With the current uncertainties facing us, from the cost of living crisis to the change in our Government’s leadership, it is natural to feel a little overwhelmed. In this blog, we discuss how we are here to help, and activities you can do to help make you feel more in control…
For many people, stress and anxiety are exacerbated when you’re worried. We are still feeling the effects of a pandemic and the economic impact of the lockdowns.
There is no right or wrong way to respond to the uncertainty we are feeling both within business and our home lives, so cut yourself some slack and accept that these are challenging times for everyone.
The lack of certainty is a main factor in triggering anxiety so one way to try and claw back some certainty, especially when it comes to your business, is to plan for future scenarios in your business. You can do this with your accountant and, if your accountant doesn’t offer this as a service using intuitive cashflow forecasting software, then feel free to get in touch with us and we can see how we can help you get clear on your future business cashflow forecasting.
Where’s Your Money Going?
During the cost of living crisis, one positive that we have noticed is that we are paying attention to our outgoings more closely. It sounds obvious, but we may not realise exactly how much we’re spending each month – and what we’re spending it on – until it’s laid out in front of us.
Review your last three bank statements, credit card bills and subscriptions, and spend some time going through them, highlighting any areas where you think you’re spending money unnecessarily or spending too much. This could be on anything from a top of the range broadband package that you don’t need, a streaming service you don’t watch, to a mobile phone contract where you’re paying for data you don’t use. Could you save money on credit card interest by switching to a 0% rate card – not forgetting to cut the other one up!
Every month money is wasted on unused subscriptions, with the most common wasted money on gym memberships. A fifth (19%) of UK adults said they planned on cancelling TV subscriptions (e.g. Netflix, Amazon Prime) during the pandemic. Are you paying for the Premium package on My Fitness Pal, and NEVER filling in your daily diary (ok, maybe that one is just aimed at us)?.
Take a few minutes and cancel any subscriptions you don’t really use to save yourself a bit of cash.
Write it Down
I am a huge fan of journaling for times of stress or worry. Whether that be business or personal issues, I find that writing things out in my journal is incredibly helpful to verbalise my worries and focus my attention. Once I am aware of my stresses, I can make an action plan to tackle them and relieve the situation.
When you are stressed and worried about things in your business, ask yourself questions or journal on things that will challenge your mindset but also help provide clarity and certainty.
Questions you can ask/journal about:
- Is what is worrying me based on solid fact and truth? (Hint – if it’s something you have seen in the press look out for words like ‘could’ to indicate that it is speculation rather than based on fact)
- Is what is worrying you being caused by confusion with ever changing government information? Could your accountant help make sense of the new legislation for you?
- Is what is worrying you being caused by decisions you need to make regarding staffing and the rise in business rates? How could you allow for these changes?
- Is what is worrying you a lack of certainty around the future? Are you projecting your thoughts and anxiety too far into the future rather than focusing on the day to day necessary action steps?
Focus on Your Balls
One analogy that we love to use is the one of juggling balls. We often say “I’m juggling so many balls and don’t want to drop any” but, actually, it’s ok to drop the ball from time to time!
Try to imagine your balls as a mixture of glass and plastic. If your plastic balls drop, it’s no big deal. If your glass balls drop, they will smash and you’ll feel out of control. So, you need to work out which balls are going to be plastic and which will be glass. Some glass balls that often get mistaken for plastic (and can actually help you feel better when prioritised!) could include:
- Eating well and exercising
- Drinking enough water
- Getting enough sleep
- Prioritising family time
- Turning off the news and not “doom scrolling” social media for hours at a time
Again, this is another great exercise that is good for journaling. Get really clear and honest with yourself about what are the glass and plastic balls of your life and audit yourself on how much you have been putting them first.
Take Some Time To Switch Off
We know how tempting it is to try to consume all the news you can about the current climate, “Knowledge is Power” and all that. But there is such a thing as too much knowledge.
It’s OK to turn off the news and social media for a bit. Avoid news that could make you feel anxious and choose the stuff that’s practical and helpful. Check the news once or twice a day and decide on specific times you’re going to do it (9am and 5pm, for example).
There’s also a LOT of misinformation out there (@BigDave8183892 probably doesn’t know as much about Liz Truss’ plans as he claims he does) so stick to trusted sources. Why not use your usual doom scrolling time to save Pinterest recipes or find a new podcast you can lie back and enjoy listening to?
Need Help Navigating The Uncertainty?
The first thing you need to do is take control of the situation you find yourself in. It’s easy to get discouraged when trying to address the rising cost of living and the impact it may have on your business and everyday life, but it’s important that you don’t give up!
If you would like to talk to us about how we could help, we’re here to listen. To arrange a chat in confidence please get in touch.