A lot of Americans are experiencing financial anxiety with the unexpected health crisis gripping the nation. No one was prepared for the virus and how it affected people. It quickly overwhelmed medical facilities all over the world. In the US, states have put out a shelter in place order. This is to try and slow down the rate of infection between Americans.
As a result, numerous business entities have slowed down to a halt. For some, they are able to continue with their operations. These are the ones tagged as essential services. This can be anything from food to water, utilities, and other basic needs. Some companies continue operations with a work from home set-up for their employees. But for the rest, employees are on furlough or worst, let go.
This situation can add to your financial anxiety. There are plenty of uncertainties that this crisis brings. Your finances can be heavily impacted by the economic effects of the virus. You might experience waking up in the middle of the night in cold sweat. Your thoughts are consumed with your financial problems. The payments are coming but your income is severely depleted.
As the government tries to control the growing number of COVID19 cases in the country, it has an adverse effect on your finances. Washington Post shares that over 30 million Americans already lost their jobs, Primarily because you are not able to work, you are worried about due dates. As you go through this challenging part of your life, here are a few things that can help overcome your situation.
One task at a time
Financial anxiety can make you want to forget everything that concerns money matters. You tend to keep statements unread and just put them in a drawer. It can also force you to avoid opening and checking on your bank accounts. Feeling anxious about your finances can also grip you with fear. You suddenly feel the need to stop spending altogether. This begins to manifest negatively with the way you live.
Avoidance is a natural reaction when faced with anxiety in life. Once you succumb to this, it will be difficult to recover. One of the best things to do is try and accomplish one task at a time. You can choose to look at your bank account to see how much of it you can use during this time. The next day, open up one statement. If you are feeling up to it, call your lender to talk about payment options.
The next day, tackle another statement and another lender. You can also begin to look at your budget. This will help you go through your finances. Having a comprehensive budget at this point is crucial to overcoming your anxiety. You need to know what your financial obligations are as against your ability to pay. This will allow you to look for options later on.
Financial anxiety can lead to neglecting self-care
When you feel anxious about your finances, you tend to overlook a lot of areas in your life. One of them is taking care of yourself. You might begin to neglect your personal needs and focus only on your finances. As important as money matters are, you still have to give yourself some care. There are a few things you can do.
For one, make sure you still take a bath every morning. This will not only help you with personal hygiene. It will also give you a mental signal to start your day. You also need to make sure that you eat a healthy breakfast. Getting the right vitamins and nutrients into your body helps you focus and perform better. If possible, get some exercise as well even while at home. This releases endorphins in your body that help produce a positive feeling. This can help you battle money anxiety.
Do not feel guilty when trying to take a little bit of some extra time off. You can hold on to your coffee mug a little longer. You can look out the window for a few minutes. That shower can be a little bit slower. Take time to listen to what your body needs. This will help you prepare in tackling bigger concerns you have including money.
Make a list
One way to help you manage financial anxiety is to create a list. You need to list down what you need to accomplish in terms of your finances. This is one way to keep track and make you more accountable. Trying to mentally remember all the things you need to do can be exhausting. There is why you need to make it a habit to list everything down.
For this to become a habit, you have to be consistent with the action according to the Entrepreneur.. Start with a short list so you do not get overwhelmed easily. Start with what you need to accomplish in the morning. Then the next day, add what you need to do in the afternoon. As the days go by, you can create a longer list. This will help guide you on your daily activities. It can even give you some sense of routine on a daily basis.
There is also a certain sense of fulfillment whenever you cross out an item in your list. It gives you a confidence boost to take on the next item written down. This momentum will be important to help you finish your daily tasks. It gives you the feeling of being productive and can help you get out of a slump. When you are feeling anxious about a certain part of your life, being productive can be a big thing
Create a deadline for your tasks
When you have a goal and you do not put a date to it, it becomes a dream. Putting a specific date to each item on your list makes it more realistic. It becomes an actionable item when your goal is attached to a specific time of completion. Just like how it was in school when teachers assign projects. They always have a date when you need to submit it. Otherwise, no one will take it seriously.
The same holds true especially when you are battling with financial anxiety. You need to have a deadline for your list of things to do. Do you need to call a lender before noon? Do you need to pay your cards in two days? Watering plants before noon? Having a list and attaching a deadline forces you to act on it. It adds a little push but it should not be more than what you can handle. Otherwise, you will only stress out even more than you already are.
Much like how your list should start, you need to take it easy with your due dates as well. Start with something you can accomplish easily. Like watering the plants before lunch time. You then move on to more complex timelines as you get more confident. Take baby steps so you are encouraged rather than disappointed with your schedule.
Cut down on expenses
One thing to help soothe your financial anxiety is identifying areas where you save money. With the pandemic shutting down a lot of businesses, it can dramatically lower down your expenses. This applies whether you are working from home or if you are on furlough. For one, you will see a huge drop in your transportation costs. There will be areas you will naturally save on as well. This can be as small as your morning coffee fix to expensive wardrobe expenses.
You can also naturally save money when you go over your budget. Take a look at recurring expenses on your card. Identify the accounts you can do away with at the moment. Go back to your priorities to understand what is necessary. Food, shelter and even medicines should be on top of the list. Anything other than these should be under review.
Financial anxiety might be common these days since a lot of people have their backs against the wall. Their income is severely impacted while expenses and payments continue to pile up. You just need to take it one step at a time and trust that you will get out of it.