Coping with financial stress during COVID-19
When our economy is hit from worldwide events, this makes life more difficult for many of us. Some of us will be facing redundancy, a reduction in pay, a change of working hours, loss of invested money, the increased cost of living, or difficulty finding a job.
If your business has been financially impacted by COVID-19, see this website for information on the government's economic response package and eligibility.
It's normal and understandable to feel stressed and anxious in difficult situations like these. It can be hard for everyone involved, especially people already stretched to meet the needs of their family/whanau. It’s really important to take care of yourself when things get tough - and don’t feel bad about asking for help when you need it. It’s also important to look out for your family/whanau and friends.
We can make it through hard times by pulling together – using our strengths to do what we can for each other. Our economy has survived many global recessions and the impact of previous natural disasters and pandemics. It can encourage innovation and open up new opportunities and career paths if we remain patient and positive.
Below are some tips on ways to cope with stress and where to go if you need extra support:
- Talk openly about what’s going on for you, with people you trust. It can help you and the people around you to understand what is happening and work out how to deal with it.
- It’s important to look after all aspects of your health. This includes physical health, mental health, spiritual health and the health of your family/whanau.
- Get physically active. It helps to reduce stress and improve your mood. Try walking, swimming, dancing, kapa haka, playing sport or gardening. Learning yoga, tai chi, meditation or breathing exercises can also be effective in reducing stress. Choose something you enjoy and make a plan to do some kind of activity every day.
- You might enjoy this more with a friend or get the whole family/whanau involved.
- Getting a good night’s sleep is important. It’s a good idea to avoid alcohol and recreational drugs, which not only make it harder to manage stress, but also cost money.
Here are some things you can do to help you manage your stress and feel more in control of things again.
Coping with Stress
- Plan time to relax and stay in touch with people you care about.
- Make a plan for how you are going to spend each day.
- Take time to think through hard decisions.
- Work together to set goals and make a clear and realistic budget and plan to get through the situation. You may like to hold a family/whanau meeting to talk about how everyone can contribute.
- Get advice about money. See contact details for budget advice services below.
- You may like to explain your situation to your children. It’s a good idea to do this in a calm and simple way. Explain that it’s no one’s fault – there are lots of families having difficulty at the moment.
- Talk to your children about money. Explain that a certain amount of money comes in regularly and talk about what you normally spend it on. This may help when they ask for things the family cannot afford.
- Think about letting your extended family/whanau know of your situation. They may be able to help with child care, finding a job, a loan or advice on managing money.
- Keep having fun and spending time with family/whanau and friends. There are lots of things you can do and places you can go that are free, or cost just a little.
- Make sure you and your children don’t go without essentials. Spend your money on things like food, rent or mortgage payments, heating, clothes and school costs first.
Looking after your Family
- Financial problems can affect everyone close to you. It’s important to talk to your family/whanau about your situation and how you are dealing with it.
- There may be support available within your community, such as at your local marae, church or youth centre.
- Check in with your family/whanau regularly to see how they are feeling. The most valuable thing you can give your loved ones is time.
- Remember, to be able to take care of your loved ones, you need to make sure you look after yourself.
Money and budget advice services:
- Budgeting services(for help managing your money) 0508 283 438 www.familybudgeting.org.nz.
Or see our Self-Starter challenge: Money Talks - Today
- Sorted (an independent money guide) www.sorted.org.nz
- Career Services (for career and job hunting advice) 0800 222 733, www.careers.govt.nz
- Citizens Advice Bureaux (information and assistance service) 0800 367 222 www.cab.org.nz
- ReStart (for people who have recently been made redundant) 0800 559 000
- Work and Income (for information about job search and income support) 0800 559 000 www.workandincome.govt.nz
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