While we’re busy tightening our purse strings and strategizing our financial survival, we often forget about the well-being of our mental state.
Surviving a recession economically is only half the battle. We need to also tend to our mental wellbeing with the utmost care, even when our pockets feel lighter than a feather.
It may feel a tad uncomfortable and we often hesitate to acknowledge it, but let’s embrace the truth for a moment–the link between our financial state and our mental well-being is undeniable.
A research has laid bare the undeniable link between our financial affairs and our overall satisfaction in life. “Money may not possess the power to purchase happiness outright,” but it does possess the ability to lessen the burden of daily stressors, leading to an increase in our overall contentment.
On one hand this shows us the importance of guarding and prioritizing our mental health even when our economic situation is dent. On the other hand, money, while undeniably plays a role in influencing the opportunities that come our way, it is not the sole dictator of our personal happiness.. What is? How does it help us navigate financially difficult situations?
According to this report, 60 percent of our happiness is determined by factors beyond our control. Circumstances and genetics hold significant sway over our overall sense of well-being, painting a picture of life that seems partly predestined.
While the remaining 40 percent of our happiness, lies within our grasp. It is the result of intentional activities we choose to engage in, the conscious efforts we make to forge our own paths of contentment.
Yes, you heard it right. Despite the challenges and obstacles that life throws our way, we have the capacity to push back against the tides of unhappiness.
So, what does this mean for navigating financially difficult situations?
In terms of financial difficulties, this revelation becomes particularly poignant. Yes, money does wield a certain influence over the opportunities that present themselves before us. It is a powerful force that can shape the trajectory of our lives.
However, a substantial portion of our personal happiness rests in our own hands. We possess the capacity to navigate the choppy waters, to push back against the tides of unhappiness that threaten to engulf us. While external circumstances may sway us, we hold the power to cultivate our own happiness.
Look to Self Care During Time of Recession
Self care is not just about indulging in bubble baths and spa days, although those can be delightful too.
It goes beyond the glossy magazine spreads and Instagram-perfect moments. It’s a holistic approach that encompasses all aspects of our being. Its benefits are backed by clinical research. Engaging in a self-care routine transcends the occasional spa day or a fleeting escape from responsibilities plus it has been proven to boost our overall happiness and fortify our health.
A recent survey highlights the myriad benefits of self-care, including enhanced self-confidence (64%), increased productivity (67%), and an overall sense of joy (71%). Not to mention, from a physical health standpoint, self-care has demonstrated its potential to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and even cancer. It’s a comprehensive approach aimed at managing stress and fostering enduring happiness.
Another insightful study on self-care among doctors highlights the diverse nature of self-care further emphasizes on self-care not being one thing—it’s actually a bunch of different strategies we use to take care of ourselves mentally, emotionally, physically, socially, and spiritually.
It turns out that the most important factor for us to truly thrive is having a strong sense of self-awareness. Like, knowing ourselves inside and out.
What’s the Link between Self-care and Self-awareness?
Self awareness boils down to finding what works for you. What works as self-care for one person might not do the trick for someone else. That’s why it’s crucial to figure out what truly helps us relax and de-stress on a personal level.
And a great way to do that is by giving ourselves permission to ask—and answer—the question: “What would genuinely make me happy today?”
This isn’t necessarily about coming up with outlandish fantasies like winning the lottery or striking it rich in the stock market. Instead, we should consider our real financial situation and our authentic selves.
We need to think about sensible activities that could genuinely boost our happiness levels. It could be something as simple as writing or picking up a book, volunteering, learning how to cook, traveling, or even standing up for ourselves at work.
The options are endless, really. The only requirement is that it’s a step we willingly take, tailored to our own unique personality.
How Changing and Adapting to New Routine Can Help You Cope During Major Crises
Thriving during a recession is all about adapting and shaking up our routines. Routines are fantastic for helping us efficiently tackle repetitive tasks, but relying solely on them can sometimes lead to higher anxiety levels, as revealed by a study published in 2017. Another study supported this by examining how curiosity in our daily lives affects our overall well-being.
It found that people who actively seek out new ways of doing things tend to be more focused on their goals and experience better moods compared to those who stick rigidly to their habits.
So if you’re wondering how you can put the idea of changing routines into action to enhance your mental health during a recession, here are some practical suggestions:
Shake up Your Schedule
Alter the timing of your activities. Rise earlier to kickstart your day with increased productivity. Take a refreshing midday break to engage in new activities like exercise or household chores. Instead of falling into habitual weekend routines, make them times of anticipation and exploration.
Switch Up Your Surroundings
Change the location where you perform your activities. Incorporate elements like fresh air, sunshine, or different sounds and landscapes to inspire fresh experiences. For example, work from a coffee shop for a change or make phone calls while taking a walk. Consider exploring new “third places” like libraries or community centers to add geographic variety to your routine.
Expand Your Social Circle
Challenge yourself to complete tasks alone or in a group, depending on your usual inclination. Step out of your social comfort zone and try something completely out of character to broaden your social horizons, such as volunteering.
Focus on meaningful activities
One of the most valuable ways to safeguard your mental health during a recession is by shifting toward more meaningful pursuits.
In the book “Principles of Medical Professionalism,” author Gia Merlo emphasizes the importance of engaging in activities that align with our core values to avoid negative patterns and emotions.
Whether it’s through faith, family, charitable endeavors, or causes we deeply believe in, this change toward meaningful engagement is a crucial aspect of self-care.
By incorporating this shift, along with the other self-care strategies mentioned, we can significantly reshape our perception of daily happiness while weathering the economic storms that surround us.
Don’t be afraid to break free from the constraints of your routines and embrace new possibilities. By making intentional changes, you can nurture your mental well-being even in challenging times.