If you are feeling overwhelmed by money worries, you’re not alone.

COVID may have challenged your finances and intensified your stressors. As enhanced federal unemployment benefits ended on Sept.6, some people felt the burden. The emotional connection we have with our finances can either strengthen or weaken our comfort in our daily lives. So it’s important to discuss the impacts money anxiety can have on our general well-being.

As much as we may want to avoid talking about money, it can be difficult to do so as it is a means for survival. Instead of avoiding it, what can be helpful is leaning into the discomfort to explore how to take more control. A question to ask yourself is, “What does money mean to me?” If you have any negative connotations to money, you may want to explore where you might have gathered these messages from. Reframing money as a tool or a resource can be helpful to take away some of the emotional stress that these connotations can come with.

Setting up some time to go over your finances can be nerve racking, but can also be helpful by giving you a map of which direction to go. Being aware of your financial difficulties, but not constantly checking and hoping the numbers will change, is helpful to create a strategy. Start off with writing down ways you and your family can reduce expenses or manage your money more efficiently. Then commit to a plan and review it regularly.

If you’re struggling with money anxiety, below are some tips from professionals with ways to help you cope when developing a financial plan for yourself:

1. Every time you know you’ll be spending time going over your finances…

Plan something that you love to do immediately after to lift your mood.

2. Ask someone to sit with you while you’re working on your finances or opening mail/emails…

This can be a coach or a mentor that you can gain insight from, or even a friend or family member to support you. Remember some emails or letters we receive in the mail don’t even contain relevant information, they’re simply direct mail marketing and things you can just throw away.

Family couple saving money.

3. If you need to contact a call center but you are dreading it…

Look to see if there’s an online chat or other option instead.

4. If you’re making a difficult call, remind yourself that the person you’re speaking to is someone who is doing their job…

Try to have a friendly conversation with them, ask how they’re doing or where they are in the world. This fills the awkward silences and makes the call more pleasant and natural.

5. Take notes during difficult calls…

To stop your hands from fidgeting and to help you remember details and stay focused.

6. Identify how you deal with stress related to money…

It’s common to try to relieve stress by turning to unhealthy habits such as smoking, drinking, gambling or emotional eating. The strain can also lead to more conflict and arguments between partners. If you find this happening be sure to reach out for help!

Check out our other tips for coping with stress and anxiety during these challenging times.

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