Financial budgets are a necessary evil, though the idea may invoke feelings of math-induced panic, they are key in helping us avoid spending beyond our means; creating unnecessary stress.
So we know that a fiscal budget is necessary, but why not apply the same techniques and ideologies to how we manage our energy and what kind of time we allot to stress. To help, I’ve created a list of ways to budget the time and effort you exert in living with stress.
Ways to establish a stress budget
- Identify how you’re spending. When you carve out a financial budget, the first thing you do is identify where you may be over-spending and where you can make legitimate cut-back. Same thing with stress. Try to identify you’re biggest triggers and see if you’re willing to make cuts in the energy you’re devoting to that stressor.
- Set boundaries. Whether it’s work, your mother, or your kids, set boundaries and stick to them. If you’ve established a tight budget that includes $75 a week for groceries and you spend $100, you’re over-budget, which has a snowball effect on what you can spend elsewhere. When it comes to stress, if you’re allowing work to follow you home for the majority of the night or weekend, what’s left for you? I promise, work will still be there tomorrow. In fact, if you’re overwhelmingly busy, chances are they need you too much to give you trouble if you draw a line in the sand between work and life. Most work-related stress is self-induced. #FACT
- Recognize symptoms. Try to begin noticing your body’s physical responses to stress. When we can bring awareness to when we’re letting stress get the better of us, physically, we get out of our heads where the stress is culminating. Budget how far you’re willing to let your mind affect your body.
- Track your spending. It’s important to track how well you’re sticking to a fiscal budget, just as it is with stress. Keep a journal or log and keep track of when you’re feeling stressed, the physical symptoms, how long the episode lasted, and if there’s anything you could have done differently to minimize the stress in the future.
- Don’t drive yourself too crazy. If you do slip from time to time (and you will), don’t add to your stress by punishing yourself with judgement. Let it go, recognize the pattern, accept it and move on.
- Splurge everyday. When it comes to even the strictest budget, financial experts recognize the inevitability of the occasional splurge. When it comes to ‘Me Time’, I say splurge everyday. Even if you feel you can only afford a 20 minute bath in the evening or 5 minutes of silence when you first wake up, splurge on silence. Tithe yourself.
- Celebrate the good. It’s easy to make an exhaustive list of all of the things we wish were different, easier, better. How often to we acknowledge what IS working. The light of positivity can illuminate the darkness of desire.
You’ve heard the euphemisms before, spending beyond our means is the American way. However, consistently exceeding your budget financially or energetically is dangerous. There’s only so much you can expend without it coming back in. Don’t leave yourself in energetic debt.
Like I said, most stress is self-induced. Life happens, it’s how we respond to it that determine our happiness and peace. Handle stress like a dog, if you can’t eat it or play with it, pee on it and walk away.
- Your Charmed Yogi
- Channel your inner Weeble with Yoga
- Less is more, have a spiritual yard sale
- I just come here to sit, and not think