Putting money in perspective can be a challenging thing to do, especially with the uncertainty of the job market and overall economy of these recent months.  Will I have a job next month?  Will my retirement ever rebound or will I need to delay my retirement?  These are some of the questions Americans’ are facing at a rapid pace. We are living in times like we have never seen before.  It’s understandable to think someone would feel fearful and stressed with all of the unknowns.  It’s good to acknowledge that no one really saw this coming, but it’s important in times like these to focus on what you can control to help your own emotional and mental health.  Below are some tools to help balance your perspective in turbulent times.

1. HOPE it’s a short word but packs so many possibilities.

Without it we are chaotic and overwhelmed, but with it there is peace.  If we believe we are defeated, then hope and possibility are out of reach.  Limiting negative information whether it’s social media or news outlets helps support that balance we are aiming to achieve.  Knowing what you are facing is one thing, sitting in it is another.  Taking those negative thoughts captive and focusing on what you can control is imperative to working through the struggle and stress and not dwelling in it.

2. JOY is another very short, but powerful word that can elude us if we allow it.

One of the aspects of these last few months that has been so positive is allowing our perspectives to realign. Many found joy in multiple ways. Suddenly things like hearing the birds chirp outside the window while working from home brought comfort…even if everything else was dangling by a thread, the robins were still singing. Homes were filled with the sweet fragrance of home baked bread which gave joy to some as they sharpened their baking skills. For others it meant feeling the freedom of spending time outside exercising.

3. PEACE for many of us has been a hard-fought word.

If peace is what we seek in life, how do we live in a way peace abounds? For many, prayer or meditation can bring peace. For others calming and relaxing exercises that focus on breathing and posture can help alleviate the weight of all the troubles around us. Working to choose a positive attitude daily helps alleviate stress and bring peace. Think to yourself “I will get through this” instead of “I don’t see a way out.”

During this tough time, caring for and maintaining our emotional and mental health is vital to overcoming these unprecedented life hurdles. If we set our eyes on the positive, working past our struggles, we can achieve freedom from the negative pressures surrounding us.  Choosing hope, joy and peace on a daily basis will encourage a full heart.

Melanie Kreifels is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor.