Tough times make you want to holler, but don’t stop looking after yourself.
We are living in tough economic times, there is no doubt about it, and this is leading to increasing uncertainty and fear for many of us.
As always, we need to turn to history and calmly remind ourselves that economic downturns are always cyclical and things will eventually get better.
But this is often easier said than done, and when people are being forced to count their ever-decreasing pennies in the here and now, one of first things that goes out the window is their focus on their mental wellbeing.
So how then in these tough times can you look after yourself in a way that won’t cost a fortune.
Here are eight of my low-cost suggestions – I’d welcome hearing yours.
1. Take a break from the regular news – this will help reduce anxiety and remind yourself that “this too shall pass”
2. Put down that phone – committing to looking less at your mobile (and avoid sleeping next to it at night) will help bring down ‘always on’ stress levels
3. Commit to some form or regular daily physical exercise - whether that be a lunchtime walk, taking a yoga session on YouTube or even mopping the floors is great for clearing your head as well as your home!
4. Look after your gut – this is where anxiety often manifests, so reduce alcohol intake (it’s an expense you won’t miss) and replace with a cheaper healthier option such as kombucha, or even try making a homemade sauerkraut and change your breakfast for oats (a cheap superfood) whilst swapping out all other processed nasties where possible
5. Exercise your mind – there are lots of online learning opportunities to flex you brain muscles and distract yourself from your worries to expand your skillset and help you feel like you have accomplished something, both of which will make you feel more positive
6. Remember to breathe - meditation is not for all of us, but a simple, regular deep breathing exercise will help refocus you and calm the nerves
7. Take your memory to your special place - remember a special place, person and or pet and think about the feelings they evoke when you go there.
8. Cherish sleep – commit to a regular sleep schedule, ideally 8 hours or more. And if you have trouble sleeping at night, guided visualisations and sleep stories can often create a sense of peace before you nod off.
Georgina Delamain is a counsellor and clinical hypnotherapist with over 25 years experience working with adults and young people in Europe, Asia, South America and Australia. She is now working at St. Kilda Stables, Melbourne on Thursdays and on line the rest of the week.