When we are scared, we usually fall into one of two camps… we curl up in a ball, put the pillow over our head, and hope it all goes away. Or we feel compelled to DO something to make it all okay. The thing is, neither side can fix the world. The pandemic cannot be ignored, no matter what you believe to be true about it. And you can’t just “fix it” and put everything back to normal; there are way too many things outside of your control.
How can we as a society get through this? Panicking solves NOTHING. Sensationalizing views on the pandemic solves nothing. Fear is very real and very present right now. We have got to support each other and show grace and love to others and ourselves. The best way that you can do this now is to scale back and prioritize your immediate family and closest friends. Stay connected, figure out ways to manage stress, preserve your relationships, and make a very basic plan for life over the next 6 months. Unless you are a professional that has support to offer your community, don’t worry about what the Jones’s are doing. We are stronger when we are tightly knit.
Seems simple, right? Maybe not so much. This pandemic has caused a huge shift in lifestyle and routine, which stresses most people out. Working parents had a tough job before, but NOW many of you are at home trying to juggle doing your job virtually, homeschooling, stopping the kids from fighting, having your personal space invaded constantly, and figuring out how to do all of this on half your usual income. Single people may be at home by themselves a lot more than usual, battling boredom and loneliness. This is not easy.
To combat fear, we have to focus the majority of our energy on the NOW. What’s right in front of us? What are we going to do with TODAY? How can we contribute positively to our lives and those immediately around us TODAY? What do you need most right NOW? We, as a culture, suck at living in the moment. The MAJORITY of the time, we are thinking about the past or the future, not the present moment. When you get up in the morning, have a conversation about what your day is going to look like. What do you each want to accomplish for the day? Wherever possible, include OUTSIDE time; even just a short walk around the neighborhood. Monitor your screen time and notice how it affects your mood. An hour may leave you feeling refreshed because you’re getting some zone-out time, but 3 hours of intermittent mindless scrolling might creep negative energy into your day.
How do you plan your life for the next 6 months while keeping most of your focus on the immediate moment? K.I.S.S – Keep it simple, sweetheart. Spend 15-20 minutes discussing each of these important topics:
- How are we going to stay connected to the people we love most? When? How?
- How are we going to manage our time in respect to responsibilities like work, homeschooling, cooking, and cleaning? Who is going to do what? When? How?
- What are we going to do when someone in the family gets overwhelmed? Do we have safe time-out zones? Do we each have coping methods for intense emotions?
- Who can we reach out to for support in each of these areas of life: Family communication, health, work, school, finances, activities and hobbies.
- What does our budget look like? How has our income changed? Are we meeting all our essential needs? Can we cut back wants to contribute to an emergency fund? Should we defer some of our bills? What funding do we qualify for?
Build a small, mighty network of people who are wise and able to support you and your family in these areas of your life. If you have questions about your finances during this COVID-19 pandemic, I am here for you. I’m not here to sell you anything. I’m here to offer you real-life practical solutions to ease the stress of navigating changes in your finances. I’ve got free resources for you. I’m hosting live webinars to answer your questions. What’s in it for me? Knowing that I can make a difference in your life, empower you, and ease the stress.