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Managing Financial-Stress During COVID-19

"If you’re like me, apart from your health and the health of your loved ones, the biggest thing on your mind right now is your financial stability! Here are 8 tips for managing financial stress.

The key is to balance being proactive in changing the situation, and calming the thoughts that are contributing to your stress.

Let’s start by taking a "problem-focused" approach that centers around the problem and entailes physically doing something to change it. Here are some examples:

  • Research State and Federal benefits that are or may soon be available. Here are some good websites to get you started:
    DOL.gov (Dept. of Labor)
    SBA.gov (Small Business Admin.)
  • Do things that will benefit you or your business now or later. (e.g., Establish a social media presence; update your resume; create a financial spreadsheet, business plan, or networking list)
  • Improve the management of current bills. Contact each company and inquire about options (e.g., grace periods, skipping a month, smaller payment).
  • Negotiate with creditors. Learn what your options are by picking up the phone or chatting online.

Once you're done being proactive to change the situation, use an "Emotion-Focused" approach which centers around the emotion and often requires you to change your thinking. Here are some tips:

  • Accept what you can't control. Develop your own acceptance statement (e.g., “everything happens for a reason,” “This too shall pass”). Acceptance doesn’t mean that we agree with the situation or give up. It simply means that we acknowledge reality and what we cannot change..
  • Re-frame - It's not about what happened, it's about how we choose to view it. By changing the way you look at something you can change how you experience it.
  • Meditate - The benefits of meditation are many and well supported by research. Getting started is easy, there are many free apps and YouTube videos, as well as online info."

This blog was written by one of our licensed psychotherapists, Dr. Richard Taborga, PsyD, LMHC.
March 25, 2020

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