Globally Covid 19 pandemic has pushed millions into unemployment and financial crisis. According to UN labour experts, the economic crisis caused by the Covid pandemic is expected to contribute to global unemployment of more than 200 million people in 2022. In India many people have died by suicide because of losing job, rising debts & loss in business. India’s suicide mortality rate was the highest in the world, reporting about 381 suicides daily in 2019, according to a report by the National Crime Records Bureau. This reveals that even prior to the pandemic Indians were struggling with mental health crises. According to health experts, anxiety, depression and suicide are on the rise after the pandemic so that mental health could be the country’s next crisis. It is a fact that after many months of living with the Covid 19 pandemic, the major factors for suicide are job loss and financial stress. Therefore it is the need of the hour to address the importance of taking care of one’s own mental health and how to cope with financial stress. It is quite common that it could be scary , feeling low or anxious when you are overwhelmed by money problems. Sometimes you feel helpless and overthink when you have lost your job or you struggle with debt or fail to make monthly payments on time. For many people these reasons lead to a high level of anxiety and bad decision making. If you have such feelings, take a pause and think that you are not alone. Many people are going through the same situation especially after Covid 19 pandemic. In fact , lack of money is one of the top reasons for which many people feel stressed and decide to end their life. But realise that ending life is the way of escapism where you leave your dear and near ones in more trouble. There are many ways to handle financial stress. It is good to consult a financial advisor.They can be a great help in getting a handle on debt.
Here are some simple ways to handle your financial stress.
Accept your financial problems: This helps you to remain calm & focussed. Get advice on how to prioritise your debts which helps to decrease the confusions.
Seek help : Usually many people don’t like to disclose their financial problems due to dignity. But it is advisable to talk about your problems with a friend or family member. They may be able to offer support or help you to find a solution. Moreover it will be a stress buster for you.
Keep a financial budget & Identify specific issues : Discuss with your partner and other family members about the monthly budget. Categorise your spendings into needs and wants. Look for ways to trim the wants list. Examine the daily spending habits and cut unnecessary expenses.For most of us credit cards are one of main sources of financial stress. So avoid taking a new credit card. Always keep money for an emergency. Don’t bother about whether it’s a small or big amount. Whatever it is, keep it aside.
Do Debt Snowball method: This method involves paying off the smallest debts first to get them out the way before moving on to bigger ones. It can apply to most kinds of consumer debts. You have to make a list of all the outstanding amounts you owe from smallest to largest. Target the first one to pay off first, putting as much extra money into each payment as you can afford. The others, you pay just the minimum on. When the first debt is settled, then you target the next smallest one for the extra payment treatment.
Stick to your routine: When you are feeling low you can’t eat and sleep properly. This will affect your health badly. So push yourself to your usual routine. Do meditation or some form of physical exercise. This helps to improve your mood. Moreover it helps to make decisions more authentic and practical. Also stay away from alcohol & smoking.
Practice Gratitude: It is really difficult to think about gratitude when we go through hard times. However research in the field of positive psychology has shown that gratitude assists in helping a variety of emotional and physical factors such as improving health, building stronger relationships and dealing with adversity. When one negative thought comes to your mind , you should replace it with two positive thoughts. Count your blessings on a daily basis. Be thankful and grateful for what you have. Your attitude can make a difference in how you feel about your situation.
Last but not least it is always important that you have some type of financial policies. For example, what would you do when you lose your job ? What do you do when you or any of your family members is diagnosed with a serious illness? . No one likes all these things that happen in life, but if we are prepared it’ll definitely bring down the anxiety level. For instance, when you lose your job it won’t be a shock to you , If you have your “lost job policy” . Everyone should keep different plans and policy related to life events so that we can handle the challenging situations without much stress.