Financial problems are a regular source of anxiety and depression for many individuals. They feel that they won’t be able to get out of the slump of paying their debts or being broke, so they tend to stress out too much on this aspect. Once you get off this slump, the tendency is that it will also boost your overall mood and lessen or even take away your depression. Here are some tips on how you can overcome money depression according to therapists.
Do Not Ignore Your Financial Problems
If you keep on pushing back this problem, the more it will haunt your daily life. At the same time, you will more likely feel worse if you tune out this serious problem. “Don’t allow yourself to become isolated by shame, which is very common,” says Liza Gold, MD, a psychiatrist.
The best way to start addressing your money depression is to recognize that there is a problem at hand. Look at your bill, open your emails, compute your monthly expenses, and start calming your mind. This exercise will not only bring you back to reality but will also decrease the ambiguity in your situation.
Identify Your Stress Points
There are different kinds of areas when it comes to money problems. You might be having trouble where to get the tuition fee for your kids, or you might be facing a high credit card balance. Whatever these are, you have to know these stress points. Start by writing down your top two most significant financial sources of stress. From here, map out what action points are you willing to take to be able to address these problems. “Everyone deals with stressful situations at some point in their lives, how we are affected by these stressors, all depends on how we learn to deal with them and manage our way through the tough times,” says Dr. Ilene S. Cohen, Ph.D.
Do Not Isolate Yourself
When you are in a financial slump, the tendency is that you will force yourself to isolate yourself and cut back on everything, may it be material or non-material. However, this should not be the case. You can still make way through your budget by retaining some low-cost activities which can be value-adding to your life. “There is robust evidence that social isolation and loneliness significantly increase risk for premature mortality, and the magnitude of the risk exceeds that of many leading health indicators,” Julianne Holt-Lunstad, PhD says.
An example of this exercising. You don’t need to shell out cash in this activity, and it will also make you feel better. You can also engage in cheap activities with your friends, such as going to the park or hiking the mountains, to help you overcome your loneliness.
“Go out and help someone else. The act of volunteering or helping someone out actually has a chemical effect on the brain and will often raise your spirits,” shares Lisa Kindel, a multimedia consultant from Kentucky who experienced financial depression as well. “When I’m feeling insecure, unsuccessful, I sit at the info desk at my local farmers’ market to talk about local foods, produce, weather, recipes. Talking to other people about food and recipes can pick me up because I’m not dwelling on what’s wrong with me that day.”
A London School of Economics study in 2008 found a positive correlation between volunteering and happiness. The results showed that people who volunteered once a month are 7% more likely to be very happy. On the other hand, those who are weekly volunteers have 16% more chances of being in the same state.
Don’t Spend A Lot Of Time On Passive Activities
Passive activities, such as watching the television, increase your level of depression. There are a lot of storylines that revolve around panic, anxiety, and depression. Hence, these are the things that you will most likely see when you turn on the TV. These are not good for your mental and emotional stability.
Another example of a passive activity is surfing the Net. Some individuals who are in financial difficulty tend to place their remaining money in the money market. Once they do so, their primary instinct is to watch the stock market prices go up and down every minute. Don’t do this since this will worsen your condition.
Engage In Creative Activities
You can paint, study a new language, take cooking lessons, or create a journal. These kinds of creative activities help you clear your mind. It also enables you to vent out your stress on a calmer avenue.
If you are a foodie, you can engage in what we call a random cooking exercise. Look around your refrigerator, get three to five random ingredients (remember not to think while picking!), and try to create something different from the said ingredients. Believe it or not, it will not only relax your mind but your heart as well.
No matter how problematic your financial situation is, your attitude and the way you handle yourself can make a difference in your money depression. Try several activities on this list, and you’ll be out of your emotional slump in no time.