Your friend just revealed to you that she’s in way over her head in debt. Here is someone who always has a smile on her face, and yet is so zen-like you wonder if she’s really a Buddhist monk in disguise.
And here you are, figuring out your next budget and things just don’t seem to match. In fact, you’re probably experiencing what feels like a financial meltdown. You manage to stay calm for a few seconds, but then you realize that it’s probably not a good idea to see people today.
Being zen-like when you’re going through a tough financial situation isn’t going to magically solve all your problems, but it can help you figure it out.
When I was broke, in debt and jobless, I found that these four simple ways really helped me to clear my head. It was then that I was able to take a look at the situation I was in and figure a way out of it.
Drink a Glass of Water
By now you might be rolling your eyes. But give me a minute to explain.
Drink water forces you to stop whatever you are doing (most likely having a financial meltdown) and pay attention to the present moment. And believe it or not, it’s one of the simplest things you can do to just relax. Even if you chug that thing down, you’re forced to breathe properly, which makes all the difference in calming you down.
But for this to truly work, you need to drink a full glass of water. Not just a sip, cause that’s cheating. Those water drinking gods will know.
So the next time you think about your current financial situation and feel those emotions coming on, grab a glass of water. Or if you’re in public, go to a water fountain. You get the drift.
Then take a few deep breaths and move on.
Get Some DAMN Sleep
No, that fourth word in that subheading isn’t a swear word, I swear (haha, get it?). Damn actually stands for “Deep And Meaningful Naps”.
We all know that getting a good night’s sleep helps you clear your head, but so does napping. In fact even 20 minutes a day can help combat sleep deprivation (stay away from me if I am, I get super cranky) and help with mental alertness, all too important when you need to make some tough decisions. Like when you’re experience a financial meltdown (I’m repeating myself, but it really bears repeating).
I personally view napping as a luxury. With a 10-month-old literally running around my feet, those 20 minutes feels like a mini vacation.
Another bonus about being more mentally alert? You make less stupid decisions. Like purchasing those Batman socks with capes on the back like I almost did last week.
Count a Blessing
None of this “count your blessings” stuff, at least not right now. I know when I was freaking out about where my next paycheck was going to come from, I didn’t want to sit down and gush about the abundance in my life. At least not list them out anyway.
What I did instead what look around and told myself that I was truly blessed my parents let me stay at their house rent free. It instantly boosted my mood. One minute later I called up my old boss and got a part time job, just like that.
So pause for a second and just name one thing you’re grateful for. Think about a gift you got, money that came in, whatever. After finding that one thing, say “thank you” out loud.
The next time, find two things. Then three. Then four. You get my drift.
Ask Yourself What the Immediate Next Step Is
The main reason why so many of us freak out and experience those financial meltdowns is we just get overwhelmed. There so much to do right? I get it.
But the fact of the matter is, pulling yourself out of any situation (especially a financial meltdown) starts with looking at the next step.
So just do that. Stop thinking about all the things you have to do, and simply look at what you need to do next.
Buried in credit card debt? The next step might mean looking at your income to see if you can make more than the minimum payment. Just lost your job? Your next step could be as simple as asking your old boss for a reference.
After you take that next step, then figure out what the next step is after that. You’ll be surprised at how much progress you’ve made. And whenever you experience another financial meltdown (trust me, it will happen), just rinse and repeat the above steps.
And if you want to prevent another one, make sure you figure out what your values are. These can help guide you to spend your money where it matters and maximize your savings. And when you spend money on something that makes you happy, you’ll stop spending money on things that don’t And that’s the whole point, right?
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