Personal finance is a different journey from one person to the next but one common denominator people have are the challenges they face with it. And with everything that is happening now, mental health is quickly becoming a hurdle for a lot of Americans. The pandemic is still far from over and it has already changed much of the landscape in several industries across the country.
For one, the healthcare system is one of the first industries to take a direct hit when the novel coronavirus came to the country. A lot of healthcare workers were put to the extreme test when droves of people came in infected with Covid19. A lot of them got sick as well taking on the virus for the first time. The National Center for Biotechnology Information even shared that American Hospital Association estimates a financial impact of $202.6 billion in lost revenue.
Hospital beds were also utilized to the limit when infections started multiplying across the country. This prompted the government to issue stay-at-home orders in the past. But times have changed and vaccines have been developed. There are also proven minimum health standards that can help minimize the spread of the virus. But a lot of people are still struggling.
Personal finance is quite difficult when you are one of those that lost their jobs at the height of the pandemic. With a lot of companies shifting to online work and pivoting their operations to adapt to new markets, many workers were lost in the shuffle. If you are a business owner, you could also be struggling to gain back your customers as well. All these can be stressful your mental health can be put to the test.
Mental health struggles
As people were forced to stay inside their homes in the early part of the pandemic, many thought that it was going to be for just a few weeks. But the health crisis persisted and is still now putting many people in hospitals. That stay-at-home order could later become work-from-home for a lot of people. Even if you were lucky to be included in this demographic, the abrupt change can contribute to mental stress.
This is the reason why a lot of people went through severe mental health challenges in the past few months. One of the most common was depression where people thought there was no way out of their situation. Especially when they lose a loved one due to the vires. This can put an unbelievable amount of stress on your mental health.
The anxiety of not knowing what to do next is also a common struggle people have suffered through in the past few months. It is challenging not knowing if you will get a new job or how you will be able to pay for your bills at the end of the month. Some people don’t even have an idea if they will have enough money for groceries the next week.
Mental health challenges and personal finance
If you are having a difficult time mentally, several areas in your life will start to take a backseat and this includes your finances. You will start to find it difficult to think of anything else while you go through your problems. But it does not mean that there is nothing you can do about it. Here are a few things that might be able to help you in your situation.
Focus on one goal at a time
When it comes to personal finance, a lot of people try to multitask as much as they can. This helps them accomplish and possibly reach goals as fast as possible. And this works for some people especially if they are used to it already. Multitasking is a skill you need to develop over a long period of time and requires intense focus. But this might be a tough task if you are going through mental health challenges. Amanet even shares that multitasking could be effective for a short time but stressful when done over a long period of time.
One thing you can do to help you manage your finances better is to focus on one goal at a time. Multitasking can put unnecessary strain and make things a lot more stressful for you. You might not be equipped mentally to take on a lot of different things all at the same time. It will only add to all that you are thinking about.
If you have several credit card payments, debt consolidation might be a good program to help you focus on one single account. This will free up your time and allow you to focus on a single payment. You will be able to monitor your due date better. And it lowers the chance of overlooking due dates and being assessed with huge fines and fees.
You might think that personal finance is simply that, a personal matter that only you should be worrying about. Though it has some truth in it, this should not always be the case. If you are having a hard time managing your finances on your own, you can ask for help. In fact, you need to get help because keeping everything bottled in will only put unnecessary stress on your already fragile mental health.
Getting help from people usually meant talking to the ones closest to you. This would be family and friends and even co-workers if any. Do not be afraid to reach out to finance professionals if you need help. Just as health professionals can also help you when are struggling with mental health. These professionals possess crucial knowledge to help you with your concerns.
Help with your finances can also come from technology especially with apps you can use to help you manage your money better. From budgeting to keeping tabs on your spare change, these apps can even connect to your actual bank accounts. You just have to find the one that works best for you.
Go through it but don’t stay there
If you are sad, angry, depressed, you need to recognize and acknowledge these emotions. The last thing you need is to repress them and tell yourself differently. When you are sad, acknowledge it. If you are hurt or angry, recognize that emotion. Do not bundle it up and find other ways to suppress those feelings. But the idea is to recognize them and then move on.
If you cannot acknowledge the emotions you are feeling, you will have a tough time moving on. The danger in trying to suppress your emotions is you tend to focus on other unhealthy things. Some of which could damage and hurt personal finance. Take retail therapy for example which is now a lot easier to do online.
When you feel down, the first thing that you reach for is your phone and open up shopping apps. You might even have your favorite brand’s online shop bookmarked. The next thing you know, you already paid and waiting for the delivery of the items. It is ok to feel bad but do not linger too much in that feeling or you might be in deeper trouble.
Divide up your steps on a daily basis
Managing personal finance when you have some mental health challenges is not an easy task. One way to help you manage it better is to plan out small steps on a daily basis. Breaking down big goals increases your chances of actually doing them. And it also feels good when you accomplish tasks no matter how small they could be.
If you have a huge credit card bill that is weighing you down, why not work with your lender to check if you can make equal monthly payments. You can also consider debt consolidation to help you make those monthly payments possible. Even better if you can find a 0% card you can use to consolidate your card debt.
Personal finance is already a challenging task and dealing with mental health issues can make it more stressful. But you should not let that stop you from getting your finances in order. Choose to make small improvements every day rather than stressing over big problems and not doing anything about them.