Every now and again, thinking about the economy can bring feelings of anxiety. Indeed, instances of mental health issues are increasing, due to concern over the economy. Stress regarding the economy is high for many people, and it can be difficult to manage this stress effectively. I am even subject to these worries sometimes — and I worry that in commenting on some of the news (especially with regard national deficit and economic stimulus spending) I contribute a bit to the problem.
In my local area, there is a clinical psychologist, Matt Woolley, who makes an “appearance” on a morning radio show. His last show mentioned some tips for dealing with anxiety brought on by the economy. Here are 5 of my favorite tips for easing mental health issues related to the economy:
- Pay attention to your own economic experience. Don’t get caught up in the news, or in sensational headlines. Take stock of your personal finance situation. Chances are that it is better than the news shows would have you believe. So, don’t watch the news all the time, and take what you do watch with a grain of salt. Do what you can to prepare for the future and shore up your personal finance situation.
- Give of yourself. Spend time volunteering and helping others. Keeping busy by getting out of yourself can help you feel better.
- Spend more time with family and friends. Instead of spending money, spend time. Family activities and spending time with friends can help you feel better, and it does not have to be expensive. Your relationships are more important that material things.
- Talk to a professional. Often, getting help creating a plan can give you confidence about where you are headed financially. A financial planner or credit counselor can help you create a plan to reduce your debt, get your spending under control or reallocate your assets so that you feel more comfortable with where they are at.
- Make an effort to take care of yourself physically. Some reactions to anxiety and stress can include emotional eating (my problem), lack of motivation, return to addictions (smoking, heavy drinking, etc.) and even over spending (“shopping therapy”). Try to exercise each day, and follow reasonably healthy habits. This will help you keep your body in shape as you work through your economy related issues.
Can you think of anything that would help with anxiety brought on by the economy?