The economic effects of this pandemic are worrisome to say the least. While we shelter-in-place, entire industries that are considered non-essential have been shut down. Many businesses will not survive. Millions have lost their jobs. Applying for unemployment has been a difficult process, if you qualify. Payments from the government that are supposed to come, are dependent on our status as tax payers. The economic effects have exposed more of the gross inequality present in our current economic system.
No one really knows what the economy will look like when we emerge from this pandemic. There is always the possibility that since the gross inequality of our former economy and its inherent inefficiencies around ensuring that everyone has their basic needs met are being exposed more than ever, that we may learn to create a new economy that functions better for all.
It’s no wonder that people are very anxious now about their own personal economic survival through this pandemic. It’s no wonder that uncertainty around personal finances which can determine personal survival, has given rise to mental health symptoms around anxiety and depression.
Here are some things you can do for your mental health as your anxiety and depression increase around financial insecurity:
1. Be Kind Be kind to yourself and be kind to others. Kindness can make a stressful situation less stressful by spreading positivity.
2. Develop New Skills Learn something new. Try do learn how to do something that you’ve always wanted to do. Do you want to learn how to draw? Do it! Do you want to learn how to cook. Do it! Engaging your mind and body in a new interest can help manage insecurity.
3. Ask For Help And Offer Help To Others Do you need help? Ask for it. Currently, there are neighbors who are helping neighbors with basic things like grocery shopping, providing food, and other types of assistance. You can try looking on the app Nextdoor where neighbors are offering help to neighbors and enlisting volunteers to help neighbors.
4. Seek Government, Non-Profit, and Community Assistance In most of the US, you can call 211 in order to get referrals to various forms of assistance. They can help refer you to services that can help with finding food, accessing financial support, getting healthcare, finding housing assistance, and other services.
No one knows how long this will last. No one knows exactly how the economy will be during or after this pandemic. All we can do is focus on today and make sure we meet our immediate needs. Focusing on today is another good way to help manage anxiety around economic uncertainty.