If you're feeling self-shaming for your savings and livelihood during your tough time financially in life, then you are not alone in this world.
Most of the great financial therapists have found that several people who have jobs and financial security amid the pandemic feel guilty about having been spared and the language they often use is almost identical to what they hear from people with post-traumatic stress disorder.
What they (financial therapist) started to see was survivor guilt and people feel like somehow they didn't deserve what they have.
While sometimes financial survivor's guilt isn't official psychological diagnosis and even recognising the similarities are useful for struggling clients. Also people experiencing this kind of guilt may feel sad or even hopeless and they may have obsessive thoughts regarding what they might have done differently to protect others.
They may feel numb or burned out. Just like many other type of stress, survivor guilt can impact on your sleep and your nervous system as well.
Why do we feel guilty ?
One of the top reason why people feel survivor's guilt is because we're hard-wired to want justice and fairness. We wonder how is it fair that we still have our job but others do not.
Everyone feels worst about inequities but those who already experienced financial self-shaming, where they feel that it's not okay to have money or jobs that are denied to others.
At the extreme, they may volunteer to be furloughed or put themselves at financial risk because they feel guilty.
Reach out helping hand
A more productive way would be to look for smooth way to help others like working at a food bank, helping other to update their resume that could help them find opportunity to get a job. Giving back helps us better feel. But don't go overboard.
When your goal is to alleviate your guilt, it's easy to miss what the other person actually needs. For example, some people may rush in in with referrals and networking suggestions when a jobless friend is still in shock.
Maybe your friend just needs an empathetic listener right now. Resist the urge to share the setbacks you've experienced. Instead, say, "I'm so sorry that happened. That must be really hard."
Turn guilt to gratitude
Another most important way to cope is to start appreciating the positive vibes in your life for lifetime. After lot of research, it shows that keeping a gratitude journal, writing gratitude lists or just contemplating what you're grateful for can lower your stress, improves sleep and also good for better relationship.
Feeling sad after thinking so much about past is normal, but experiencing sadness and guilt for weeks at a time is not. If you're not able to sleep then you're too distracted to work.
Remember, feeling bummed out about layoffs and economic turmoil is normal, but experiencing sadness and guilt for weeks at a time is not.