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HerMoney Healthline: Staying Financially and Mentally Healthy

Rebecca Cohen  |  April 13, 2020

Amanda Clayman, financial therapist and Prudential financial wellness advocate, offers up tips on staying financially and mentally healthy.
This article is part of a new HerMoney Healthline series where we ask pros in a wide range of fields for their top tips on making it through the social and economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Browse past HerMoney Healthlines here. 

Where do your money worries come from (both right now, and when we’re not in the middle of a pandemic?) What keeps you up at night, or inspires you to fight with your spouse? We’re living through incredibly stressful times, and with more than 22 million Americans who have filed for unemployment over the last 5 weeks, money concerns during the time of coronavirus are par for the course.

Maybe you’ve never sat down with a financial therapist before — yes, a financial therapist — but this week we’ve got you covered. Amanda Clayman, financial therapist and Prudential financial wellness advocate, spends her days guiding her clients on how they can positively change their overall approach to their finances, and adjust their thinking in areas that may be holding them back. Over the last decade, the concept of financial therapy has become more mainstream, as more people have sought to discover why and how our thoughts and feelings may shape our financial choices. Amanda was gracious enough to share best tips on staying financially and mentally healthy during the coronavirus pandemic with the whole HerMoney family.  Here’s what she had to say. 

Feel all the Feels

Begin by taking a moment to acknowledge your emotions. This may seem unnecessary, but too often we try to think our way out of feeling problems, brushing over the core of the issue. If you are anxious about your recent lifestyle shift or financial security, let those feelings come forward, and identify them without judgment. Are you scared? Sad? Anxious? Bottling up these sensations can lead to burnout and exhaustion, but examining them will help you move forward. You may find this exercise will reveal how your feelings don’t always tell you the truth — by naming your emotions, you can calmly compare them to the facts at hand and gain a more balanced perspective on the situation.

Bring it Back to the Basics

Your ‘new’ lifestyle may bring changes to your spending and earnings compared to ‘normal life.’ Take a look at your credit card and bank statements to determine how much you need to keep yourself fed, connected and safe. This is the time to protect the essentials: medical, housing, and food. This isn’t a time to make drastic changes, but instead, hone in on which of these basic needs will provide financial peace of mind and build good habits for the future. If you begin to feel anxious about this pared-down way of life, remember this budget addresses your needs right now, and when circumstances change you will change your money choices with them. 

Remember You are Not Alone

Anxiety can arise from not being able to rely on your normal problem-solving methods, so this is the time to get creative. COVID-19 is a collective problem, not an individual issue, and while it is physically isolating, it still allows for open communication with those around you. Personal finance can be private, but it’s also universal. Everyone deals with it, and in these times of crisis, we can be civic-minded and united in our support for one another. Step outside of your typical routine and reach out to friends to talk about your financial anxiety. Host a virtual happy hour to share knowledge, fears, and money ideas. Nothing seems as scary when you face it together. 

To hear Clayman’s original HerMoney podcast about positively changing your approach to your finances, listen in here

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