For many, stress is a common factor in everyday life, threatening physical and financial health. A stress-filled perspective puts you at risk for careless decisions and emotional responses to life’s challenges. Keep your credit safe by practicing the following stress-reducing activities.

  • Exercise. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise increases endorphins, relieves body tension and improves mood. The result? Stress relief. The good news is, you don’t need a gym membership to get healthy. Consider free programs like BodyRock and PopSugar Fitness to get your heart pumping.
  • Cook. Feeding yourself can be cost-effective and therapeutic. Tackling new recipes and expanding your tastes instills a sense of confidence and skill. As a bonus, you’ll save money by eating at home more often. Improve your savings and self-esteem by participating in your culinary needs. Consider taking a beginner’s course or watching online tutorials to help you along the way.
  • Do nothing. And I mean nothing. Whether it’s one hour or 15 minutes, everyone needs a daily dose of downtime. Review your schedule and carve out some stress-free time. Find a quiet place to relax, reflect or simply rest. Your restorative efforts could make all the difference.
  • Go outside. If you’re drowning in fluorescent lighting, do yourself a favor and step out of the office. Use your lunch break to spend at least 20 minute per day outside. A dose of vitamin D has been medically proven to improve mental health and reduce stress. Whether it’s a nature walk or a stroll around the parking lot, don’t miss an opportunity to get some fresh air.
  • Limit screen time. The average adult spends nearly 10 hours per day staring at a computer, mobile device or TV screen. Prolonged screen time can affect your sleep patterns, a factor that may cause exhaustion, depression and yes, stress. Limit your exposure by avoiding screens before bed.
  • Audit your finances. 64 percent of adults cite money as a major source of stress, a consequence that can affect your health and financial well-being. Why spend another day in the dark? Consider auditing your finances to gain control of your life. Begin by:
    • Creating a budget to track spending and savings. Download a free template here.
    • Making a list of long-term goals, e.g., buy a home, have a family, retire early, etc. Outline your current efforts to support these goals.
    • Talk to a financial planner about how to maximize income and minimize burdens.
    • Talk to an expert about the benefits of credit health and how to strengthen your score.
  • Commit to one improvement per week. It’s a simple truth: your life won’t change until you do. Habits are difficult to break, but it’s possible with the right motivation. Ask yourself:
    • What do I dislike about my day? My job? My relationship? What can I do to change things?
    • Do I prioritize my health?
    • What is my primary source of stress? What can I do to manage or reduce it?
    • How do I spend my money? Could I find better ways to save?

The bottom line: Stress is a part of life, but it doesn’t need to overwhelm you. Take the initiative to put yourself first and create a calmer environment.


Posted in Finance