Yoga, meditation, mindfulness, exercise and healthy eating are among the best-known forms of self-care. They are behaviors that help to increase satisfaction, decrease stress, and contribute to overall wellness. While not a cure-all for chronic illness management, self-care offers multiple benefits to almost everyone who practices it regularly.
Financial self-care also provides valuable advantages for the eight out of ten Americans who identify money as their number one stressor. A financial self-care practice helps people cope with the ancillary stresses (physical, mental, emotional) which too often accompany money problems. Additionally, practicing financial self-care contributes to personal, financial and overall wellbeing.
Here at Financial Social Work, we teach a concept called Financial Self-Care Practice, using the eight steps below. Several of the steps require action and others address thoughts and behavior. All will improve your relationship with your money and help you begin to take control of your money, so you can gain control of your life.
Continue adding steps, one at a time, until all are included in your daily practice. Consistency and commitment with your FSCP, will result in more positive thinking, healthier behavior, and an improved outlook on life.
Be patient with the process, celebrate your progress and acknowledge your willingness to create change in your life.
8 Steps to Begin your Financial Self-Care Practice
01 Schedule time with your money – use this time to learn about whom you owe money to, who may owe money to you, how much you spend on what, etc. The time you invest with your money is as important as the money you save and invest for your future.
02 Create a money space – having a specific place to work with your money makes scheduling time with it more pleasant. Play music, light candles, etc., to create an environment conducive to greater financial health.
03 Share your journey – find someone on his/her own journey to wellness and work together to support each other through successes and disappointments.
04 Don’t confuse your self-worth with your net worth – who you are as a person has nothing to do with the amount of your savings or investments.
05 Forgive yourself – a better future requires letting go of the past. Learn from previous personal and financial mistakes then let go of them and move on.
06 Silence your inner-critic – the voice in your head that is always criticizing you is not your friend. Stop listening to anything it says.
07 Set goals – Personal and financial goals provide direction for your journey and a way to measure your success.
08 Know HOPE – there is always HOPE.