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Let's stop pretending that being good at money means you need to be good at math. Instead, let's listen to our body and our mind.
Do you ever feel like life is something that you can’t quite get a handle on? I’ve been there. One of my new favourite songs, Numb Little Bug by Em Beihold, says it best:
Do you ever get a little bit tired of life?
Like you’re not really happy but you don’t wanna die
Like you’re hangin’ by a thread but you gotta survive
‘Cause you gotta survive
The pandemic has put people into financial ruin and made people who usually are good at managing stress and difficulty feel like they’ve hit their wall. Therapy has always been a place where I feel safe to speak my mind release all of the negative thoughts that I have, and it’s given me the ability to learn who I am time and time again.
For many, though, speaking to a mental health professional isn’t always an option. Whether it be the high cost, a stigma or not yet having the strength to make the call, it can feel out of reach. I’ve always felt like there was nothing I could do to help others who were in this boat until I saw this tweet:
My best friend and I do this thing called “trickle down therapy” which is where I tell my best friend stuff my therapist says to me since she’s not in therapy
— coll (@Coll3enG) November 8, 2021
I loved this idea in the sense that sharing one thing that has changed your life in therapy with someone who might need to hear the same could bring that costly advice to another person and potentially change their life for the better.
So, I did what I love to do every single week on my Instagram and asked my followers to share the best advice they ever got from their therapist or psychologist, and these were my top favourite pieces of knowledge:
For anyone who has a hard time accepting compliments from anyone — whether strangers or loved ones — one reader shared that their therapist told them to actually write down all of the nice things people say to them in a journal. This way, you’re forced to absorb these words rather than brush them off to convince yourself it’s not true. You can then always refer back to this journal and read the kind things others have noticed about you as a person when you need a pick-me-up.
It sounds silly that some people need to hear this, but it’s more common than you might think. Many of us pretend to be happy, excited or positive when in reality, we’re struggling. You need to give yourself permission to be sad. I’ve learned that the longer I avoid my complicated emotions, the longer it takes to get through them. Leaning in is hard, but it also prevents us from getting stuck in a place that constantly causes us stress or anxiety.
This piece of advice can go with nearly anything in life. If you’re having a busy week, a tough day or an impossible month, remind yourself that it’s better to do it quickly or poorly than to avoid it altogether. It’s better to brush your teeth in a rush than not at all. It’s better to stretch for two minutes after a workout than not at all. It’s better to read one page than no pages at all. You don’t have to be perfect to get something done, which leads to my next trickle-down therapy tip.
There are more than two choices of being perfect or not at all. It’s okay to do some things half-assed (like we spoke about brushing our teeth) or in between (where you do what you can with the time you’ve got). Perfectionism is a hard habit to break, but starting small can be the catalyst you need to take your life back from having to get an A+ or a failing grade.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed (which who isn’t?), it’s always a good idea to remind yourself that the things in your life do not define who you are as a person. A messy kitchen and unwashed dishes do not mean that you are a bad mom, disorganized person or failing at being an adult. It means that you are human. So take a deep breath and repeat those words to yourself: My house is a mess, I am not a mess.
As someone who fiercely feels anger above most other emotions, I can attest that this statement is true. The more anger you let into your life, the more likely you will be the one who suffers over the person or item that is bringing you that feeling.
You are allowed just to exist. Just be. Rest is a productive part of your day. Giving yourself time to recharge and disconnect will only make you better at your job and better at being a partner or parent. You deserve downtime.
One therapist recommended that clients challenge their negative thoughts by assigning a percentage of how much they agree with that notion. For example: if you make a mistake at work, you will be fired. In reality, most mistakes we make are not fireable offences. So, we’d assign that belief with 5% truth.
When we look back at moments of weakness or times of struggle, we often consider the “what-ifs.” For example, we say things like: “I should have done ____ sooner” or “if only I had left five minutes earlier.” However, we cannot change the past. If you could have done those things, you would have. Maybe you only had specific coping strategies back then, you were balancing multiple jobs, or perhaps you just weren’t in the right headspace to manage whatever challenge you were facing. You are a different person now, with various tools.
If you are a people-pleasure or lack boundaries in your life, remind yourself that if you don’t ask, you are doing a disservice to the people in your life by not giving them a chance to say yes or no. You’re choosing them. Many people want to help, just like you like to help them in times of need. Give them the chance they give you.
Trickle-down therapy isn’t the perfect replacement for visiting a professional and getting the one-on-one guidance that can truly make your life more of what you need it to be. Still, there is nothing wrong with sharing helpful life advice if it means that more people feel seen, heard and most importantly — less alone.
You’re not the only one struggling, not the only people-pleaser, not the only perfectionist. We all have our battles, but they are not only ours alone. So if you’d like to share some of the best lessons you’ve learned from your therapist or mental health professional below in the comment section, please do!
Oh no, you missed the live webinar! But, good news: Mixed Up Money is pleased to share a resource for anyone planning for a future child or family.
Mixed Up Money is pleased to share a free resource for anyone looking to cut back on non-essential spending. My most-requested product is these monthly calendars to share on your Instagram story, use as a phone background, or print off to track your spending habits.