The world is topsy-turvy right now. It is hard to feel good in the midst of a pandemic. The best thing we can do for ourselves is to learn how to practice good self-care and financial wellness during COVID-19. Those practices may look different for everyone, but below are some tips that may work for you.
Right now the stock market is having some steep drops with a few spikes, which can cause a lot of stress. If watching the stock market is causing you stress, then its time to unplug. Pulling your money out of the market right now means you would be selling at a loss. When you are pursuing financial independence, it is important to invest for the long haul. That means weathering the storms. The truth is, stocks will go up and stocks will go down, but over long periods of time they always go up.
- Look at the 100 year Dow Jones Historical Chart – Information is power. Stocks fluctuate a lot, but on the graph you can see, in general, the stock market has moved from the bottom left quadrant to the upper right quadrant over time. Again, stocks will go up and they will go down, we all need to weather the storm.
- Put Your Money in a High-Yield Savings Account – Unlike savings accounts through most banks that only earn 0.1%, high-yield savings accounts earn anywhere between 1.2% all the way 1.92%.
- Stay The Course – If you normally fund your 401k through pretax investments, keep doing so if you can. Whatever your investment plan looks like, stay the course and keep doing what you have been doing, if possible.
- Listen to Financial Independence Podcasts – These folks are like mentors to me. It is so helpful to hear from them that this is just part of the plan. Listening to podcasts keeps me from checking the markets and feeling stressed out. As an added bonus, I usually learn new tips while keeping myself from obsessing over my net worth!
- Learn New Skills – Let the stock market do its thing and take a look at your own strengths and areas for improvement. Now is a great time to get better at different areas of financial wellness:
- Budgeting Better – If you aren’t great at budgeting, read through my guide to budgeting.
- Spend Less – Stress spending? Check out ways to fight lifestyle creep.
- Get Frugal – Want to be more frugal? Check out Nerdwallet’s Beginners Guide to Frugal Living.
- Stay Busy – Need to keep your hands busy? Try making your own frugal garden.
No matter what works best for you, just remember to take care of your financial wellness. This storm will pass in time. Taking care of your money in times like these is so important!
As vital as financial wellness is, self-care is even more important. We need to be the best versions of ourselves during stressful times. As a community, we should not hoard supplies and leave nothing for our at-risk neighbors. If you have extra, donate it to those in need. Be the good that we need in the world right now. In order to do that, we need to take care of ourselves first.
- Be Informed, Not Obsessed – Get information from reliable sources like the CDC. Learn how to keep you and your family protected. Only share factual information that helps inform the community not cause further stress. Once you have learned what to do, stop scrolling and obsessing over the news. Social-distancing should also be extended to social media. Obsessive consumption of the news can cause increased stress. Give yourself a break and unplug.
- Take Care of Your Body – I have a tendency to stress snack when I’m feeling off. Once I recognize that I’m not treating my body with care, I work to do better. For me that means looking up some healthy recipes, switching to tea instead of coffee for a little while, and focusing on getting a good night’s rest. I also love to get outside in nature. It’s amazing what a good walk in the woods can do for your self-care. So if you tend to take out your stress on your body, practice kindness and be good to yourself. Eat well, take a walk, be kind.
- Practice Mindfulness – Mindfulness isn’t just about meditation. It is about tuning in to your body and mind. Whether you prefer the assistance of technology or you love a good book in your hands, there are numerous options for each:
- Apps – There are tons of mindfulness apps like Headspace, Calm, Aura and Stop, Breathe, Think. Many offer free courses and have paid options if you find one that is perfect for you and you want more.
- Books – My favorite mindfulness practice is reading Buddhist Monk Thich Nhat Hanh’s Mindfulness Essential Series. These little books are filled with quick, easy reads to help you center yourself. The books in the series are also sold individually and my favorites so far have been How to Relax, How to Love, and How to Eat. Other helpful reads are Declutter Your Mind, Unfu*k Yourself, and my good old favorite Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.
- Do What Feels Good – Even though I tend to stress snack, sometimes that bowl of ice cream is just what I need in the moment and that’s totally okay. (As long as I don’t start eating ice cream by the tub full!) It’s totally okay to veg out, binge some Netflix or eat some comfort food. Just remember to allow yourself to given in, become aware of your emotions, and move through them so you can once again be at your best. Your community needs you. Be good to yourself so you can be there for others. And ask for help when you need it. I wholeheartedly believe in the power of therapy. So seek the help of a therapist or try out Talkspace if you need support.
No two people have the same self-care practices. Try out different approaches and see what works best for you. Times are hard, but things will get better. The key is to do something each day that helps you find joy and feel okay. And when you feel better, help share kind words and positivity in the world.
I have always loved how yoga teachers end a class with “the light in me sees the light in you.” It always made me walk away feeling better, kinder, and more whole. We all need a little more love and support right now. Remember to take care of your finances. Don’t sell your investments, stay the course, and fine tune your money skills! We need to take care of our whole self. Use mindfulness apps or pick up a few books. Be kind to your mind, body and soul. Give yourself the grace to veg out if that is what you need. It is good to be informed, but don’t over-consume the news. Remember to practice self-care and financial wellness during COVID-19, and to share your light with the world.
Disclosure: Advice given in this post are for education and entertainment purposes only. Please consult a financial or medical professional for further advice. Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.