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Understanding Financial Burnout

Ways to Cope with Financial Burnout

As the Federal Reserve raises rates to combat inflation, more of us are feeling a drain on our finances. Add mounting debt, the loss of a job or any other source of financial strain and the stress can become downright overwhelming. Now, in addition to worrying about reaching our goals in life, we may begin to wonder if we can even meet our basic survival needs. Eventually, this worry can turn into burnout.

In general, burnout can be described by three overlapping experiences 

  • Becoming exhausted and emotionally drained;
  • Feeling cynical or detached from what you’re doing; and
  • Experiencing a declining sense of self-efficacy and potential feelings of ineffectiveness or incompetence.

Financial burnout is a type of burnout that’s specifically related to your money situation. If left alone, financial burnout can persist and feed on itself, contributing to:

  • Health problems;
  • A sense of aimlessness; and
  • Creating a distance from the things that matter most to you.

Yet, because burnout tends to build slowly, you may not even realize that it’s happening until after you start to shut down.

When experiencing financial burnout, it's important to know what steps you can take to address it. Here are six tips to help you get started:

  • Know the Signs-The first step in relieving financial burnout is recognizing it. 
  • Practice Self-Compassion-Forgiving and nurturing yourself can not only promote a better relationship with your finances but it can also promote better health and overall well-being.
  • Routinize Self-Care-Explore what works for you and try to come up with creative ways to fold self-care into your regular routine.
  • Stay In the Moment-While it can be tempting to try to power forward, keep in mind that burnout and stress often take root in your body. Fortunately, there are many grounding techniques that you can draw from and experiment with to help relieve these tense feelings connected to your financial situation.
  • Abandon the Perfect in Favor of the Good-Rather than aspiring to an impossible standard of financial perfection, try to think about small achievable financial goals that you can start moving towards today.
  • Talk to Someone-Financial burnout can feel overwhelming and lonely.

Financial burnout can take a toll on our daily lives. Because of this, it’s crucial to recognize the signs of burnout so you can take steps to address it, whether that’s taking small breaks throughout the day or seeking out professional help. By finding what works for you, you have the tools to continue your journey toward financial wellness.

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