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As the coronavirus pandemic grips the world, millions of American citizens are going to face untold financial pressure in the coming weeks and moths, whether it is from unexpected medical costs, losing their income or seeing their investment and retirement savings plummet through the floor.
If you are struggling financially, here are some steps that you can take now to reduce the stress and anxiety during the coronavirus pandemic.
As hard as it is, the first thing you need to do is accept the situation. We would all like to wave a magic wand and make the crisis disappear, but that isn’t possible.
A lot of the anxiety and stress stems from the uncertainty. No one knows how long it is going to go for, and it is stopping us from making plans. When faced with the unknown, we are often crippled with fear and worry.
The first step to overcoming that worry is accepting that life for everyone is going to be very different for a while and focusing on the tasks that you can control.
Related: Coronavirus: How To Prepare
Identify what triggers you emotionally and how you respond to them. Perhaps when you are worried, you turn to Amazon and shop your stress away. Maybe you panic and do things like sell some of your investments. Whatever is your trigger point, do not let your emotions take over.
It is absolutely fine to distance yourself from distressing news, as long as you are staying informed. Pick a news channel that you trust and stick with it, only watching the necessary updates. Limit your exposure to social media, especially as that can be full of scaremongering and false news.
However, it is important to keep up to date with what your banks, creditors, employer, local government, etc., are doing in response to the virus. This saves you worrying about issues and questions such as ‘will senior citizens get the stimulus package?’
Mental health can be really pushed to the limit in times of crisis, so make it a priority. Many therapists and counselors are moving to online sessions to avoid social contact, but it is important to keep to the appointments as far as possible. You should also consider methods of self-care, whether that is going for a walk (while obviously maintaining social distancing) or taking a long, hot bath. You can’t come up with plans and deal with problems if you are running on empty.
One of the positive things about a crisis such as this is that it often brings communities together. If you are really struggling, do not be afraid to reach out to them. You can pay back any help you get by offering assistance to your high-risk neighbors, so they do not need to be outside and only stock up on the supplies you absolutely need. When you are in a better financial situation yourself, you can donate to your local food bank.
We do not know how long this pandemic is going to go on for, so finding ways to cope now are important to give you the strength to make it through.
How are you dealing with your own stress and anxiety during the coronavirus pandemic? Let us know in the comments and how we can support you!
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