Handle financial anxiety with planning, focus

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Dear Editor,
It is the moment of truth for most of us that financial year marred by COVID and unprecedented global economic crises is still there. Dealing with an unfavourable or even a red balance sheet at this time, along with existing mental stress of coping with the new normal, the rising uncertainty over the second wave/ vaccine and a dwindling hope of things getting back to ‘pre-COVID’ normal, can all take a huge toll on one’s mental and physical health, largely stemming from financial anxiety. And while these have been rough times, it is extremely important for all of us, to not give in to overwhelming anxiety or pressures but to handle it in a balanced and effective manner. It is a crucial time for all of us and with proper planning and focus we will overcome this.
Through your esteemed daily, I would like to share few tips that can help people cope better with stress, adversity, financial uncertainty, and gain control of their lives.
The most important thing is to prioritise financial goals. I understand that as simple and easy as it sounds, prioritising is often not done right or is marred by emotional or mental prejudices, instead of clear, practical judgements. Financial anxiety and stress can also make people take decisions based on insecurities, and thus lead to misplaced priorities. Just like a doctor treating a patient, one needs to be a little detached from the situation and watch it from a practical and problem-solving point of view, so as to make the best decisions.
One of the most important aspects of dealing with anxiety and stress is to identify the things one can and cannot control. And then focus on the things that can actually be modified or changed. From changing business strategy, seeking collaboration, or changing operational strategy to cut costs etc., one can start by making a practical list to break down the problem and address it, by focusing on one ‘do- able’ change at a time. We have often heard that plan for the worst and hope for the best and these days this is one of the reliable strategies when it comes to facing adversity of any kind. So apart from effectively prioritising and working on things that can be changed, it is important to look at a long term solution that can be effective, both in general and in the face of future crisis. Seek professional help, if you feel like. When dealing with anxiety, there can be myriad functions that can cause impaired judgement, panic attacks, lead to disturbed sleep or overall physical distress. When facing a crisis, it is of utmost importance to be in the best physical and mental shape so as to deal with it in the most effective manner. And seeking professional help to deal with the anxiety and stress, can actually do wonders. The same holds true for financial health too. Seeking professional wealth managers, tax and accounting experts, can be helpful in not only identifying loopholes or earlier errors but also to make effective long-term modifications.
One of the best things to deal with any kind of stress, anxiety is to listen to some good Music, do yoga or meditation. Music, Yoga and Meditation are sure fire ways to reduce stress and anxiety. Doing Yoga and Meditation can help build a healthier mind and body. They can elevate spirit and help manage stress and anxiety.
Even as we continue to deal with an ongoing economic and health crisis, it is inevitable that we consider the above-mentioned factors, to ensure we can face and overcome these crises with a healthy mind and body. After all, there is no challenge big enough that a positive mind and a healthy body cannot overcome! Let’s support each other and stay safe.
Ragini Sharma,
University of Jammu.