Today, countries around the world are facing COVID-19. But another pandemic lurks underneath and is less talked about: the epidemic of financial stress. The first one affects our lives, especially our health. And the second one is busy depleting our life savings however well we learn to manage our accounts. Although financial stress may be spreading as a by-product of the coronavirus pandemic, it has assumed massive proportions over time.
Financial stress has gained a life of its own with the closure of businesses, unemployment, and income loss. Needless to say, learning to cope with financial stress while learning to manage your accounts at such a critical time is important for your mental health. So we’ve put together some key tips.
1. Manage your mental health to deal with financial stress
For the average person, financial stress is unavoidable right now. Sudden unemployment, a disruption in routine, uncertainty about the future, learning to manage your accounts are root causes of intense financial anxiety. And many of us feel there is no way out. It’s essential, then, to focus on your mental health during this stressful time.
Take good care of yourself
This begins with eating healthy food and following a good sleeping pattern. A healthy mind and body will be your best defense. Because it will give you the energy to deal with financial stress you might face right now. Health, they say, is wealth and is the best place to start.
Practice healthy coping skills to deal with financial stress
With lockdowns and physical distancing, it may not be possible to get to the gym or meet friends over coffee. So it’s time to change your go-to coping strategy and find suitable alternatives. You can experiment with other coping methods like video meetings with friends, using meditation apps, or spending more time in nature.
Be physically active
In the current scenario, walking, strength training, and yoga are great ways to stay physically active. You’ll find lots of fitness trainers are running online classes to help you get in a great home workout. So take advantage of this to keep financial stress at bay.
Use your support system
Share your financial stress with a trusted family member or friends if you feel that it’s getting overwhelming. Talking to your loved ones will lower your stress levels and make you feel less isolated. They could also find new perspectives on your situation or ways to get your financial anxiety under control.
2. Prioritize your payments
As you need to spend cautiously right now, it’s important to manage your accounts and prioritize your bills. Especially those requiring immediate attention to deal with the financial stress.
As a first step, take care of your basic needs as a priority, as you may not have enough to make all payments. If you need to pay rent, talk with your landlord to see whether they’re okay with you deferring the amount until you get back on track with your income. For credit card payments or home loan installments, talk to your bank. They may allow a delay in installments without the accrual of interest or late fees.
Depending on your location, government relief measures often allow banks and financial institutions to offer assistance. There could be options where you can pay late, pay less, or forego interest and late fees.
3. Look for alternative sources of income
No one is sure how long this pandemic will last. So it makes sense to look for other income sources to supplement your earnings. Check out online projects where you can use your skills to earn extra money to deal with the financial stress.
4. Get a loan for emergencies that cause financial stress
If your savings are depleting and your emergency fund is empty, consider applying for a loan. You can check with private online lenders about whether they can offer you a personal loan, small business loan, or a line of credit at favorable terms to help you deal with the financial stress.
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