For many of us, COVID-19 is causing a lot of stress and money problems. Problems that can be hard to talk about let alone deal with. So, if you’re finding it tough, keep reading for some handy tips on how to help get through it all, and spot the signs that your stress might be getting the better of you.
COVID-19 and our economy
Our economy’s been hit hard by COVID-19 and like thousands of others you might be feeling the impact of it. You might be facing redundancy, a pay cut, less work hours, increased living costs, or you might be finding it super hard to get a job. If any of this is happening to you, it’s important to remember that it’s not your fault, you’re not alone, and it’s totally normal to feel stressed out.
So, let’s start by taking care of ourselves
- Let’s talk about our problems and ask for help: We all know it can be hard to ask for help. But remember that in tough times it’s normal to feel worried, so don’t keep those worries to yourself. Talk to someone you can trust and ask for help whenever you need it.
- Let’s remember who we really are: Your true value and worth isn’t determined by your job or how much money you have. Your true value is who you are and what you mean to those close to you.
- Let’s make a plan: A plan can boost your confidence and help you feel more in control. This plan could include where and how you’ll look for new work, making a budget, and deciding on who to talk to if things get tough.
Let’s talk about looking for work
If you’ve lost your job, one of the main things on your mind will be finding another one. And while some of us might find a job quickly, for others it could take longer as there’s a lot more competition out there. So remember, keep at it and make sure you have someone you can talk to if you start feeling stuck or let down.
Careers NZ have some great information to help with job hunting and CV writing:
Let’s talk about financial support
When money’s tight, sorting your finances and planning a budget can be pretty scary. But making a plan and sticking to it can give you something to be in control of.
Seeking financial help for the first time can be a little bit daunting too. But, luckily we live in a country that has financial support available to help you and your whānau through the tough times.
If you’re visiting an agency or organisation like Work and Income for help, you can take a support person with you. It’s also a good idea to be prepared, check what your rights are, and what assistance you might be entitled to. Plus, have a think about how you’ll explain what you need.
Let’s talk about our mental health
What if it all becomes too much? Sometimes it’s hard to know if what you’re feeling is normal or if you might be experiencing depression or anxiety. You can take a self-test on depression and anxiety to help figure out what’s happening to you:
By getting help early you might stop your financial stress becoming mental distress. And, if you feel you’re not coping well, it’s important to have a chat to your doctor or nurse or someone that’s close to you. For support with grief, anxiety, distress or mental wellbeing, you can call or text 1737 – free, anytime, 24/7 – to talk with a trained counsellor.
More free information, support and apps
Getting Through Together
- You can find tips and advice on how to cope with the stress of COVID-19 in the Getting Through Together toolkit, developed by All Right? in partnership with the Canterbury DHB and the Mental Health Foundation: Getting Through Together.
- The Mentemia app provides practical tips and techniques to help you take control of your mental wellbeing. It was created by All Blacks legend and mental health advocate Sir John Kirwan, tech entrepreneur Adam Clark, and an expert team of medical advisors.
- The Melon app provides a health journal, resources and self-awareness tools to help you manage your emotional wellbeing. Melon also provides an online community for New Zealanders to connect and support each other, and daily webinars for health and wellbeing.
Staying on Track
- The Staying on Track online course teaches practical strategies to cope with the stress and disruption to everyday life from COVID-19.
Unite against Covid-19 is the New Zealand Government’s website dedicated to Aotearoa-New Zealand’s COVID-19 response. This is your single source of information about COVID-19.
Anxiety New Zealand Trust has helped thousands of children, adolescents and adults in Aotearoa-New Zealand to build their resilience and recover from anxiety, depression, OCD and phobias.
Mental Health Foundation leads campaigns and services that cover all aspects of mental health and wellbeing. They provide free information and training, and advocate for policies and services that support people with experience of mental illness, and also their families, whānau and friends.
- Unite against COVID-19 – financial support.
- Unite against COVID-19 – employment support. Tips on finding a job and careers advice.
- Work and Income New Zealand - Information for people who have been affected by COVID-19.
- The New Zealand Government’s Sorted website has a huge amount of information about money and finances