COVID-19 has turned many people’s lives upside down with mass job losses, homeschooling requirements, distance from our loved ones, and all the associated mental health challenges. People all around the world are now looking at rebuilding their lives. If you have suffered from a crisis, here are five steps you can take to recover and get back on track.
Figure out your Finances
Step one is to take stock of your situation. If your finances are a mess and your bank balance is in overdraft, this is definitely the place to start. Pull out a pen and paper (or open up an excel spreadsheet) and map out all of your debts, your current assets, your bank balances, and your incoming money. If you urgently need funds, take a look online for a no-interest loan scheme to bridge the gap without worsening your debt.
Re-Evaluate What is Important
Don’t get caught up in a cycle of doing what you have always done. Now is the perfect time to re-evaluate. Which people and activities are adding value to your life? What does your ideal day look like, and how can you structure your life to have more days like that?
While you are rebuilding your life, don’t make the mistake of working to get back to the way things were. No matter how happy you were pre-crisis, it’s worth approaching life with a fresh perspective and an open mind.
Embrace Free Activities
In the immortal words of Janet Jackson and Luther Vandross, the best things in life are free. Too often, we get so caught up in the consumerist world that we forget how much joy there is in a simple life. Find activities you enjoy that don’t cost a thing, like taking a walk around your neighborhood or borrowing a book from the library.
You could set up an obstacle course in the backyard for the kids instead of heading to an arcade or do a free online dance class instead of paying for the gym. Spending less money doesn’t mean having to miss out on socializing or doing fun things – a potluck dinner at your house can be just as enjoyable as an expensive meal at a restaurant.
Find Ways to Treat Yourself
Any crisis will be challenging to your mental health and well-being, whether financial, physical, or emotional. Now, more than ever before, you will need some “me time.”
However, it’s easy to get too wrapped up in worries about your family, friends, and job, thus leaving no time for treating yourself. See the above point about free activities and find ways to be kind to yourself with something that will refill your cup.
Get By with a Little Help from your Friends
Having a supportive network of people around you if you need to cry on someone’s shoulder or talk about your situation is crucial for your mental health. If you don’t have a friend or family member that you feel comfortable opening up to, try journaling to work through your emotions. Writing down your worries is a great way to stop dwelling on them.
Alternatively, check whether your health insurance covers therapy sessions. There is no shame in needing help, and there are no problems so big that you can’t work through them.
Making a fresh start can be challenging, but it can also allow you to reassess your priorities and make conscious choices about how you want your life to look going forwards. Try your best to embrace the challenges as you build a new world for yourself.