COVID-9 pandemic has upended our lives. We are currently grappling with emotions like fear, stress and anxiety that are making our brain go into overdrive.
If you’ve been feeling angry, frustrated, anxious, or downright confused about how coronavirus outbreak is going to affect your life, emotionally and financially, know that you’re not alone-we are all in this together. So take a deep breath and follow these handy strategies to improve your emotional and financial well-being:
For Your Emotional Well-Being:
1. Accept the Current Situation.
Anxiety usually originates from not knowing what will happen or how different things are going to be post-coronavirus pandemic. Accept that life is not going to be the same. And accepting that reality is the first step to overcoming anxiety. With this clarity in mind, you would be able to focus on tasks that are in your control.
2. Cut Back on the News and Social Media Exposure.
Don’t stay glued to the TV, watching the upsetting news all the time. Pick one channel you trust to stay informed and updated on what your government, employer, banks and creditors are doing in response to the virus. Also, limit your social media exposure.
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3. Prioritize Mental Health Care.
While being quarantined in your home, do the things you normally would do for your mental health: work out, eat right, sleep right, and limit alcohol and caffeine intake. Practice deep breathing or meditation to alleviate stress and anxiety.
4. Stay Connected with Your Family and Friends.
Keeping in touch with your family and friends fosters a sense of normality. The people you love also are your valuable outlets to your frustration and fears. You can stay connected with them without exposing yourself to the risk of getting the virus through texts, phone calls, and video calls.
For Your Financial Well-Being:
1. Develop a Budget Based on the Current Situation.
In times like this, you may not experience an increase in income any time sooner, so the next obvious step is to reduce your cost and expenses. It may be a good idea to apply for a personal line of credit at a low-interest rate for your emergency expenses.
2. Don’t Sell Investments Out of Fear.
The stock market has dropped like a rock. If you own stocks, it can be extremely stressful to watch the value of your portfolio evaporate by tens or even hundreds of thousands. However, the one thing that you should not do now is panic-sell your stocks.
As long as your immediate financial needs are met, selling stocks after a massive market drop is the worst thing you can do to your long-term financial goals. So, just stay invested for the long run. Take comfort in knowing that it isn’t the first time the market has dropped this much, and it certainly won’t be the last.
3. Don’t Invest If You Don’t Have Disposable Income.
Although it’s the best time to invest in stocks, if you don’t have disposable income, you should not be going on a stock-buying spree. We don’t know when things will recover, so, don’t gamble with the stock market.
4. Take Advantage of Low Interest Rates
The interest rates have dropped massively because of the coronavirus outbreak, resulting in some of the lowest borrowing costs in history. If you need to borrow money, this is the right time to take advantage of this downtrend in interest rates and apply for personal loans, home loans or even a debt consolidation loan. Your ability to recover from this crisis is important.
Follow these tips to maintain your mental and financial stability. While at it, stay inside and wash your hands frequently. Keep your immune system healthy enough to keep stress, anxiety, and coronavirus at bay. By focusing on the important things that are in your control, you are already working on the recovery process. Take care!
Shiv Nanda is a financial analyst who currently lives in Bangalore (refusing to acknowledge the name change) and works with MoneyTap, India’s first app-based credit-line. Shiv is a true finance geek, and his friends love that. They always rely on him for advice on their investment choices, budgeting skills, personal financial matters, and when they want to get a loan.