Financial wellbeing during and after COVID lockdowns: find out how in 4 easy ways

Feeling a bit stressed out? Has a loss of income or extra financial stressors as a result of or separate to COVID lockdowns had an effect on your mental health and wellbeing?

Read further to find out a few tips to check in on your financial wellbeing before and after COVID.

Hello there. As many would have experienced, COVID proved to be very difficult time for people, not only from a physical point of view due to the toll of the illness itself, but on the very real life effecting changes which came about as a result of people being put out of work and losing income due to businesses closing down as a result of the lockdowns.

Not only had lockdown has a physical effect on us, it has also had an emotional, mental and financial effect, influenced in part and also largely due to and depending on personal circumstances.

Cropped shot of a man going over his finances at home

In order to establish a sense of financial wellbeing, it’s important to identify what may be a cause of stress and how to manage this.

For example, being in debt for many is an incredibly stressful thing for many people and for many has an effect on many facets of their health, causing some to be become anxious and depressed, and others to become ill as a physiological response to the stress caused by worrying about mounting debts. If you know that debt is a cause of stress, there are several things you can do.

According to Roberts (2021), a good place to start is to assess just how serious your debt is. Are you struggling to pay the mortgage? Are you trying to pay for gas and electric? Coronavirus and the ensuing economic fallout that came from international months of lockdown and economic inactivity caused people who weren’t able to work to accrue debts for varying reasons, for paying the rent to just trying to get by. Knowing your level and severity of debt will help you know what help you need.

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/loans/debt-help-plan/

There are several debt advisors that you can use. In the United Kingdom for example, there is StepChange, National Debtline and Citizens Advice Bureau, who have professionals who will be able to meet with you and discuss ways to minimise and manage your debts. I will share the links below should you be interested.

StepChange, National Debtline, Citizens Advice Bureau

If you are reading this from another part of the world, please see what is available in your area. Speaking to your bank for example may be a place to start if you are unsure as they may have advice or be able to signpost you to relevant agencies.

Another way of getting a handle on your debts is to do research around agencies who may be able to support with financial planners. Again, this can be accomplished by making contact with a debt management agency, sitting down and having this discussion.

Person doing a budget and taxes with calculator and pen

Another thing to consider is to set yourself a budget.

Often times we spend outside of our means or we spend and don’t keep track of what we spend. Many know that it can be all too easy to fall into the trappings of debt, and for many this can be avoided by knowing how much you have to spend and only spending what you can afford. If you know what your incomings and outgoings are, you will be able to have a better idea of how much money you can safely spend.

There are dozens of budget tools available online, but a good place to start may be via MoneySavingsExpert. According to Martin Lewis, an esteemed financial advisor and one who has featured on several television appearances advising on money management, there is a page you can try:

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/banking/budget-planning/

As part of the page, there is a link to an easy use Excel spreadsheet where you can edit and design a budget suited to your needs: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/banking/budget-planning/#planner

Another thing to consider is how you reward yourself.

Often times we reward ourselves by buying things, but by buying things, we draw ourselves deeper into debt. It may be worth then to think of other ways to reward yourself, such as having a relaxing bath or making time and engaging yourself in an interest or hobby, such as writing, painting or playing a musical interest. Of course everyone is different and I don’t want people to feel limited to these arts. Find an interest that you enjoy and use it as a way to reward yourself.

Stack of old clothes to discard (declutter) or keep. Recycle clothes, eco cotton.

Lastly, consider decluttering and selling off things you no longer use.

This will be a good way to not only clear up space, but will also be a way to help you make money in the process. Look online of places to sell and advertise. There is an interesting article about selling your unwanted things:

https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/how-sell-your-unwanted-stuff-ncna954546

Thank you for joining me today in this discussion of financial wellbeing. There have also been some other developments on the blog site, including an audio podcast which I have started. It is still quite new and fresh and in development, but there should be new content coming soon. Aware that people sometimes do not have the time or energy to read (and that’s ok, life gets exhausting sometimes), I decided to branch off into the world of audio. If are interested, here is a link below.

Audio page of Wellness by Greg

If you would like to know more, stay tuned for coming weeks where I will look at occupational and spiritual wellbeing.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, and if you know of anyone who may benefit from / appreciate the blog, please recommend it to them as well. And if you are feeling low and struggling with your mental health, please know that during this difficult time of the pandemic, that there is still help out there and help available. Talk to your GP. Freephone Samaritans 116 123.

There is help out there. You are not alone.

Remember: it’s a journey. It will take time. Have patience in the process. You will get there. Until then, stay happy, stay healthy, and have a lovely time wherever you are on the planet.

And remember: love yourself. And others.

Greg

References:

Roberts, A. (2021). Debt Problems: What to do & where to get help. Available: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/loans/debt-help-plan/. Last accessed 27th September 2021.

A bit about the author:

Picture of the author

I am a guy who just over 40, who is sharing a journey of wellness and wellbeing. I am also a mental health professional with a wealth of years of experience in supporting individuals who have challenging mental illnesses and personality disorders. 

Prior to my current professional role, I spent several years supporting members of the community as a fitness professional, assisting individuals with weight loss and health improvement programmes.

I completed a PGDip in Mental Health Nursing in 2013, and an MSc in Advanced Practice in 2016 in which I looked at improving nurses’ level of engagement with patients with challenging personality disorders. 

In 2018 I successfully undertook a Clinical reasoning in Physical Assessments course, and in 2020 I commenced further training in Nurse Prescribing to train toward becoming an Advanced Nurse Practitioner, and will be looking forward to supporting those in the community with mental health support and medicinal support.

In 2015 I also undertook a Mentorship for practice (BSc Hons) course and have been supporting future nurses with their training and development. I have also recently supported a Healthcare Assistant Staff toward training in and successfully passing and achieving a Foundation Degree in Mental Health Nursing.

In my current role I am a person looking to support the physical and mental health and wellbeing of the individual. Don’t think of me as a motivational coach or speaker. Think of me more as a wellness guide, as I use my mental health training and experience to suggest and advice ways to enhance your wellness and wellbeing. If you are struggling with your mental health though, please seek advice from a medical professional such as your GP.

I believe that it is a journey. It is a process. It will take time. But we will get there.

Remember: it’s a journey. It will take time. Have patience in the process. You will get there. Until then, stay happy, stay healthy, and have a lovely time wherever you are on the planet.

And remember: love yourself. And others.

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