De-Stress for Less
By Ellie Kay, Personal Finance Expert
American families face stress on a regular basis with busy lifestyles and hectic schedules. A CNN poll reveals that the number-one reason for stress in most countries is money. You can get the stress out of your life without breaking the family budget by trying these 3 stress busters.
Stress Buster: Exercise
Even if you’ve been sedentary for years, a little movement can go a long way toward improving your health and ability to deal with stress. Here are the top five reasons to get moving today:
- Improves mood by pumping out “feel good” hormones
- Alleviates anxiety and nervousness
- Releases muscular tension and stiffness
- Detoxifies your body by stimulating your lymphatic system
- Improves energy levels
Stress Buster: Sleep
Relax. Sleep. Things will be better in the morning, right? Not always. Many people suffer from insomnia and are wound so tightly that just trying to go to sleep increases their stress. Others are simply pushing themselves so hard at the job or with other life expectations that like exercise, they think they don’t have time to sleep. If you are one of those people, do whatever you can to reverse this unhealthy pattern. Statistics reveal that those who don’t get adequate sleep consistently age faster and tend to put on excess weight and keep it on.
Stress Buster: A Proactive Plan
Whether it has to do with fiscal or physical health, there are failure factors that can rob us of our peace of mind and cause us to stress. One of the number one failure factors is not having a plan. I don’t believe that people plan to fail, they just fail to plan and this is the biggest obstacle that prevents people from getting both their health and wealth in order. When you commit your plan to paper, you are far more likely to follow through with that plan.
- For health, stick to your workout plan by enlisting a workout friend.
- For finances, it’s important to utilize calculators that can help you determine your risk tolerance, how much you should be saving, etc.
- To reduce stress, I always suggest that part of your retirement plan should include funding a 401(k), paying down consumer debt and balancing your portfolio by investing in a fixed indexed annuity. In today’s market uncertainty, your financial portfolio needs a balanced amount of risk and guarantees. Indexed annuities give you peace of mind by providing steady, guaranteed lifetime income, while protecting you from market volatility.
Additionally, here are a few other tips for de-stressing without spending:
- Take a power nap.
- Listen to soothing music.
- People-watch on a bench.
- Light a candle.
- Eat a sack lunch at a park or somewhere outside.
- Take a stroll and stop to smell some roses.
- Write out favorite quotes or passages of literature and put it somewhere you will see it.
- Call a friend or family member you haven’t talked to in a while.
I know you are aware of these simple pleasures, but do you practice them? Intentional breaks from your usual routine can make a huge difference not only in your stress level, but in your overall productivity later in the day.