Many of us are feeling the effects of a crisis right now. And, for most of us, that includes our finances. Some people have reduced hours, some are out of work entirely. Here are some 4 ways to cope with crisis-related financial stress.
4 Strategies to Cope with Crisis-Related Financial Stress
1. Create an Emergency Budget
With so many uncertainties in the upcoming months, it is a good idea to take a look at your finances and what expenses are deemed necessary. If you already have a budget, take a look at what all can be reduced or eliminated entirely to leave you with more income. It may be tempting to put your head in the sand, but it is essential to plan ahead as much as possible.
2. Look for Resources to Ease Financial Burdens
This is especially if your income has been affected. There are many programs in place that weren’t available to people prior to the current crisis. Federal student loans are offering special deferment, unemployment criteria has been modified, and many local groups are offering relief and charity to certain groups (i.e. restaurant workers).
3. Don’t Dwell on What You Can’t Control
Once you have done everything you can to prepare your finances for the upcoming months of a crisis, it is important not to focus on things you have no control over. This includes the uncertainty of the future. Practice healthy coping mechanisms such as talking to your spouse/friends, journaling, mediation, or an artistic outlet. Also, get moving. Exercise is proven to improve your mental health. Some brands like Orange Theory are offering free stay-at-home workouts.
Additionally, while it’s important to stay informed, be sure to take breaks from the news and social media.
4. Seek Help If You Need It
If the distress of a crisis is impacting your mental health, be sure to reach out for help. You can contact your doctor, counselor, or clergyman. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has a helpline that provides 24/7 crisis counseling: 1-800-985-5990.
If you need help prioritizing your expenses and establishing an emergency budget, contact a National Foundation for Credit Counseling accredited agency, like Apprisen.