Build resilience in tough financial situations

By Annet Katusiime

Some people get stuck at a point in their life and cannot figure out how to move forward while others can easily adapt to events in their life. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity, when one is faced with financial pressures due to job loss, uncertainties and the demands of life. The most effective way to move forward is to exercise the necessary skill of resilience to cope up with life. A person with good resilience has the ability to bounce back more quickly and with less stress than someone whose resilience is less developed. In other words, everyone can learn to increase their resilience abilities. Like any human skill, learning greater resilience is something you can do at any age, from any background no matter your education or family relationships. All you need is the willingness to increase your resilience. Bouncing back requires the will of an individual to do so. Here are a few tips one can relate with in regard to a financial stressor.

Accept change:
Is it a job loss or uncertainty at work or that undesired financial behaviour that has caused a big loss in your business? Rather than resisting change, try to engage with it. The world is changing at a terrific speed so being adaptable when responding to uncertainty is a key skill. Change in all forms is a factor of life; therefore, maintain a positive outlook and find ways to build your confidence in your strengths and abilities which will help you solve problems.

Seek support from family and friends
Kelly McGonigal, a psychologist from Stanford University, discusses how the stress hormone called oxytocin motivates us to seek support from people who care about us. A family that understands your financial situation is a better start to give assurance and encouragement when times get tough. I remember when I didn’t have a job but had made some savings. My friends and family helped me develop an investment plan that helped me bounce back faster than I ever anticipated. When things are good, maintain good relations with your family and friends. Also plan your finances as a family to lay strategies on how to cut expenses and identify investment opportunities that can be a cushion in case of uncertainties.

Make realistic plans that you can ably execute
You will be stressed if you have not achieved any of your goals. That is why it is important to write down your strategy on how to execute and attain your goals. In all situations, always have a clear plan and make it simple for you to execute, for example, if your saving goal was to start a goat farm, if it means starting with five goats, do it. When you start on a project, ideas keep cropping up and at the end, you will achieve your desired goal if you are persistent and consistent.

Look after yourself
Sometimes people focus so much on making money and forget about taking good care of their lives. You can take good care of yourself in simple ways such as getting enough sleep, eating healthy and engaging in an activity you enjoy. It could be soccer, music, dance and drama, volleyball, cooking and reading among others. Taking good care of yourself helps to keep your mind and body in shape to deal with tough situations. Facing the problem is the better way to solve it other than running away. Let us build the skill of resilience to handle the unexpected.

Ms Annet Katusiime is a financial literacy trainer and consultant at Be Money Wiser co. Ltd

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