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6 Ways to Manage Your Financial Anxiety Through COVID-19

April 21, 2020

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Millions of Canadians have found themselves out of work as a result of COVID-19 and with that, comes an added layer of anxiety related to the everyday financial stressors that many people were facing prior to COVID-19 and the loss of their job(s). 

Adding to the stress right now, is the fact that there aren’t many answers about when this crisis will end, what will happen to jobs in the future, or what sort of assistance will be available to unemployed and under-employed workers.

So, it comes as no surprise to us that our friends, families, neighbours and clients have all been speaking to us about the stress they’re feeling brought on by the pandemic. The majority of people we’ve talked to say they are most worried about how to pay for necessities, such as food and rent, and not knowing where they’ll turn when the funds run out.

If you’re out of a job and overwhelmed with feelings of anxiety, frustration, despair and hopelessness, we can assure you of one thing – you are not alone. And fortunately, there are some things you can do to take care of both your financial situation and your mental health, so you can make the best decisions for you and your family during this difficult time.

1. Prioritize Your Mental and Physical Health

Most things right now are beyond our control, so it helps to focus on the things in our lives that are in our control and will help us stay healthy. Here are a few, simple things you can do to help you adjust:

  • Spend time preparing healthy food.
  • Take some deep breaths.
  • Get outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.
  • Stay active with walks, hikes and bike rides (while maintaining your social distance of course).
  • There are all kinds of free apps and videos on YouTube.
  • Connect with friends and loved ones by video chat.

It’s important that you not distract yourself with food, alcohol or TV to avoid the uncomfortable feelings we’re all faced with right now.

It’s also important to look at what you can do now, in the present, to help alleviate some of the financial anxiety you’re feeling. For example, if your income has been impacted in any way by COVID-19, you might qualify for the income support benefits provided by the Government. 

2. Share How You’re Feeling  

Whether you’re feeling stressed, sad, angry, scared, frustrated, confused or a mixture off all of those feelings – we encourage you to share your troubles and concerns with someone that you trust. Don’t keep your feelings bottled up inside. It’s so much healthier for you to acknowledge these feelings and process them with friends and family. It will help lighten the anxiety and can also open the conversation up to ideas and next best steps for you to take to improve your situation.

3. Separate Your Self-Worth From Your Net-Worth

Your worthiness does not rely on how much money you have in the bank or how much debt you’ve paid off. Tying the two together can be damaging way beyond just your bank account. It can lead to shame, hopelessness and depression. So many people are dealing with financial problems right now, it’s beyond our control in this case and being laid off or having a dwindling or a negative balance in the bank does not determine our worth.

4. Keep Up to Date With Reliable Information

there’s a lot of misinformation floating around as well. We suggest finding one reliable news source that focuses on what the provincial and federal governments are doing to help Canadians and essential medical information.

We have a COVID-19 Resource Section available on our website where you can learn about Canada’s Economic Response Plan and all of the up to date support available for individuals and businesses.

5. Be Cautious of Information Overload 

While it’s important that you stay informed, it’s equally as important to take breaks from the news. There is only so much your brain can healthily digest at any given time. Check your trusted source every morning and again in the evening so that you don’t miss an important update, but that’s it. We also recommend that you avoid turning to social media as it tends to evoke panic and spread misinformation. Instead, spend time reading the good news stories to balance out the bad!

6. Don’t Worry About Your Credit Rating

There’s no need to worry about your credit rating taking a hit with some missed payments or unique arrangements with your creditors. Defaulting on your payments because you didn’t reach out for help will have a much worse effect. Your credit rating will recover once you resume a former level of income and catch up on your payments.

When it comes to surviving a financial crisis, there is no shame in asking for help, leaning on those you trust and helping others as best you can. We are all in this together.

We understand that for some, further action needs to be taken to help get through these challenging times. The Government of Canada has declared Licensed Insolvency Trustees an essential service in BC, we’re here if you’d like to discuss further debt-relief options. You can give us a call at 1-888-751-2668 or visit our website to book a free initial consultation.

 



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