Were you recently laid off or let go from your job as a result of the coronavirus pandemic? Unfortunately, this has happened to more than 40 million people across the country to date. The sudden loss of employment is tough on anyone, but when you have children that rely on you for their basic needs, the stress only multiplies.
Everyone is home all day long which means higher energy bills and grocery costs, your children are constantly growing meaning the continual need to purchase clothes and shoes, and with many businesses still closed or financially struggling, trying to find a job to resolve the matter is easier said than done.
You’ve got a lot of weight on your shoulders. This is especially true if you’re a single mom. Though it may seem like all hope is lost, there are some things you can do to relieve your stress and care for your children until you’re able to find a source of income.
Prioritize Your Health
You are of no use to your children if you’re in poor physical or mental health. Times may be rough at the moment, but you must continue to prioritize your health. Eat three nutritious meals a day, stay hydrated with plenty of water, exercise for at least 30 minutes to an hour five days a week, and get at least 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
As for your mental health, learn how to cope with the sometimes overwhelming emotions you feel. It’s completely normal to feel stressed about your finances and the wellbeing of your family during these uncertain times.
Suppressing your feelings and using unhealthy coping mechanisms (food, drugs, alcohol, etc), however, can lead to mental illness and addiction. If you believe you’re showing signs there is mental health treatment in Santa Barbara and across the nation, you can reach out to for assistance.
File for Unemployment
The first thing you want to do is file for unemployment. Though some states are slow to payout, it’s better to have your information in the system than to procrastinate. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many unemployment claims are getting approved a lot faster. It won’t be the full amount of your normal paychecks, but it can be enough to help support your family.
Apply for Assistance
Whether you’re qualified for unemployment or not, there are other government-funded programs that you may qualify for to make life easier. This can include financial assistance, food stamps, free or affordable health insurance, rental assistance, utility assistance, and more.
Dip Into Emergency Savings
If you’ve been setting aside money for a rainy day, now would be a good time to fall back on it. Use your emergency savings to pay for things your family needs that your unemployment income and/or financial assistance programs won’t cover. Make note of how much you take from your emergency savings account so that you can create a plan to replenish it in the future.
Find Ways to Make Money
As you embark on your job search journey, start looking into other avenues that can make you some extra money. There are a lot of opportunities online that can bring in a few extra bucks each month. You can answer surveys, write reviews, sell products online, start a blog, become a freelance writer, manage social media accounts for businesses, and much more. If you have a particular skill that you believe could prove beneficial, teach others for a fee. You can tutor children online, teach music lessons, start an online exercise class, or create online courses for business management, accounting, etc.
Cherish These Times
Not everything about the coronavirus pandemic has to be negative. For instance, families have more time than ever to spend with each other. Cherish this time that you have with your children before distractions like school and work return. Plan fun yet free or affordable things to do with the kids. Ride bikes in the park, have a picnic on the back porch, do arts and crafts, perform science projects, or just sit around and watch a good movie together. This helps to ease the stress both you and your children are likely under right now.
Job security is not guaranteed for anyone. That’s why financial experts advise us to have more than one income source. Be that as it may, no one could have predicted or planned for something like a virus to turn their finances upside down. If you find that you’re under a great deal of financial and emotional stress, take comfort in knowing that there are some solutions that can help ease your frustrations.