An American Psychological Association study found that even when a pandemic isn’t raging, 72% of Americans feel stressed about money at least some of the time. For immigrants, sending money home to loved ones is an additional financial stressor that others do not face. To help the community navigate the challenges of financial stress, ProsperityME offers these tips and resources:
- Remember that personal value is not determined by economic circumstances. Because so many people take pride in their ability to provide for themselves and their families, emotions like anger, guilt or shame when unable to do so are common. Some people may feel that their financial situation is a reflection of who they are as a person. That perspective can make tackling big financial challenges even harder. Financial challenges are an external problem that can be addressed, step by step.
- Nurture emotional wellness by connecting with the community. Quality time with others can help calm the emotional stress that so often goes with financial difficulty. Friends, family, a counselor, a support group, or a religious community can all help. Sometimes sharing a meal, playing a game, or working towards a cause with other people can add a sense of meaning to everyday life.
- Practice mindfulness and meditation to handle in-the-moment stress. The body reacts to emotional stress in the same manner as physical stress. Adrenaline raises the heart rate and causes sweating and muscle tension. When overwhelmed by feelings of anger, panic, or shame, try taking a deep belly breath and counting to five before slowly releasing the breath. Repeat this until physical stress symptoms stop. This can help during hard times.
- Talk to a qualified financial advisor and create a financial wellness plan. Immigrant Mainers are resourceful, independent, connected to the community, and capable of incredible accomplishments. However, many still feel uncomfortable asking for financial help. But help is available to create a roadmap and to learn tools to a more secure financial future. Many of ProsperityME’s staff members are immigrant Mainers. The appointments are free of charge and all conversations are strictly confidential.