Coping With Financial Stress
Change What You Can: Lynne Hornyak, PhD, PCC is a coaching consultant on the mental side of money. She recommends you look at things that are causing you financial stress in two ways: their level of importance, and whether they can be changed. Items will fall into one of four categories:
Important, Changeable: A high mortgage payment may be an example of this. You need a roof over your head so it is important, but you can change this expense by perhaps refinancing or moving to a less expensive home. Frequently bailing your friends or children out of their money problems, when you have your own, is something that also may be important and changeable.
Important, Not Changeable: Perhaps your financial problems were due to a death in the family or a divorce. There may be nothing you can do to change the facts, but those issues are important. Since you can’t change what happened, you may have to change your attitude, expectations or both. Grieve for your loss, but then shift your focus onto other things you can do to live within your current financial reality. Do not feel that you have to deal with this on your own, either. Talk to someone.
Not Important, Changeable: The fact that your spouse insists on paying the bills by hand when you would rather do it online may drive you nuts, but it may not be important as long as they are being paid. If it’s not important, change your attitude.
Not Important, Not Changeable: Maybe your parents always squabbled about money and that bothered you. But that is in the past and how they talked to you then is not really important, nor can you change it. Let it go. Of course, if you are a parent now, how you talk to your kids about money is entirely within your control! Again, if you find that your past is causing a major impact in your daily ability to live your life, talk to someone and get help.
Become Resilient: Resilience is adapting well in the face of difficult events or stress. You may have more resilience than you think, and it can be learned. Both Dalhousie and Queen’s University have conducted studies on the ability for young people to learn resilience and even thrive in a challenging and unsuitable environment. You can find more information regarding the International Resilience Project at www.resilienceproject.org.
Resources: For more tools and information to help you cope with financial stress:
The Canadian Mental Health Association offers free education along with numerous resources concerning the mental health of Canadians. For more information, see their website at www.cmha.ca.
For more information regarding dental health and periodontal disease, visit the Canadian Academy of Periodontology’s website at www.cap-acp.ca.
Debt Collector Information: For free information on your rights when it comes to debt collectors, visit www.consumer.ic.gc.ca.
Lynn Horniak’s website at www.lmhservices.com offers free articles and a free self-quiz that helps you understand your relationship to money.
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