10 WAYS TO AVOID PANICKING THAT FIT ANY BUDGET
When you’re panicking you can’t think straight, and clear thinking is what you need. Whatever challenge you’re facing, you need resources, a strategy with action steps, and calm resolution to take the first step, and then the next, and then the next. In order to stay in the coping mode, what can you do? Here are 10 tips, including resources for those whose stress is partly financial.
All forms of panicking involve losing your breath. You need oxygen to think clearly. Stop and take deep breaths, concentrating only on your breathing.
2. Clear your head and add positive self-talk.
Replace “I can’t take this,” with “I’m competent and can handle this.” Replace "This is horrible" with "I've handled difficult things before and been alright."
Or replace panicky thoughts with something neutral, the verbal equivalent of counting sheep. Run through the alphabet. Recite nursery rhymes. Do math equations.
3. Think Optimistically. Don’t blame the situation on something personal (It’s all my fault), pervasive (I screw up everything), and permanent (I always have and I always will).
Avoid the downward spiral by intentionally distracting yourself. Stay busy. Keep your social life going. Don’t allow time to ruminate.
4. Treat your body to extra care. Stress depresses your immune system.
Consult a nutritionist or wellness coach and get supplements. Get massages. Sign up for a tennis league. Take Yoga or Tai Chi classes. Hire a trainer to keep you exercising. If funds are tight, Find free public sports’ facilities or a friend’s apartment complex. Trade massages with your partner or go to a massage school. They have reduced rates because they’re practicing. Give yourself a makeover and add extra nutritional supplements.
5. Talk it out with someone you can trust.
Work with a coach or therapist, or talk with your minister or faith leader. If money’s tight, find a Stephen Ministry, available through many churches or check out non-profit counseling centers that have a sliding scale. Many coaches also take pro bono clients.
6. Drink water, be in water, look at water.
Take a cruise, spend time in a swimming pool or hot tub, picnic by a river, or go down to the ocean.
7. Give yourself nature and culture. They’re healing.
If you’re short on cash, visit local museums on “free” day. Borrow CDs from the library. Look at art on the Internet. Hike in local preserves or parks.
8. Attend to your spiritual life.
Available to all: Pray. Here is a place to start, if you need one. You can submit a confidential prayer request to Unity here. Find a Prayer Service and let them pray for you. Go back to your place of worship or go more often. Find an interactive Sunday School class. Take a Meditation course.
9. Do NOT isolate yourself.
This is the worst thing you can do for your health. It will have long-term effects beyond the current crisis.
Spend quality time with friends and family. Get back into groups you’ve let drop. Join new ones. Add a mid-week religious service. Do group-project volunteer work. Make and accept social invitations.
10. Develop and practice Emotional Intelligence techniques.
Work with an EQ coach who can teach you how to manage the emotions better.
In a calmer state, you can take action better. Make a plan. On a piece of paper make a column for each challenge and underneath it write down a list of action steps to take. A coach or therapist could help you with this, or work with a trusted friend of Stephen minister.
11. Get information. Get facts.
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