Foolproof Ways to Ease
Your Financial Stress During COVID-19
With so many livelihoods lost and businesses folding, the pandemic has been most challenging on the finances of many. If you’re going through financial difficulties, you’re not alone. Even so, it’s no less easy to cope with financial stress. However, the fact is that there are foolproof ways you can ease your anxiety in the pandemic and beyond, most of which will entail making key lifestyle changes. Consider the following.
Pull up your financial bootstraps.
With almost everyone going through one financial difficulty or another these days, financial literacy is more important than ever. There is really no better time to step up your financial planning efforts than now. Start by going back to the basics and learning the nitty-gritty of solidifying your financial footing — or at the very least, improving it at present.
You can then apply this knowledge to your specific circumstances. The key is to focus on what you can control. Perhaps you have little to no savings and are unable to meet your bills or debt. It can be a good idea to contact your creditors right away because chances are, they will be willing to negotiate a payment schedule, or better yet, offer assistance.
And speaking of assistance, know that, as dire as the situation might seem at the moment, there’s help to be found when you look for it. In fact, both the government and financial sector have stepped up to provide financial help to those who need it, so it can be worth taking the time to see what you might be eligible for.
Time to tighten the proverbial belt.
Still, the best way to alleviate your financial stress now and always is to take real action. It’s as good a time as any to create a budget. Start by confronting your expenses. Write them down and categorize them into fixed and flexible. While this sounds like something that could increase your anxiety, you may just find having a more accurate picture of your financial situation helpful.
From there, you can work on cutting expenses where possible. Chances are, you can do without many of the items in your ‘flexible’ column for the time being. For instance, you may be paying for a gym membership that you rarely use these days because of social distancing concerns. It’s only wise to suspend your membership and opt to use free online fitness videos and work out at home.
It goes without saying that now is also not the time for retail therapy. It may seem like a great stress-reliever, but the fact is, the emotional boost it provides is often short-lived. Also, you may only end up even more stressed when you realize that your emotional spending has endangered your budget further.
Keep calm and carry on.
Finally, you will find that you’re best letting go of the things you can’t control (such as the economy) and focusing on taking better care of yourself. If left unchecked, financial stress could actually affect your physical and mental health, which is why there is a need to up your self-care at a time like this.
Case in point, a cluttered and messy home has been known to cause anxiety and negative thoughts, which can exacerbate your financial worries. Turn your home into a calming space by throwing out any items you no longer need or use, deep cleaning, and thoroughly scrubbing your windows to allow more natural light into your home.
Also, if you’re looking for peace during this troubling time, the Christian Counselors Directory can connect you with a faith-based mental health professional so that you can effectively work through your issues.
This, too, shall pass—and yes, this applies to the pandemic and the difficulties that come with it. By making the necessary changes—and without letting financial stress get the better of you, at that—you can expect to come out on the other side unscathed and maybe even more financially healthy than when it all started. How’s that for something to look forward to?
-- Britanny Fisher