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Financial stress and maintaining a healthy mindset – COVID-19

April 6, 2020  |  #Government Policy #Money Management

With strong links between financial health & mental health what steps can you take to protect and minimise the impact of financial stress during COVID-19 and how can we maintain a healthy mindset?

The impacts of the Coronavirus aren’t just affecting our physical health but also the financial health of our country’s economy, businesses and individuals. If you’ve recently lost your job or have been financially impacted by the coronavirus it’s normal to be feeling added financial pressure, stress and anxiety during this time. It’s important to realise you are not alone, Australian Psychology Society reports finances are one of the main causes of stress for Australians and since the outbreak Beyond Blue has recorded 1 in 3 calls are concerns around COVID-19.

With strong links between financial health & mental health what steps can you take to protect and minimise the impact of financial stress during COVID-19 and how can we maintain a healthy mindset?

 

Understand how a financial adviser can support you with your need for financial security. Get in touch.

 

Understand your current position and seek advice where necessary

We understand it can be overwhelming facing the unknown and it can cause a lot of uncertainty and doubt. The hardest part is often knowing where to even start. The most important thing you can do right now is to create a clear path forward.

 

The first step you can take to do this is getting an understanding of your current position:

  • What do you need to live off each week?
  • What can you go without (subscriptions etc)?
  • What liabilities do you have?

You can download our budget planner here and learn more from our simple guide to budgeting.

 

The second step is and to seek help and advice on the areas that concern you or you’re unsure of. The sooner you have an action plan in place the sooner you will have more clarity and feel comfortable about your position.

Seeking help & advice 

  1. If you have found yourself out of work during this time there are many benefit and stimulus payments are now available, you can read more on that here.
  2. If you are unsure of how to manage your investments, cashflow or want to discuss whether possibly deferring your home loan or accessing offset accounts is the best option for you a financial adviser can help you get an understanding of your current situation and what option is right for you.
  3. If you struggling to manage debts, rent, utilities or assistance with accessing available benefits, free financial counselling is available through The National Debt Helpline.

 

 

Some important dos & don’ts to keep in mind during this time: 

  • Don’t believe everything you read of social media
  • Don’t make decisions based on fear, do your research & seek advice first
  • Everyone’s financial position is different don’t think what your friend or parents are doing is necessarily the right decision for you.
  • Do take this time to create a budget, knowledge is power
  • Do research all options when considering deferring a home loan and accessing your super and ensure you read the fine print (click to read more on mortgage options or accessing super)
  • Do seek help and advice from professionals

 

You can read more about the psychology of money here.

 

financial stress main 2

 

Keeping a healthy mindset

During this time of uncertainty keeping a healthy mindset will help you through. It is important to identify the areas you currently can control and trust the advice handed down by our governments and professionals on the things you can’t. Below are some suggestions for maintaining a healthy mindset during the coronavirus outbreak.

 

Practice mindfulness 

Beyond Blue promote practising mindfulness during this time which based around taking care of ourselves and the people around us by taking time to pause, take a break and remaining proactive.

 

Stay connected

One of the best ways you can keep a healthy mindset during isolation and times of uncertainty is to stay connected. Your girl’s movie night might be cancelled but perhaps you could all FaceTime in with a glass of wine. Check-in on your elders, family and friends and ensure they too have the support they need. Discussing finances and mental health can be a difficult conversation to navigate but it’s crucial to remember we are all in the this together.

There are now plenty of low-cost ways you can stay connected from home:

  • Facetime
  • WhatsApp
  • Facebook Messenger

 

Keep busy

Many Australians will find themselves working from home and/or supporting children through their education. This will mean a very full plate. It is important to carve out time for yourself as well. Although you may be trapped inside there are plenty of ways you can still keep busy:

  • Exercise: Gyms may now be closed but many gyms and fitness instructors are offering free online classes you can do from home, you can also find hundreds of fitness classes available on YouTube.
  • Organise: Get on top of those tasks you’ve saved for a rainy day: From decluttering the garage or reorganising the kitchen now is a great time to use this time at home wisely.

 

Remain stimulated 

As tempting as it may be to stay in front of the TV all day, it’s probably not going to do your brain or mood any favours. Especially for those who now have the kiddies at home, finding a way to keep the whole family active and stimulated is key to maintaining a healthy mindset.

  • Create a structure to your day: just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you can’t treat your day with the same discipline you would if you were in the office. By making a to-do list at the start of the day it’s going to prevent your days all blurring into one.
  • Read or download some Audiobooks: Reading is a great alternative to TV and is also an activity which is very difficult to multitask making it a great way to switch off from the outside world and maintain a healthy mindset.
  • Learn something new: whether you finally learn a new language or start an online course to level up or explore a new career path, remote learning could be a highly productive way of benefiting from your time off and potentially elevating your future career.

 

If at any point you feel you struggling financially or mentally there are plenty of options available to support, you through this time. Beyond Blue’s helpline is open 24/7 and free financially counselling is available through The National Debt Helpline.  Invest Blue is also passionate about looking after your needs and is happy to discuss your financial position and options available to you during this time.

 

No one can predict what the lasting implications of coronavirus will be, but we are here to help you move forward. If you would like assistance from a Financial Adviser, please get in touch.

What you need to know

This information is provided by Invest Blue Pty Ltd (ABN 91 100 874 744). The information contained in this article is of general nature only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Therefore, before making any decision, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice with regards to those matters and seek personal financial, tax and/or legal advice prior to acting on this information. Read our Financial Services Guide for information about our services, including the fees and other benefits that AMP companies and their representatives may receive in relations to products and services provided to you.