Keeping The Demons At Bay: Managing Stress The Healthy Way
We live in an era of ever-increasing stress. Even before the pandemic, most of us were burning the candle at both ends, trying to fit in self-care as well as work, socialising and family commitments.
During the pandemic, stress levels intensified, as we worried about keeping our jobs and paying our bills. If we were lucky enough not to have to worry about that, instead we got to worry about working longer hours, work creeping into our home life as we struggled to create a dedicated work-from-home space, whilst falling over our loved ones.
Therefore, it’s entirely understandable if the easing of restrictions has not seen a release in stress levels. Now we get to worry about whether easing was the right choice or when to book our booster jabs, not to mention the anxiety that develops as a matter of course when you’re an unwilling participant in a global crisis.
For landlords, this stress is compounded at both ends – from worrying about maintaining the repayments on their properties, to wanting to support their tenants if they get into dire straits. It has been a tough balancing act, which has seen many landlords sell up in order to clear debts.
However, there are things you can do to manage your stress levels.
Take care of things
This is easy to say. When we’re worried about money, we often avoid looking at our bank accounts, but we all know deep down that that isn’t the answer to our problems.
Take some time to sit down and go through your accounts. You may find that things aren’t quite as bad as you feared – we often blow things out of proportion when we’re anxious. If however they are every bit as bad as you thought, then now is the time to see what can be done about it.
Check the government website for schemes that will support you or your tenant or speak to Citizens Advice. If the issue is with a tenant who is unable to pay their bills, it really is worth speaking to them and working with them to find a solution – if there are schemes that can support your tenant in paying their rent, this is the best result for both of you.
While this doesn’t help you now, this is a good time to consider how you can protect yourself in the future. If you have been lucky enough to avoid any issues throughout the pandemic, get ahead of things and make sure you are thoroughly covered – from home emergency insurance to rent guarantee insurance, make sure that should we experience any more disasters, you have a safety net to fall back into.
On the other hand, if you were hard hit by the pandemic, you may feel that you aren’t able to plan ahead now because of your current financial situation. We would really encourage you to look into that some more – it doesn’t hurt to do your research and call around to see what you can get. Even if it’s not full cover, a little goes a long way in the physical world and for your own piece of mind.
Get your house in order
If you tend to wing landlording, trusting that you’ll remember when tenancies are up or when certification is due – now is the time to make a big change!
It doesn’t take long to get your house in order and once you’ve done that groundwork, it’s easy to maintain and will take a load off your mind.
Take the time to gather all of your certification into one easy to find place – we also recommend making sure you have digital copies and saving them securely. If you have multiple properties, make your life easier by storing each property’s certification together in one folder.
Set reminders in your phone or other digital calendar, so you’ll get a reminder when you need to update something or when your tenant is due to leave. This way you don’t have to rely on your memory and won’t ever miss an important date.
Mushroom landlords benefit from our free online document storage solution, which helps you gather all your landlord-ing paperwork in one place, and gives you a digital nudge when anything is up for renewal. Perfect if you’re worried about forgetting vital gas safety renewals, or insurances.
Ask for help
With the best will in the world, there is only so much active self-care and maintenance that you can do. If the stress and anxiety you feel is out of your control, the time has come to speak to a professional.
Book an appointment with your GP and speak about your feelings. They will be able to advise you on the best course of action for you. It is not a sign of weakness or admission of failure to ask for help when you need it. Speak to your friends and family to let them know you’re struggling, so they can support you.
Nothing is worth your health – put that at the top of your priority list.