I’ve received some very thoughtful questions recently, and I’ve collected my thoughts for three of them here. I hope my answers are helpful. As always, please send any questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. How do you reset when you’re feeling overwhelmed?
When I feel overwhelmed, I try to carve out time alone. I avoid talking to people, and I find a quiet space to decompress from all the information and thoughts swirling in my brain. Nature is a great tonic for anxiety for me, and so I often walk Franco around our neighborhood, or if I need to be inside, I open a window and try to focus on the sounds of nature. Sometimes, visual input can get to be too much for me, so I’ll close my eyes and put on some music to take me away from the thoughts in my head. I also firmly believe in the power of a good night’s sleep, so I go to bed as early as possible and usually find that things feel better in the morning.
2. How do you suggest building financial literacy, particularly as a woman?
Find someone who is knowledgeable, empathetic, and eager to teach. You could ask those you trust who they use as financial advisors, and meet with those people. I also suggest going to your bank, no matter how small your savings account, and asking to meet and learn from one of the advisors there. Community colleges are another great resource, and I think everyone could benefit from taking a financial planning course. I also know many young people who learn financial tips from social media accounts. The content there is broken up into easily-digested chunks. Financial literacy is so important, and developing that literacy takes work and effort. It is worth it!
3. How do you suggest creating new friendships and moving away from ones that have expired?
There have been times in my life when I’ve needed to let some friendships expire and seek new ones. I remember talking to Momma about these situations, and she gave me good advice: surround yourself with positive people. If you feel like a relationship is draining or you’re not learning or laughing as much, it’s okay to let it fade and move on.
I’ve found friends through common interests and routines, like church, my neighborhood, and volunteer work. I believe that we need to be responsible for our own search for happiness, and so if I feel a spark of friendship with someone, I ask for their phone number and actually do reach out. I just did this after a wedding in Wilmington, NC, and I’m excited to have a new friend in Virginia as a result!
Also, it’s great to have friends in the same stage of life as yourself, but some of my favorite friendships are with those who are decades older or younger than me. Think outside of the box in terms of who might become a friend, and make the first friendly move! It’s almost always enthusiastically received, and if not, that’s okay…there are lots of people in the world!