick to. Although this may cause anxiety at the time, putting things down on paper and making a commitment to a plan can reduce stress. You may need some financial advice if there are any big decisions to be made.
Focus on your relationships so that they are not adding more stress in your life. Financial stress often leads to more conflict and arguments between partners. Plan enjoyable things to do with your partner, and take time to listen and talk with each other. Find out what happens when you switch off the TV or internet!
Stay healthy by eating well, exercising and getting enough sleep. If you’re having trouble sleeping, follow the rules for good sleep habits by taking time to wind down before going to bed, avoiding stimulating drinks and foods at night, and creating bedtime routines that prepare you for sleep.
Find low cost ways of having fun with friends and family like having a games night or going for a walk with friends.
See the difficult financial times as an opportunity to reassess your priorities. Try to find ways of living well without spending so much, and rely less on gathering more possessions as a way of feeling good.
Less STUFF - more LIFE.
Portarlington man Dr Eddie Murphy is the expert psychologist on RTE’s Operation Transformation. In the sixth of his six week series for the Offaly Express he looks at money stress
Dr Murphy runs a private psychology and counselling practice in Portarlington, helping with panic attacks, anxiety, anger, depression, PTSD, etc for children, adults, and families. Call 0871302899 or visit www.dreddiemurphy.ie