When you’re working on living a life full of health and wellness, your finances might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But when it comes to true wellness, you have to look at all aspects of your life. Each component of your life experience affects all the others and nothing exists in isolation.
This concept is something we, at the IAWP, call Wellness 360. You can see all the elements that we think go into a full wellness awareness on our Wellness 360 wheel. Each and every element is a crucial piece of the wellness puzzle. In order to be vibrantly healthy, we have to focus on every one of the elements balancing them for true wellness.
One vital element in Wellness 360 is the element of Finances.
Importance of the Finances Element
It might seem a bit strange to include a discussion about finances in a conversation on health. But financial health has a huge impact on our overall physical and mental health.
Financial health is all about our relationship with money. That relationship is so much deeper than just our budgets, financial investments, and spending habits. Money has its own energy that carries a certain weight and can affect us on a deep level.
We’ve all got our own feelings, experiences, and perspectives on money. The messages we were raised with have an impact on how we interact with money, as well. We each have negative and positive patterns when it comes to our relationship with money. It can have a deep effect on our mental health, which can, in turn, take a hit on our physical health.
Financial health is a vital part of overall wellness practice and directly impacts our wellbeing.
Understanding the Finances Element
At the most basic level, our finances are simply about whether or not we are able to take care of our basic needs. Some of us really struggle to pay for basic needs like rent, food, and a car. Others have an excess of money but struggle financially in other areas.
Even if your basic needs are being met, you still might feel the stress of it all if your future is uncertain. If you don’t have the sense that your needs will always be provided for, you’ll spend your days in continual frustration and worry.
How balanced you feel at this basic level will impact your overall mental and physical health at deep levels.
Finances and Childhood
Your upbringing can drastically impact your financial health, as well. If you received negative messages about money from your parents, faith community, neighbors or friends, you might still inadvertently believe these messages. Some of these ideas are probably playing out in your life, affecting your relationship with money.
These could be ideas such as “money is the root of all evil” or that being rich is vain and selfish. It could also include your parents’ spending patterns such as haphazard, impulse buying without regard for future needs. It could include obsessive penny pinching that takes on an unhealthy quality.
Finances and Self-Worth
It could also be an underlying message about worthiness. You might have gotten the message that your personal value was directly tied to money or the things that money can buy. If your family never seemed to have enough, you might have felt “less than” your peers because you were always ashamed of your second-hand clothes. Or you might have been very jealous of the exciting trips and vacations that your friends were able to take, while you were stuck at home.
Money and all the associations with money that we accumulate throughout life have a deep impact on our self-esteem and self-worth. These experiences can directly impact how we spend our money, which jobs we choose, and ultimately how we view life itself. Your mental health might be at stake if your relationship with money is rocky.
Your financial health is crucial for relieving stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health struggles. It is also important to heal your self-worth and to truly begin to see your own self-value. By healing these things, you’ll also directly impact your physical body and mind.
IAWP Student Feature
IAWP Certified Wellness Coach Kim Goeltom understands firsthand the pressure that earning money can have on your health. At one point, Kim had a great job that paid the bills. But it came at a high personal cost. She worked around the clock, hardly ever saw her family, and eventually developed adrenal fatigue.
Today she is thankful for everything that happened to her as it led to her passion and a new career as a Wellness Coach. Now she gets to share the message of balancing all aspects of your life with other professional women, which she loves.
Balancing Your Finances Element
As we can see, finances have a huge impact on our ability to care for our bodies and our minds. For a true wellness practice, it’s important to consider the holistic picture of how we are living. Financial health is a big part of creating more wellbeing and joy in your life.
Here are a few ways to get started in balancing your Finances element.
1. Reconnect with your finances.
If you’ve been avoiding or ignoring all things having to do with money, it’s important to start paying attention again. Your relationship with money can’t be healed if you’re busy pretending like it doesn’t exist.
Do the brave thing and take a look at your bank accounts. Find a simple system that allows you to track your expenses and income. You don’t necessarily have to change anything at first. Just start to pay attention and bring your finances back into your awareness again.
2. Work on financial goals.
After you’ve been paying attention to your finances, you’ll have a good idea of what you need to do to improve. This is when you can start to set goals that will help you achieve better health.
Find ways to create accountability, whether that’s through the way you track your goals or by having an accountability buddy. Surround yourself with positive role models and inspiring financial health experts.
Find ways to stick to your goals and make them a priority in your life.
3. Create rules for your money.
It’s important to decide how you want to use your money. By making rules for yourself, you’ll create better structures and guidelines to help you make better choices.
Determine what is important for you to spend money on. Once you’ve covered your bills and necessities, decide what you’d like to do with the rest of your income. Think about your values and make rules that fit those values.
For example, you might need to decide between two things one month. If you’ve been thinking that you might need a new smartphone, you might actually value buying organic produce more. Or you might instead want to save your money for a career change instead of taking another spring break vacation.
Or you might also just want to do it all, which is also fine. You’ll need to create a roadmap for how to get where you are now to where you want to be.
4. Do a Wellness 360 check.
Think about the Wellness 360 wheel and contemplate how the other elements might be impacting your finances and your financial health. You might notice that your career isn’t headed where you want it to or perhaps you’re just not making enough money to get where you want to go.
You might be struggling in a relationship with a partner that doesn’t have the same financial values or goals that you do. You’ll need to find a way to get on the same page or make healthy compromises.
Each part of the wheel can have an impact on your wellness and especially your financial health.
Keeping Your Finances Element Balanced for Life
Your finances will always be in flux throughout your life. This means that you’ll need to constantly be developing a relationship with your money. Keep tabs on it without fear or shame, while creating structures and goals to help direct your path. Assess your values and determine how you’ll express those values with your money. Then notice how other parts of your life are impacting your finances. Over time, you’ll develop a healthier relationship with money and a balanced Finances element.
If you’ve always dreamed about helping other people achieve true wellness, you might be the perfect fit for the accredited Holistic Health and Wellness Coach certification from the IAWP. We offer unparalleled support and systems that help you create career success for life. Reach out to an admissions advisor today to find out how to get started.