We all experience stress to one degree or another. Stressors take many forms, whether from choices we make – giving a speech or preparing for an exam, or from situations outside of our control, like the economy or world events. Carrying stress can lead to health problems, especially with your immune, digestive and cardiovascular systems. It’s important for us to recognize stress inflection points in our lives and to learn how to cope with them. We’ve all had more than our fair share of stress in the last few years with the onset of Covid. Whether we’ve actually gotten sick or not, we’ve all certainly known someone who has, and we’ve all dealt with the changes from the lockdowns and from concern for ourselves and our loved ones.
When we’re stressed, we may feel angry, annoyed, anxious, confused, impatient, sad, and worried.
You may have physical signs of stress, including an aching head, back or neck, a racing heartbeat, tight muscles or an upset stomach.
Too often our reactions to stress only adds to the problem. We might work too much, forget things, sleep too little, eat unhealthily, let fitness goals go, rush around without getting much done (welcome to my world!), or spend too much time watching TV, especially the news!
So, what to do? There is no way to completely avoid stress, but there are certainly ways to make your life less stressful.
1 – Getting enough sleep is paramount, whether you are still working or already retired, we cope with stress better when we’ve had the proper amount of rest.
2 – Have fun. Set aside time to do something you enjoy. Go for a walk or read a book.
3 – Learn how to say no to things you don’t want to do.
4 – Solve problems right away so they don’t become sources of stress in your life.
5 – Eat healthy, balanced meals. Your body will deal with stress better when it has the right nutrients.
6 – Do something active every day. Even if it’s just taking a walk around the block. I try to walk a mountain trail every morning. The picture is from one of my hikes.
7 – Unplug. Have some time each day to think, with no TV, radio or other background distractions.
This is just a partial list, but the important thing is that we recognize the effects of stress in our lives and then actively plan to deal with them.
If you have stress in your life because of money, let us help! Many times, just going through the process of creating a financial or estate plan can be a huge stress reliever. Knowing that you’ve thought through many of the “what-if’s” can help you relax and focus on more enjoyable things.
To a less stressful life!
Dail Meikle, CFP®, CEPA®, Financial Advisor