With the growing Coronavirus pandemic putting stress on the global markets, many people are dealing with a level of anxiety that they’ve never experienced before. Millions of people are stuck at home, unable to work or socialize with friends and family. Others are worried that their small businesses may not be able to pay their employees. The stress of it all could lead to a global mental health crisis, adding even more stress to an already challenging situation.
That said, giving in to your anxiety will not help anyone. In fact, it will just make the situation worse for you and your loved ones. Instead, here are a few tips to help you deal with your Coronavirus-based anxiety and get through this crisis:
Open Your Mind to Uncertainty
Our minds naturally work to find answers to questions. When we can’t find these answers, it can cause anxiety, especially if the questions are really important for our day-to-day life.
Here are just a few examples:
Will I catch Coronavirus if I leave the house? Will I be able to provide for my family if I get sick? Will my retirement savings recover from this crisis?
When we can’t find these answers, we are only left with uncertainty. Unfortunately, in times like these, uncertainty is inevitable. This is why it is so important to stop resisting uncertainty. If you can actively think about uncertainty as a fact of life, it starts to lose its power.
Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst
It might be hard to stay hopeful during the COVID-19 crisis, but it is vital for maintaining your mental health and reducing your anxiety. That said, you shouldn’t let your hope blind you to reality. You have to assume that things could get worse, while also keeping your mind focused on the positives.
There are various ways to prepare for the worst, especially in terms of your finances. If your income has been reduced as a result of Coronavirus lockdowns, you can look for ways to make income from home. Alternatively, if you’re worried about your retirement savings, consider moving some of your retirement funds into asset classes that are less reliant on unstable markets.
I am an optimist at heart and have a strong conviction that brighter days are ahead of us. We will get through this and potentially be better for it. That being said, it won’t hurt to do some basic things to ease the challenges in the short-term. A couple of examples here are to increase your food pantry and keep a little bit of extra cash on hand.
Find Ways to Socialize in Isolation
A common cause of anxiety during COVID-19 is “cabin fever.” And don’t worry; it’s not just you. Take solace in the fact that you’re not alone and millions (if not billions) of people are feeling the stress of being stuck in the house all day.
However, self-isolation and social distancing don’t require you to completely shut yourself off from other people. Maintaining a social life is more important than ever. So, make a video call with friends or family a few times a week (or even every day). It will help you (and the person on the other end) feel much better to see a friendly face.
Strike a Balance Between Productivity and Fun
Some people deal with stress by throwing themselves into their work; others do better when they have a fun distraction. In either case, people need to have activities to focus on so that they don’t spend their time worrying about the things they can’t change. For most people, entertainment and productivity are both necessary to keep the mind focused and free of stress.
So, if you want to get through the Coronavirus pandemic with your sanity (and finances) intact, try to strike a balance between productivity and fun. If possible, work for a few hours, do some chores around the house, study a foreign language, or do any activity that makes you feel productive. Then, relax and watch a movie, play with your pet, play a board game with someone in your home, or do anything that entertains you.
Don’t Overwhelm Yourself With Information
If you’re like most people, you’re checking the Internet and news channels on a daily basis to learn about what’s going on in the outside world. It’s a scary time and information can make us feel more powerful and able to deal with new challenges. While this is mostly true, too much information can be a bad thing.
For example, if you wake up and immediately check your phone to see Coronavirus news, that’s not going to help your anxiety for the rest of the day. So, try to ingest news in small amounts throughout the week. Don’t stay glued to your phone or your television. You’ll feel much more relaxed if you set a strict limit on your news intake.
Focus On What You Can Control
The common theme here is that in the face of uncertainty, it will make it more difficult on you if you focus on the uncertainty. Focusing on what you can control will bring more peace and more control into your world.
If you could benefit from a financial coach that can help you find balance and ease some of the anxiety in your financial life, we should talk! Click here to schedule a 30-minute (virtual) conversation today! We can discuss your unique situation so that you can learn more about Waller Financial and determine if we’re a good match.