Two months ago, I told myself that I'm going to start blogging-heck, I write in a journal almost every day, I could type a few things that could help people! Then life happens and well, blogging just was left behind.
Restart! So here is my blog, Health Infusion. Not sure that the topic for today is actually infused with health, but maybe there are a few golden nuggets you can glean from it, or a few golden nuggets that someone out in Bloggerland can share.
My finances are in a low point right now. I am a bit ashamed and humbled to admit this. I have worked hard my entire life, raised two kids practically by myself for the last 10 years and have done alright-until last year when I was laid off and the person I was dating (and fell madly in love with) dumped me for someone else-all in the same week. I was a mess. A big, broken-hearted, depressed, I-don't-have-income-coming-in mess. This situation not only messes with your finances and your heart, it messes mainly with your HEAD. It took 3 months to get out of that depressed state, and function semi-normally again to get my sh*! together and find work.
And it hit me: In this economy where unemployment is around 10%, I have two choices: I could either look for a job, or start my own business-so I did. I have a company called Transformational Wellness Consulting here in Spokane, WA. I put together wellness programs for companies to help employees become more productive, lessen absenteeism, etc, through education. Helps lower their insurance premiums and L&I Claims. LOVE what I do.
So to finish this story up and get on to the good stuff, Fast-forward to exactly a year later from where I started. How are my finances? Not that great. How is my mental health? MUUUCH better than last year at this time, but finances in turmoil, like your heart can really mess with your head. The stress I feel by not being able to meet all of my financial obligations gets to me after a while.
This is where the golden nuggets start falling.
Posing this question to my audience: How do YOU dealing with your mental health when finances are stressing you out?
A few tools I use:
*Deep Breathing. When we are stressed, our auto-response is to breathe shallowly through our chest, instead of taking normal to deep breaths through our diaphragm. Stress puts us in a "Fight or Flight" response, no matter how intense the stressor is. We can counteract that by sitting quietly for a few moments and concentrating on our breathing. Here is a great exercise: As you sit quietly, put one hand on your diaphragm (located under the bottom portion of your rib cage)and one hand on your chest. Close your eyes, breathe in deeply, exhaling slowly. Is your chest rising up more than your diaphragm on your inhale? Change that. Take in five deep breaths and focus on keeping your chest quiet while working on diaphragmatic breathing. This is the type of breathing that happens while you sleep. You can try inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth (But we are in allergy season-breathe anyway you can get oxygen in if your sinuses are plugged!). There, now that you've tried this, do you feel a little more calm and relaxed? Aaaahhhh......
*Meditation/Prayer It doesn't really matter what your religious beliefs are, meditation and prayer produce the same result: Inner focus. Meditation and Prayer are enhanced by using deep breathing techniques and quieting the mind to focus on what is truly important to you. Find a quiet spot, close your eyes and focus on your Higher Being, being grateful for what you have, the people whom you love and who love you-whomever or whatever you feel is worth your precious time to focus on. MAKE this time for you-your mental health will thank you later for it.
*Positive Talk and An Optimistic Attitude Take all the negatives out of your thinking. Positive thinking is the real deal and it DOES work. When you tell yourself what you want/need either in your head or out loud (Caution! Speaking your thoughts out loud might cause strange looks in your direction!), keep it in present tense and it will change the way you think. An example would be "I am making loads of money today", instead of "I will be making loads of money today" (future tense) or "I'm not making any money!" (negative tense! No more thinking like this!)
*ExerciseSaved my favorite for last. Exercise can clear your head and increase your endorphin levels (brain and nerve transmitters that help prevent pain, increases your sense of power, lets you extend your activity level and can increase your feelings of well-being). Exercise just makes you feel good, helps in weight loss, and just leaves you feeling empowered, where you feel like you are in a good space to make good decisions-especially financial ones.
These are a few of my tools. I would love to hear from all of you out there. And, if there are any health or wellness topics you would like me to blog on, I would be more that happy to.
Yours In Health,