I remember it well – the mood swings, the hot flashes. One day I am elated with life, enjoying every moment. The following day could find me on the verge of biting a loved one’s head off, or in tears because my dinner didn’t turn out as expected.

Hormonal Swings

Reading the weather report, I would dress appropriately for the day ahead. Then my internal thermometer would change on a dime, finding me overdressed for a bitterly cold ski day.

I bask in the warmth of the good days, knowing that the feel good hormones – dopamine and oxytocin –are released and my other hormones (what are left of them) are in balance.

I also need to manage my way through the tough stuff – keeping my eye on the light at the end of the tunnel, knowing that “this too, shall pass.”

The same can be said of the current markets. They are called “market cycles” for a reason. Politics, health scares – the markets are once again experiencing hormonal swings.

We can make wise decisions to manage and muddle through when we are in the midst of uncertainty, uncomfortableness, and unchartered territory – with our anatomical changes or our monetary mindsets.

Many of the same techniques we use to reconcile with our changing physical season of life can be applied to our evolving financial environment. When “the change” is upon us, consider these four ways to handle it:

Take a Deep Breath

In through your nose, out through your mouth. Focus on what is on the other side. Keep an eye on your authentic financial identity and stay true to the course of your unique version of true wealth. You want to stay pro-active and not reactive.

Look at your assets from a holistic perspective, not just your investment accounts. Do you have equity in your home? Do you have savings accounts? Are you taking income from Social Security or from a pension?

Focus on gratitude for what you do have – from character assets to your financial assets. A daily gratitude journal can shift your perspective on what is going on in the world around you.

Manage the Mental Fog

Challenge your brain and learn something new about your monetary life. It may be around your changing identity as you move from the work world to this new season of life or experienced other life transitions.

You could learn about cash flow, investments, or economics. You could look into the field of behavioral economics which deals with how our brains work on money (fascinating stuff).

Start a book club and discuss monthly financial topics. How about a “women who wine” group (an oxymoron). Gather some friends, pour a glass, and create a positive, supportive environment to talk about money.

Avoid the Triggers

For me, physically, I know that alcohol now triggers my migraines – so I stay away from it (bummer). What triggers do you need to stay away from when it comes to the markets?

It won’t be easy. Turn off the barrage of news. You want to make informed decisions, but if anxiety starts creeping in, turn it off. Stick to your plan.

Don’t have a plan? Make one! You will be empowered by understanding where you are and what your options are moving forward in creating a life of no regrets.

Talk to your advisor and revisit your distribution strategy as well as your portfolio. Recognize when you are tired, stressed, hungry, angry. Any of these emotions can trigger poor financial decisions.

Be Intentional

We have choices about what we put into our body and how we keep it engaged and active – doing the best we can with what we have. We have choices with how we use our money so choose wisely.

Review your spending plan. Be discerning about spending on a “soul need” and avoid succumbing to an “ego desire.” Tell your money where to go instead of asking where it went.

In your portfolios, make sure you own companies that align with your principles and stay away from investments that don’t. With this monetary mindfulness, you will more likely stay the course.

It is always easier to prepare than repair. I know that my constitution is changing. I know that market cycles are a part of my comprehensive financial life.

The more I can anticipate the changes I will experience and skillfully tap into the resources available to me (physically, relationally, emotionally, spiritually, financially), the better I can manage my expectations and weather the storms.

I will know what I can control and do something. With what is outside of my control, I will hold lightly so that it will not weigh my mind and spirit down.

How do the market cycles affect you – financially, spiritually, emotionally and relationally? What do you do to keep steady? Please share your thoughts with our community!

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