Feed your soul and your bank account

All the talk of the recession, the feeling of scarcity, has an enormous effect on how we’re feeling. It’s saturated in news, across all social media and in the minds of everyone around us. Hundreds and hundreds of people are going to lose their businesses, their jobs, their houses because they’re not going to be able to pay their mortgages. When we’re feeling scarcity, we feel stressed and our energy level is low. We often do not think creatively because of overwhelm. During a big crisis in the world, we get a real fight-freeze response in our bodies where we often do not think rationally and lose the ability to create distance ourselves from things. We are less likely to do things that bring us pleasure. We become reactive not proactive across many aspects of our lives. In times like these we need to get back our time, money, energy, and our connections.

All about you

Take a moment to think about how you might feed your soul during this difficult time. What are some of the things that you can do differently to counter your financial pressure, to give yourself feelings of abundance, better connections and more energy. Go for a walk, set aside time to read each week or take a bath. Learn ways to reduce the feelings of stress that work for you. Ask yourself these questions; what works best for you, when does stress show up, is there a trigger, when are you reactive not proactive, in what way does stress come out? Actively deep breathing, being mindful of your body and surroundings will help. It won’t make the recession go away but it will help you in the moment.

A key way to reduce the feelings of financial stress is to say no and saying no is creating a boundary. You don’t always have to jump in and do what everyone else is doing or be the biggest spender or most generous friend. It’s okay to step back from giving so much and do something for yourself that fills your cup not others.

One of the things we tend to do is not act. We don’t take action to rectify the situation. We forget things or leave things aside to tackle later. You need to address the situation rather than keep it under the rug. There’s no shame in it. A lot of people are feeling the same.

If your business is going badly it might be time to reassess. Consider pivoting or adapting, or are you suffering from a sunk cost bias where you’ve already put so much into this that you don’t want to let it go? In times like this you need to appreciate yourself and give yourself time for personal reflecting and grounding, to ensure your mindset is stable and in the reasonable world. You can’t save your business or job from a place of overwhelming. You need to be in a state of creativity to pivot and think differently about what is valuable to us and the future.

Be Considerate

Once you have learned ways to reduce your own stress, consider helping your friends and family. Communication is everything, being open and honest about how you are feeling often invites others to do the same. Consider how you approach difficult conversations, is it constructive and conversational, is it done in a state of panic or is it calm? When considering family, we need to assess whether you can afford groceries from a gourmet grocer, or private education for your children or the after-school activities every single night. What compromises are you willing to make? Take a moment to step back and reassess where we want to be and what is truly important during these difficult times.

Being extra considerate of others in these times is hard as we can get caught up in our own world. We need to be considerate of other peoples situations and how they feel and cope with stress. Your colleagues might be feeling the financial pressure and their stress can often impact their ability to think clearly. Work is often an escape from our outside financial stresses where we can really enjoy ourselves and feel satisfaction and achievement. How can you help facilitate these needed distractions or improve connection and encourage them to be mindful and grateful?

Find Free Money

In periods of recession, take time to investigate ways to find more money to relieve the pressures or create a feeling of a bonus. If you’re experiencing financial hardship, get onto Services Australia, talk to your bank, be on the front foot and start the conversation to adjust and be agile. If you are in Victoria, you can claim $250 on Energy Australia by simply checking the market online. In every state there is something around your power bill and energy concessions as a way to find ‘free’ money. If you’re caring for relatives or if you’re over 65, depending on your pension or government assistance, there are often bonuses to undertake home improvements or home repairs to make life easier. If your income is less than $58,445 the government will contribute $0.50 for every extra dollar you’re putting into super. Being on top of your finances can also bring you more money. Often we forget to make claims with our private health insurer that aren’t immediately claimed for or forget to claim things in your tax. What can you do to bring yourself a little bonus? It is a really good way to lift ourselves up and take ourselves out of the situation and be able to do something potentially a little bit fun.

Get back into feeding your soul, plan a little bit less, do a little less and rest, making sure that when you have that feeling of overwhelm you actually pay attention to yourself, your family, friends and team at work as well. Build something to your day that makes a fun, good habit where everyone can connect. Spend that little bonus money on something that you will enjoy and be grateful for.

Contact Phoebe

Phoebe is available for interviews, guest appearances, article commentary, and talks on a range of topics relating to property, mortgage broking, and personal finance (particularly for women!).