Life is already stressful prior to the pandemic and during the pandemic, the situation seems to have been magnified even more. There were a lot of job losses, small and medium and even some larger-scale businesses are struggling, mental health issues are on the rise, and of course, piling financial concerns for individuals and families around the world.
I don’t want to sound gloomy but it’s just the situation for most of us during the pandemic. However, as I have always mentioned in my past articles, we all have to learn how to deal with the cards dealt with us and live with them. We are survivors, and we are very resilient creatures and trust that we will be able to come out of this situation soon.
Photo by Tom Pumford on Unsplash
Personally, my online selling business is also severely affected by the pandemic. A lot of people are working from home and my merchandise is not considered essential nor a priority for now for my target market.
Fortunately, there are still some sales made in the past few months since restrictions were lifted a bit in the last few weeks. However, it’s now put back in place due to the Delta variant though so I don’t know what will happen in the next few weeks.
During the early months of the lockdown, my earnings went to zero but when other businesses were slowly opened and when the restrictions to move around were a bit lifted, then my sales also started to come back. Although the comeback is a bit slow, it’s still better than nothing.
I’d like to share what I’m doing to cope with the financial stress that I’m going through. But before we continue please be reminded that I’m not a mental health professional and you should seek one if you feel like you needed more help. I’m just sharing on my blog my experiences in life including how I cope up with various situations like financial stress.
Having said that, here are some of the things that I do to cope up with financial stress:
Identify and Minimize Monthly Financial Commitments
The first thing I did a month after I realized that the lockdown situation might last longer than expected was to review my monthly financial commitments or payables to give myself an idea of how much I needed on a monthly basis.
After identifying my payables, I tried to look for opportunities to cut costs. I looked at the things that I can do without and immediately removed them from my budget.
Luckily, I have learned how to live frugally without sacrificing my health and well-being in the past few years, and cutting costs on my living expenses is really not an issue nor a big shock to me.
Stay Positive and Stay Objective
I stopped watching the news just because sometimes it felt like the world is ending when I’m watching the news. If I wanted to know something about a particular thing then I check the internet for that particular thing only.
Like for example, if I wanted to check an update on the lockdown restriction in my town, then I will check the Facebook Page of the local information center of my town and that’s it.
I try to minimize s much as I can some external factors that can trigger negative emotions in me.
I also tried my best to stay objective on the situation and continued on with my day-to-day task in online selling even when customers were not buying yet.
I went on with cleaning my merchandise and my stockroom on a daily basis, posted the unposted items online, replied to queries I get online, etc.
Use Downtime to Learn Something New
Since I know that the situation is out of my control, I just utilized my spare time to learn something new that would help me in the future improve my odds in improving my financial situation.
I read financial blogs, blogs about blogging, watch Youtube about other side-hustles, etc.
And also, I revived this blog during the pandemic so I can put into practice what I’ve been reading.
This has become a blessing in disguise because writing also became my refuge during these stressful times.
Aside from earning a small amount of money from this blog, this blog is also helping me take my mind away from all my worries even for just a few hours.
This blog also became a platform for me to learn a variety of new stuff about online money-making and also to virtually meet like-minded individuals in the personal finance world.
Photo by Prateek Katyal on Unsplash
Take Care of Oneself
Regardless of what I’m feeling, I made sure that I’m eating healthy food and doing some basic physical exercises such as walking outside (with the social distancing of course).
I don’t want to add a health concern on top of the financial stress that I am already dealing with.
Luckily, I live in a tropical country and we have access to affordable healthy types of food such as vegetables and fruits, and fresh seafood.
We are blessed that a lot of variety of plants thrive here even with minor care because our weather and perhaps the soil composition in our country is conducive for their growth.
And also, since I moved out of the city and now living in a small town, some fruits such as mango are also free in my neighborhood. There are just so many lying around on the roadside and no one’s picking them up LOL!
Look for Alternative Sources of Income
After the second month of the initial lockdown, it felt like this will go on longer than expected. As I have mentioned earlier, I started browsing the internet for opportunities to earn a side income online to help me cope with the financial stress that I am going through.
And one of the things that I gave a try is blogging. I started this blog primarily to surround myself with like-minded people (even if just online) and to have a platform to interact with them as well.
Second, I also want to learn about SEO and online money-making and I’m a person who doesn’t really learn that much just by reading, I needed to do what I wanted to learn in order to grasp the idea.
So, I revived this blog last April 2020 and added Google Adsense and later, Ezoic once I was able to drive traffic to my blog.
Luckily, I do enjoy writing and it’s like a form of therapy for me that’s why it wasn’t that hard to fill this blog with articles.
And also, because of this blog, I also got a short-term writing gig when a startup company hired me to write for them for some time. It was an unexpected side income because I wasn’t really looking for employment and I got a job even without applying.
This blog became an online portfolio even without me intending to do so.
Now, I know that making money from a blog is not everyone’s idea of a side gig, but, there are tons of other ways to earn money online even without a blog.
Just do a quick Google search about it and you’ll see a lot of blogs that talk about a variety of ways to make money online.
Surround Yourself with Positive People
I have mentioned this over and over again because I believe in the power of influence whether it’s direct or indirect and surrounding yourself with positive people is one of life’s greatest hacks.
Imagine living through this pandemic and being surrounded by people who have a self-defeatist attitude, what do you think will become of you?
Now, imagine being surrounded by people who are doing their best despite going through the same difficult situation.
There are so many people out there who are finding opportunities despite the uncertainties.
This is one of the main reasons why I started this blog, I wanted to become surrounded by people who have the same goals as me so I can be influenced to do better and to be better in what I do.
Try it for yourself, try surrounding yourself with positive people consistently, and see how it will change your perspective in life.
Photo by Alex Bracken on Unsplash
Save When You Can
Sometimes even if we’re going through a financial hardship, a windfall of money sometimes does appear in front of us.
In my case, there were good sales in some months even during the pandemic.
In the past, I would have used this money to buy new stocks right away or reinvest it all in my business (which is a huge mistake in my case).
Now, I try to save a portion of it because this pandemic and lockdown situation is getting unpredictable. Like for instance, as of the time of writing, we’re back again in a stricter lockdown because of the increasing number of people infected with the Delta variant.
So save as much as you can.
Forget the Pain but Never Forget the Lesson
To be honest this is easier said than done. I’m sure that once the pandemic is over, I would probably revert back to the old me.
This is another reason why I keep a journal of what I have been through via this blog to remind me of the things that I should and should not do again such as not saving enough.
I’m sure that this pandemic situation will soon be over or we will all just adapt to the new normal and go on with our lives again.
The best things to bring with us in the future are the lessons that we have learned from the struggles that we have been through so we will be able to avoid going through those things again.
We all have different circumstances in life and we all react differently to situations. If the stress is too much for you to bear, I suggest that you seek help from your friends, family, and even professional counselors.
There was an idiom/saying that I commonly hear when i was in school…
No man is an island.
Even if I am the type of person who likes to be on my own, do things on my own, and resolve problems on my own, I know that it’s impossible to totally survive on my own.
I am lucky that I have a wonderful family who has helped me go through this situation.
Even if you don’t like to ask for help, especially when it comes to finances, sometimes we just have to especially when the weight on our shoulders becomes just too heavy to bear.
And then, once we get back on our feet again, then we rebuild ourselves better and stronger and of course, express gratitude to the ones who helped us and pay forward the good deeds when we can.
Just like everything else in this world, I always believe that this too shall pass.
It’s just how life goes!
Things, emotions, problems, triumphs, etc, regardless if it’s positive or negative, will all shall pass and will just become a part of our memories in the future.
How about you? How do you cope with financial stress? Feel free to comment down below if you have any additional tips, suggestions, or recommendations.
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