By: Jose Cancio, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
With rising costs of food, housing, gasoline, utilities, and other goods, inflation has impacted everyone in some shape or form. To accommodate this spike, many adults must shift their budgets to cover even the most basic necessities, leaving many feeling insecure and out of balance.
While experts say inflation is a natural part of an economic cycle with temporary impacts, adults and families living on a limited budget face a genuine fear of being unable to make ends meet. Over time, this added stress and anxiety around financial instability affects mental health.
High stress can lead to fatigue, lack of sleep, increased irritability, and strained relationships. Worrying about your financial situation and future can exacerbate existing symptoms and even spur the development of symptoms that may not have been experienced before.
As bills and other costs rise, it is easy for mental health to become a lower priority in day-to-day life; however, maintaining equilibrium is essential during times of uncertainty.
In order to best navigate this season of life, we must be conscious of environmental triggers impacting our well-being and implement mindful practices to reduce negative impacts. Consider these three tips:
When faced with uncertainty surrounding finances, we must understand and accept that some things are simply outside of our control. In order to overcome this, we can instead look to
areas in our lives that can be controlled. Small proactive steps, such as making a plan to eliminate financial stressors, can bring peace of mind by showing you that you have control over this situation.
Evaluate coping mechanisms
We must be mindful of unhealthy coping habits and consider new stress management methods. Avoid coping mechanisms, such as excessive smoking or alcohol use, or even negative talk that can further strain your perspective on life. When we begin to feel overwhelmed, consider taking a walk, practicing deep breathing, or talking with a friend or loved one about how you are feeling.
Seek, or continue seeking therapy
When budgets are stretched, we often look for areas that can be temporarily cut from our spending habits. Mental health must be prioritized. Mental health professionals can help you practice well-being in the best of times and in times of high stress by guiding you in managing new symptoms that may develop. If dollars are tight, ask a health care professional about low-cost options and programs in your community.
The financial impacts of inflation can be overwhelming. With a mindful approach to caring for your mental health, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
About the Author
Jose Cancio is a psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner for Elite DNA Behavioral Health, a comprehensive behavioral and mental health service provider with more than 25 locations across Florida. For more information, visit EliteDNA.com
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