With the President announcing a nationwide state of emergency, there is no doubt that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is having a major impact on our country. Schools, events and businesses have closed across the country, impacting millions of people where they feel it the most, their wallets.
While more and more Americans are living in fear over catching or carrying the virus, millions also are adding financial stress as a leading anxiety as they are losing work, paid gigs, or require childcare. While health is, of course, the primary concern, it is also crucial that the additional financial stress is recognized and addressed.
The government is working on ways to alleviate the financial burden that will be experienced by millions of Americans due to the Corona Virus, however, there are key actions individuals do for themselves to help deal with their financial anxiety.
Acknowledge what you are feeling and move on. The sooner you can get into acceptance, as difficult as it may seem, will make everything else easier. Accepting that we live in a new reality will help you start taking the steps to help yourself. It is a mental pivot that will disengage the emotional part of your brain, which is not helpful in moments like these. Your limbic brain, which is your emotional processing center, is sending out stress alarms to the rest of your mind and body most likely causing a fight, flight or freeze reaction. This is our primal caveman response to stress and keeps us stuck and suffering in anxiety. Acceptance helps you externalize the problem, which allows you to discover the relevant part of your fear. Once you accept the state of the world, you will be able to clearly see how it affects you and by focusing on those items, you will be able to make plans and decisions.
- Be Present
Our regrets live in the past, our fears and worries live in the future. In times of high stress staying present in the here and now is the antidote to the ruminating thoughts and negative emotions that are driving the fear. Use mindfulness to scan your body for stress and tension in the moments you are feeling it. This will help you to realize that you are physically safe, and it will help block out the outside chatter that is often amplifying fear, insecurity, and anxiety. Staying present will also provide the mental edge to help yourself and your loved ones when the opportunity presents itself.
- Spiritual Solution
When times are tough, turning to a spiritual answer can help provide context and give meaning to your struggle. The context of a higher purpose can right-size your current worries. Human beings make meaning of everything we encounter and this current situation with the Coronavirus is no different. This is a time of struggle for everyone. Struggle can often be unmotivating and depressing, but if you seek an uplifting spiritual solution you will find uplifting and even inspiring moments despite the seeming chaos of our current world.
“Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles. It takes away today’s peace.” ― Randy Armstrong