Finding Peace in the Storm
“A heart at peace gives life to the body”
Similarly, uncertainty causes all of us to react in unexpected ways, and it is understandable. In these unprecedented times everything is changing, not just daily sometimes hourly. The rise of stress and anxiety is playing such an intrusive role in our lives.
For many, concerns around money become heightened to such an extent that we develop a fear. Because fear creates stress and with it, catastrophesing, it impactes our health emotionally, physically and psychologically.
Stress and anxiety both have their root in fear, we must ask ourselves, “what is our biggest fear right now”? Whatever it is, we would like to offer help to combat the fear and maintain a healthy perspective.
1st – Quick Steps
Know that you are designed to live and thrive therefore;
- Acknowledge the fear, it is a very real emotion.
- Do what you can to protect yourself and your family. Following the guidelines set out by the World Health Organisation and our own Government
- Keeping up to date with changes, follow latest updates from the Government
- Focus on maintaining your own physical, emotional and psychological health
- Focus on the present and the positives it contains. You have every potential to be creative, which is important as this helps us to be incredibly adaptive to challenges.
- Concerning your money, if you have a budget stay on top of it. This is a great way of maintaining control as best you can and keeping stress in check.
Our new way of working could be behind the screen of the computer or phone. As social beings, we generally love connecting with people face to face, so it may not be our preferred way of working. This could be a time where we embrace new ways of working; develop passive incomes, learn a new skill, write a book, all of which will add greater value to ourselves, our current work and the lives of others?
The threat of Covid-19 is there, but we can avoid creating greater stress by putting personal protections in place. And we can deliberately focus on ‘how can I help others.’
For many of us the desire to focus on the “what if’s” is very tempting, this is called catastrophising, and it can prevent us being creative and adaptive. It’s important to make plans but with a daily changing landscape, this can be challenging. Our advice is to maintain a flexible approach whilst planning.
In the current situation it is rewarding to see people relieving the stress of others. Company’s, offering support to their employees and the wider community, people in communities being good neighbours. All of this reduces our Cortisol, our stress hormone, which keeps us in a healthy resilient place.
2nd – Information Sources
Is simply accessing the right information to assist you with whatever challenge you may face. The following links take you to websites and organisations that will address some of the most common questions being asked right now.
Money Saving Expert offers a wealth of information that you may find useful on a personal level. The Money Advise Service, now known as the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) has a host of information that addresses many areas concerning money and would be a good place to start.
This link covers the following areas:
- Employment, sick pay and benefits
- Coronavirus if you’re already claiming Universal Credit
- Travel plans and travel insurance
- Coronavirus and your money
- How will Coronavirus affect my pension or investments?
- Coronavirus scams
Financial Conduct Authority
Regarding pensions, mortgages and investments, it is important that you consult with either your existing authorised financial advisor, if you have one, or source an Independent Advisor regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The financial Services Register shows the details of all firms individuals and bodies that are or have been authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the FCA. It is prudent that you consult with only those listed as being currently authorised.
Citizens Advice, like MaPS, is a store house of information. This link addresses Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), Self-Employed, claiming benefits and going on holiday.
As an employer or business, this Government website provides helpful guidance.
Statutory Sick Pay
If you are already claiming support or are one of those who needs to make a new claim or if you are a self-employed person who needs to claim statutory sick pay this link will be useful.The Universal Credit website and gives you guidance on benefits around the Covid-19 virus.
3rd – Debt
Being able to access the support you need should you find yourself with financial challenges is very important. This is a link to a BBC article about debt and one man’s experience. It includes a link to a web page where you can access free debt advice.
As well as those mentioned in the BBC article there is an additional organisation that provides a befriender to walk alongside you should you need that emotional support. This organisation is Christians Against Poverty (CAP) who will support anyone no matter their background, beliefs or lifestyle.
Also, do not stay silent but seek help at the earliest opportunity if. The free debt advice sector will not judge, condemn or treat you unkind. I know because I once worked in that sector.
They will treat your call confidentially and give you whatever help and advice you need to achieve a positive outcome. They will always leave the choice with you!
4th – Budgeting
If you are concerned about the Government instructions, how this will impact your money and possibly your ability to pay the bills then doing what you can, now, is important.
I would start by asking a simple question, “do you know how much income is coming into your home and how much expenditure is going out”?
Should the answer to either parts of this question be no, then I would say that money is in-charge of you not you having charge over your money.
That’s a very stressful situation to be in.
If you don’t manage your money by budgeting, one of the ways of taking back control and reducing your stress is to build your own budget that lists your income and expenditure, ensuring that it balances, and any surplus being set aside as savings. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you are not used to managing money this way.
Here’s one tip I would like to leave you with. If you manage your money via a budget, take a good look at anything that is non-essential. You may need to ask yourself, “do I really need this”?
Consider those things you identify as non-essential, can you reduce or cut them out altogether? Bear in mind, we all need to relax, chill out, so do ensure you leave something for leisure and or entertainment even in this difficult time.
By taking this approach you give yourself and those in your household a better chance of not running into money troubles and experiencing harmful levels of stress and or anxiety.
As an organisation we are astutely aware of the challenges many face when worrying about money. AurumGold’s aim is to take the stress out of money.
We approach this through helping you understand your emotional relationship with money, how to live authentically, help you identify your future aspirations whilst developing better money management skills.
We use workshops, coaching, consultancy and inspirational presentations to help as many as we can within the workplace. Get in touch with us if your organisation needs help to address employee money worries. firstname.lastname@example.org