Are You Having COVID-Business-Owner Stress?

There are certainly valid reasons why you’re feeling depressed, anxious, and stressed these days. In fact, during late June, the CDC reported that 40% of U.S. adults are struggling with mental health and substance abuse. To be honest, though, that shouldn’t be all that shocking.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been concerned about our health, as well as that of loved ones. We’ve had to overcome quarantines, isolation, and the uncertainty of what lies ahead in the future. As if that weren’t enough, we’ve had financial stressors like not having enough savings, job loss, and inability to pay bills.

If you’re a business owner, you are definitely worried about how your business is going to move forward. So, it should go without saying, that this is a trying and difficult time for you.

“Money is just connected to so much for people’s mental health in a few different ways,” explains Dr. George James, chief innovation officer and senior staff therapist at Council for Relationships. “If people don’t have it, they’re worried about it. Usually, there’s some anxiety if they feel like they’re losing it. And even if they have it, can they maintain that?”

“There’s also just the connection of quality of life and how people might see themselves,” Dr. James adds. “Am I successful? Did I do well? Am I helping my family? All those things that build up internal character and self-esteem can sometimes be connected to how someone sees himself financially.”

If there is a silver lining, however, it’s that there are ways to relieve your stress as a business owner during COVID.

Examine your expenses and reprioritize your spending.

Two of the main COVID-related stressors for business owners right are cash flow shortages and not having enough savings. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to build up an emergency fund when you don’t have money coming into the door. You can, however, stop the bleeding so that it’s not as painful.

The most obvious place to start is to track your spending so that you can create a budget. That may not be on the top of your mind right now. But, it’s essential if you want to improve your survival odds.

Go through all of your expenses and divide them into either fixed or flexible. Fixed expenses would be those that you can’t change, such as a mortgage payment. Flexible expenses would be those that you can, like groceries or subscription services.

You would then compare these numbers with how much you’re bringing in each month. If you’re spending more money then you’re making, then you need to cut out the non-essentials. If you recall, this is successful budgeting 101.

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