Stress & The Economy

As talk of rising gasoline prices, rising consumer debt and declining retail sales bring up worries about the nation's economic health, more Ministry Leaders could feel additional stress and anxiety about their financial future. There are healthy strategies available for managing that stress during tough economic times. Money is often on the minds of most Americans. In fact, money and work are two of the top sources of stress for almost 75 percent of Americans, according to a Stress in America Survey. Add to the mix, headlines declaring a looming economic recession, and many begin to fear how they can handle any further financial crunch. But, like most of our everyday stress, this extra tension can be managed.

Still Waters Restoration & Resource Ministries offers the following tips to Ministry Leaders:

Pause but don't panic. There are many negative stories in newspapers and on television about the state of the economy. Pay attention to what's happening around you, but refrain from getting caught up in doom-and-gloom hype, which can lead to high levels of anxiety and bad decision making. Avoid the tendency to overreact or to become passive. Remain calm and stay focused.

Identify your financial stressors and make a plan. Take stock of your particular financial situation and what causes you stress. Write down specific ways you and your family can reduce expenses or manage your finances more efficiently. Then commit to a specific plan and review it regularly. Although this can be anxiety-provoking in the short term, putting things down on paper and committing to a plan can reduce stress. If you are having trouble paying bills or staying on top of debt, consider reaching out for help.

Recognize how you deal with stress related to money. In tough economic times some people are more likely to relieve stress by turning to unhealthy activities. The strain can also lead to more conflict and arguments between ministry partners. Be alert to these behaviors. If they are causing you trouble, consider seeking help from a Still Waters support staff before the problem gets worse. Turn these challenging times into opportunities for real growth and change. Times like this, while difficult, can offer opportunities to take stock of your current situation and make needed changes. Think of ways that these economic challenges can motivate you to find healthier ways to deal with stress. Try taking a walk -- it's an inexpensive way to get good exercise. Having dinner at home with your family may not only save you money, but help bring you closer together.

Consider learning a new skill. The key is to use this time to think outside the box and try new ways of managing your life.

Ask for Still Waters support. If you continue to be overwhelmed by the stress, you may want to talk with Still Waters support staff who can help you better manage this stress.

Still Waters Restoration & Resource Ministries is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting health and wellness among Christian Ministers and their families.

This information is provided for educational purposes only and is not meant to be used in place of professional consultation/treatment for individual health needs.