These days, mental health is a hot topic, and for good reason; mental health has become a struggle for many. Money and mental health are closely connected. Money is connected with nearly every aspect of your life. It connects you with patterns, beliefs and behaviors from your past, which directly impacts your present and future. Money can stir up fear and insecurities. And struggling with mental health can have a negative impact on money habits, which can create a vicious cycle where you feel out of control. It’s time to put you back in the driver’s seat when it comes to mental health and money.
How to keep your mental health and money in balance
Common symptoms of mental health problems, such as increased impulsivity, lack of energy, and memory problems, can make it harder to keep on top of financial management. In a survey by the American Psychological Association, 87% of Americans said inflation and the rising costs of everyday expenses were causing them stress. Roughly two out of every five U.S. adults said money is negatively impacting their mental health, according to Bankrate.
Today’s current economic climate is definitely causing stress for many people, so if you’re in that group, you’re not alone, and there are ways to help. Here are some basic tips for positive self-care around money that can improve your mental health.
Heal the pattern of guilt or shame
Guilt and shame are habits. We learned how to guilt ourselves and feel shameful from others. In my world, we focus on forgiveness. Psychologists suggest that your beliefs about money are forged by age seven – which means that most of what you believe about money comes from what you’ve either seen or heard as a child. Messages and judgements get internalized, seeping into your inner voice.
Destructive feelings like shame, guilt, and regret will erode your mental health with enough time. Instead, if you’re reading this, it’s a good time to heal. It’s a great day to forgive. Learning how to forgive yourself from past mistakes will support you with your financial future. Your mistakes are in the past. No one can change their financial past. It is what it is. And, you can learn from your past. You can learn how to appreciate who you are today, and acknowledge that your self-worth is separate from past decisions about money. You are not alone in your mistakes or your dreams. You are human and every day is a new chance to start over and try again. This is my invitation for you today. Dealing with money and mental health isn’t always easy, and it’s worth it. This is the work that we do in my world – learn how to forgive your past mistakes and take new action so that you can have new results.
Get out of the comparison game
This is the number one reason I hate Instagram. I am on Instagram, and I catch myself in this game more often than I’d like to admit. Here’s what I know having coached for the last 20 years. EVERYONE has baggage. Everyone is working through things in their lives. No one is perfect, even the perfect looking people on IG. The comparison game is a game you cannot win. Looking around to see where others are in life can lead to unfair (and inaccurate) judgments on yourself. People have different journeys, challenges and struggles. No one has your life. Measuring your story against anyone else distorts your reality – especially when it comes to your money. Water your own grass and it’ll be green enough for you. Plus, you’ll feel a lot more in control of your destiny when you focus on yourself instead of other people’s success. Bottom line: focus on your life, your goals, what makes you happy. This is the best game to play when it comes to money and mental health. I believe people are good. I believe you are good and loved and whole, and your money game can and will match when you have the courage to cut out the noise in your life, and the comparison game.
Find a community for support
There are other women who face the same challenges as you in life. It may not feel that way all of the time. And, what I know is that there are more people dealing with financial challenges than not dealing with challenges. You wouldn’t know that because people don’t blast their problems on social media. I fully believe that the magic ingredient in life is having people in your corner for support. Ideally, you want people that have been where you are, worked through the struggles you have, and believe in you even when you don’t believe in yourself. Empathy, connection, and perspective can increase your sense of belonging, reduce isolation, help you make the right connections, and improve your mental health.
Mental health and money go hand in hand. When money is out of whack, you can feel that stress daily. When you’re feeling balanced and supported, you will have a greater sense of control when finances go up and down. You don’t have to do it alone.
There are women out there who have been where you are right now; feeling the stress, shame, and guilt from difficult financial situations. If you’re looking for a supportive group of women to help you take confident steps in your financial journey, join mine. If you need help getting your $hit together in a way that works for YOU, join me at Money Moves and sign up for my next GIT Elevated Money Course today!