Imagine this: Two weeks’ worth of unfolded laundry, upcoming bill payments, and a closet full of clothes with the tags still on. If there’s a pit forming in your stomach, we understand.
When life gets overwhelming, it’s easy to start feeling discouraged. And when you’re not putting your emotional well-being first, it’s possible that your financial well-being can suffer too.
In this study by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, financial well-being is defined as not only being able to meet financial obligations, but also “having control over your finances.”
One of the first steps to achieving financial well-being is addressing the emotional drivers behind your financial stress.
For some, loss of control can spill over from one area and into others – like laundry woes, to finances, to those moments when you can’t decide between the oxford shirt in red or blue, so you buy both.
Coach Carey, 3X-certified life coach, explains how to move from a state of overwhelm to empowerment using a few tips.
Feel to heal.
Sometimes, we use distraction tactics to avoid getting to the bottom of what’s really bugging us. Maybe we’ll scroll through social media, unintentionally consuming well-curated, picture-perfect profiles that can have a negative effect on our well-being. Or, we’ll fill our carts (say it with us, you don’t need another white relaxed-fit soft cotton t-shirt), hoping to fill an emotional void with more material possessions. Coach Carey says that when we suppress our emotions, they eventually show up in different ways. She suggests creating the space to sit with your emotions. “The first step to moving out of overwhelm is allowing yourself to feel it fully.”
Notice patterns – they leave clues.
Can you think of the last time you had feelings of overwhelm? Are you able to recall what caused those feelings in the first place? Coach Carey urges you to look into whether your feelings were caused by a specific situation, person or place, and to make note of anything you may have done to resolve those feelings. The things that may have helped the last time can be useful today.
Once you’ve had a moment to sit with your feelings and make note of any patterns in your past emotional response, you may be ready to seek solutions. Coach Carey suggests making a list of what’s in your control and what’s out of your control when you’re confronted with a stressful situation. “More often than not, you’ll see there are things you can do differently that can move you away from feeling overwhelmed and into feeling empowered.”
Feeling overwhelmed can make everything seem out of control. By addressing your emotional response first, you’ll be able to put yourself in the right frame of mind to tackle your to-dos so you can feel in control – of your finances, your well-being and your life.