Coping with Financial Stress

Mental Health Matters

Coping with Holiday Financial StressCoping with Financial Stress During the Holidays

Financial stress effects many people all over the world. Because personal finances affect many facets of one’s life, from living expenses to supporting family members, it’s no surprise that managing finances can be one of the most stressful aspects of one’s life. For some, severe financial stress can lead to anxiety or depression. As the holidays approach and the season of gift-giving is upon us, take a few pointers on how to cope with financial stress this holiday season.


  1. Don’t neglect your physical wellbeing. Taking care of your physical body has a big effect on your mental wellbeing. Despite the abundance of holiday food, make sure you are eating healthy portions and nutritionally balanced meals. Get regular exercise and consider stress relieving activities such as yoga, meditation, dancing, going for walks, or playing a pick-up sports game. Getting adequate rest can also help balance emotions. Consider setting a bedtime for yourself and turning off display screens an hour before you go to sleep.
  2. Address the stress as it comes up. It is important to acknowledge stress as it arises. Ignoring stress can actually make the situation worse – physically and emotionally. Open an honest discussion about your financial situation with your family or with those you can trust. It can help to talk about your stress with those you care about. There’s no shame in asking for support or help when you need it.
  3. Review your financial situation. Get organized, create a budget, and make a commitment to stick with it. It may also be worthwhile to consult a financial advisor or planner to help you get your finances under control. Setting personal goals can give you a plan of action. Setting up a vision board can also give you visual encouragement to stick to your financial goal.
  4. Recognize habits that are triggered with financial stress. Does financial stress trigger a string of unhealthy behaviors for you? When under great stress, some people may rely on unhealthy habits such as gambling, drinking, smoking, or even emotional eating. Identify your triggers and set healthy habits in place instead.
  5. Remember, money isn’t the most important thing this holiday season. When you are feeling overwhelmed about your financial situation, it helps to reach out for support from those you love. Surround yourself with friends and family or consider volunteering this holiday season. There are many ways to spread the holiday cheer that doesn’t not involve money.

If you find yourself experiencing prolonged symptoms of sleeping problems, difficulty concentrating, loss of energy, feelings of depression, sudden changes in appetite or weight loss or gain, consider seeking a qualified therapist for support. The Counseling California directory provides information on thousands of therapists who can help you navigate the stresses behind finances and the holiday season.

Find a Therapist