Spending a significant portion of your savings, even for a good purpose, can still stress you out. For example, buying prime land for your dream home may feel fulfilling, but the amount you paid for it can affect your budget for other things. You still have to account for an architect, engineer, and contractor, after all. And when the house is done, you’ll then buy furniture and other day-to-day necessities. That’s when the stress starts to bloom, making your dream home project feel like a chore instead of exciting.
Likewise, paying for your kid’s college education, or investing a huge sum in a business, can also stress you out, despite their positive impact on your life. It’s simply our nature to feel a little empty when we part ways with our hard-earned money, even if it gives us what we want or need.
But if your financial stress lingers for too long, you cannot keep ignoring it, or expect it to go away without doing anything. Several health conditions are linked to financial stress, including poor mental health, heart disease, sleep problems, alcohol misuse, and more. Hence, you should take financial stress seriously.
Treating yourself is the best way to recover from financial stress. But if treating yourself also costs money, wouldn’t stress you out further?
Fortunately, self-care doesn’t have cost anything, but just a little of your time. By dedicating some moments of your life for the following, your financial stress will wither away and make you glow again:
1. Practice Self-awareness
Sometimes, we only feel stressed because of the way we react to certain circumstances. For example, if something needs repairs in your home, a healthy reaction is to assess the damage, consider DIY solutions, then call a repair expert to fix the issue if DIY solutions don’t work. Such a solution-oriented mindset can spare you a lot of trouble that your temper alone has caused.
But instead of having that mindset, we tend to let our rising tempers influence our actions. Rather than approach problems rationally, we blame other people, things, or focus on what we’ll lose instead of what we’ll gain.
A broken faucet isn’t worth a whole minute of fuming. Sure, it’s a bummer to deal with when you’re already spending so much on other things. But you cannot fix it without accepting the problem first. So before reacting harshly, check in with yourself first. Determine if your reaction fixes the problem. This mindful act builds up your self-awareness, allowing you to track your level of emotions to different stimuli. When you become self-aware, you’ll start reacting to stressors with a level head, and learn to take minor issues in stride.
2. Pamper Yourself at Home
After making a budget plan or computing all your expenses, take a breather by pampering yourself. Have a hot bath, an at-home mani-pedi, or a facial. Just play with your beauty products and focus on feeling good. Doing something nice for yourself that feels luxurious can make you feel great both inside and out.
Changing your bedding, listening to an uplifting playlist, and having an early night are also amazing ways to pamper yourself at home. And they’re absolutely free. The rejuvenation and relaxation they give you can beat an expensive session at a spa.
3. Learn to Say “No”
When someone invites you to dinner or any other costly venture, kindly turn down the invitation and be honest about your financial stress. Even if you aren’t broke, you’re free to decline invitations that’ll push you to spend on nonessential things. You don’t need to run out of finances before cutting down your expenses.
Only spend money on things that you need, or want so bad that it’s worth the hassle. Otherwise, if you can live happily and normally without splurging for a particular item or service, say no to it.
4. Allow Yourself a Few Minutes of Doing Nothing
When financial matters start to overwhelm you, allow yourself a few minutes to relax your mind. You don’t need to do anything during this time but meditate or take a nap. A few moments of doing nothing give you the breathing room to plan your next move. It relieves your mind of anxiety and other impulses to stress out.
5. Earn Income From Doing What You Love
If you think increasing your income is the best solution to your financial stress, find a side hustle in fields you love. Working on something you’re passionate about can take away the stress associated with earning money. Plus, you can treat your time in the side-hustle as self-care. See it as a sweet escape from your exhausting, mundane day job.
Realizing that self-care doesn’t have to cost a dime saves you from a lot of negative emotions and mental distress. It keeps your wallet thick, too. So next time you make another major purchase, make up for your lost savings by practicing these free self-care methods.