Coping with Stress & Anxiety: A Set of Tools
This list is a set of tools that add to the conversation begun HERE.
Utilize a Debt-Management Table. This is a table that is specially built to elucidate your financial situation. If you don’t have a DMT, a 12-month budget will do. You are most concerned about the current month and its obligations. You probably already know about the stressor but get all the information you can about it. Some include interest rates, consequences of non-payment, and consequences of partial payment. Consider the other financial responsibilities you have. Consider ways to borrow from Peter to pay Paul as it were. Make sure you have a sense of when Paul will require his money and what you will do to notify and eventually pay Paul.
Write a Letter. The most important pattern to notice with anxiety is the need to vent off the emotional response that overwhelms logic. Writing a letter allows you to say everything that you want to say. It does not have to be kosher or respectful. It can be a stream of consciousness and as vulgar or as articulate as you care to make it. Don’t send that first letter.
Write a second letter. This time balance your emotion with logic. Add a sense of respect and consideration of the future whether it includes the relationship or not. Above all, write what you can commit to and live with long-term.
Implement a Schedule. Time is finite, and people understand that. Your task is to find the time to do what you need to do. Sometimes, you must release yourself from the obligation. You cannot complete it in time. The result can be a freeing of your emotions to deal with other issues and plan. Other times, you must reschedule. Better to frustrate someone with clear and proactive conversation rather than avoid the confrontation and refuse communication. Another option is to re-prioritize a priority to complete a new task. Communication is critical here again. Own the lesson that may offer guidance on planning for next time, but do not own for too long the guilt that comes from shifting and lifting priorities.
Utilize a Cost-Benefit Table. A cost-benefit table is a chart you draw with Cost or problems on one side and Benefits or options on the other side. When faced with information you are not particularly inspired by, take as much time as possible to review the negatives and positives you see regarding the information. Force yourself to list at least 5 items on each side. My preference would be 10 on each side.
The activity is about emotion regulation as well as reflection. Take the time to calm down and process options with a clearer head. Consider options without (or diminished as much as possible) the obligations, supposed tos, and should have beens that are grounded in emotions.