Covid-19 has impacted basically every aspect of our lives causing some serious trauma and anxiety for many of us. In fact, it may be hitting your mind as hard as it’s hitting your pockets. We’ll be taking a look at what to do if Covid-19 is affecting your mental health and finances.
How to fix your finances
If you’re based in the UK, which has been hit hard by the virus – with numbers still climbing, you could be eligible for a relief grant from the government. Self-employed workers can apply for aid of up to 80% of their monthly profits, which will help them cope with the financial burden of the virus.
The money, up to a max of £2,500 per month, will be paid in one lump sum. However, you’ll have to be cautious up until then.
Rishi Sunak spoke to the self-employed: “You have not been forgotten.”
Wage subsidies for salaried workers (also up to 80%) were announced by the government earlier in March.
Still, there are things you can do in the meantime. Let’s look at some tips to help you cope with sudden financial loss:
- Plan a budget and stick to it: Seriously, this can help so much. If you’re dealing with a limited amount of money, budget for each potential cost. The 50/30/20 rule is a simple way to budget. 50% should go on your needs – so rent and groceries, 30% should go on your wants, and 20% should go to saving or paying off debt. With that being said, your pursestrings may be tighter than usual, and you will likely have to allocate more of your budget from your wants, and savings, to your needs.
- Change your mindset: Sudden financial loss will require a shift in your mindset. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to maintain the same lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll be any worse off for it. Figure out the things that make you happy, without having to spend unnecessary cash.
- Look for additional sources of income: So your main gig might have gone out the window, but you still have the skills that make you a valuable employee. Check out freelance gigs on sites like Upwork, PeoplePerHour, or WorkSome. There are still loads of options out there.
How To Cope With Mental Health
Aside from the physical threat that Covid-19 offers, it’s also impacting many people’s mental health quite severely. Being isolated from friends and family certainly doesn’t help, nor does the fact that many people are facing job insecurity. If you’re struggling, know that you’re not alone. Still, here are some ways to get your mental health back on track:
- Reach out: Reaching out doesn’t have to mean one particular thing. Still, it’s important to talk about your fears and anxieties. This is an incredibly stressful time, and mental health is inevitably going to take a beating. Talking to a loved one, writing in a journal, or reaching out online can all be effective ways of finding comfort.
- Do something you love everyday: Looking at the same four walls day in and day out can get you down. If at all possible, try and get out of the house for a short (isolated) walk. If not, try and do something that you really enjoy each day – just for the hell of it.
- If things get bad, ask for help: If things start to get really bad and you feel like you might be in danger, please ask for help. There are loads of helplines and support groups that can assist, or point you in the right direction when it comes to getting real-world help. No Panic is ideal for those with a panic disorder and OCD, Samaritans is for anyone experiencing emotional distress, and the Mental Health Foundation is another great umbrella resource.
Tackling what to do if Covid-19 is affecting your mental health and finances is a great start, but ultimately you’ll want to take all of the necessary steps to protect yourself and your loved ones. This is hardly an exhaustive resource. Be kind to yourself, take it easy and, most importantly, stay safe. And hey, we’re here for you! Check into our Telegram chat for some friendly banter and a chuckle.
Mental Health And Financial Wellbeing Go Hand In Hand
The nature of the capitalist society that we live in means that mental health and financial wellbeing often go hand in hand. That shouldn’t be the case – but undue stress as a result of financial problems really takes its toll. We’ve taken a look at what to do if Covid-19 is affecting your mental health and finances, and it’s really crucial that you prioritize yourself right now. Stay safe, stay indoors, and look after yourself and your loved ones.