In the past we have had our share of financial woes. We have made poor decisions that have cost us more than we expected and we have also had times when no matter what we did we just couldn't get ahead.
When we were first married, my husband was in the military (Navy) and we lived below the poverty level and we had some financial woes.
If you are going through a financially tight period, it is very easy to get depressed and frustrated. I hope to give you a few tips that will help you make it through those times with your sanity intact.
1. Remember God is in control- He will bring you through the hard times. He will provide your needs. Ps. 37: 25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. Have faith in His word.
2. Get up-It is really easy when you are not working to stay in bed for a little while longer than usual. Don't fall into this habit. Get up at your normal time, get dressed and start your day. If you don't it will get easier and easier to get lazy and idle. When you get lazy and idle depression has a way of creeping in.
3. Keep your house clean-I know this one sounds odd-but even if I didn't have money, my house was going to be clean. Nothing is more depressing than a dirty, cluttered home. I think this is especially true for women. This is a time when extra things can be done (deep cleaning, organization, etc.)
4. Listen to music that makes you happy-Do this every day even if it is while you are cleaning the house. Music speaks to your soul-happy music=happy soul.
5. Get some sunshine-Take a walk, do some yard work, just sit in the sun. I believe that sun warms the heart. I never really thought much about that until I moved north and went for weeks in the winter without the sun, now I know how much the sun can change your mood.
6. Play-Spend some time every day playing. Yes I know you are an adult, but even adults need to play. You can play a board game inside or play outside with the kids. It is important to the children to get all of their energy out during the day. This will help keep them from getting on your nerves.
7. Find free things to do-I use to take my kids to "Story Time" at the library, then we went to McDonald's so they could play in the playground. They would get a small ice cream cone (not free, but still cheap) and that was at least 2 hours of fun. Take a picnic to the park and let the kids play as long as they want and go down the slide or swing yourself. Get in the kiddie pool in the back yard with your kids. Have some fun.
8. Eat well- I realize that food is one of the things that can cost a lot of money, but you still need 3 squares a day. It doesn't have to be expensive, mac & cheese, beans, pbj, eggs, there is a lot of things that you can eat that doesn't have to cost a lot.
9. Get plenty of sleep-Keep to your old schedule, go to bed as early as you would if you were going to work. It is very easy to get irritable if you don't have enough rest.
10. Look for ways to make extra money-If you are out of work, look for work. If you are laid off, look for jobs that will tide you over until you are called back. If you've lost your job, look for a new one. Don't get down on yourself if you have to look for a long time. In the times that we are living in, it is going to take a while to find a new job, and you will be competing with a lot of people. Just remember if a company doesn't hire you at least they hired someone and that is one less person you have to compete with for the next job.
11. Remind yourself daily that you are doing the best you can, that you are a worthy person, that God loves you and will take care of you.
12. Give your family (each member) 7 loving touches every day- We all need 7 loving touches every day. If you are giving to your family they will be giving them back to you and if you are dealing with depression and frustration, you will definitely need them.
13. Remind yourself if you have young children that they are not going to remember these hard times, unless you make them miserable during it. And if you have teenagers, pull them close, let them be part of the solution, instead of part of the problem. They will more often than not step up to the plate and help the family out.
14. Love yourself. Love your family. Love God. (not necessarily in that order)
15. If you have a specific need let people know about it. I am not saying you should ask for handouts but there are a lot of people in your life that are willing to help, if they know you need it. There are also real prayer warriors out there that can and will help you pray for that need.
16. List your blessings-every day try to list at least one blessing, one thing that you are thankful for. Look on the bright side, even when it seems there isn't one, there is always, always, always something to be thankful for.
Have a blessed day.