2023 is a challenging year for financial wellbeing. Explore the resources and support services to help you navigate through the 'cost of living crisis'.
Financial stress is something that affects all of us, and it's important to recognise the impact it can have on our mental health. The cost of living crisis can have different effects on each individual, depending on their current mental health and circumstances.
Understanding and acknowledging the impact of financial stress on our mental well-being is crucial. The symptoms listed below are common experiences when facing financial pressures.
Anxiety and Depression
Financial stress can have a significant impact on our mental well-being, often leading to symptoms of anxiety and depression. The constant worry about debt and struggling to meet basic expenses can leave individuals feeling helpless, hopeless, and overwhelmed, which are common feelings associated with anxiety and depression.
Resources: Helplines and support | Anxiety blog | Worry tree exercise (Our most popular anxiety tool) | NHS depression self-help guide
People often struggle with falling asleep or staying asleep when they are dealing with financial stress. The lack of sleep can worsen feelings of anxiety and depression, as well as cause fatigue, stress, and mood swings over time.
Resources: List of sleep tools available | Relaxation techniques you can try before bed
There may be feelings of failure or inadequacy impacting an individual's self-esteem, especially if an individual is struggling to provide for themselves or their family.
Resource: Positive and negative words - help boost your self esteem
Chronic stress, such as the one caused by financial worries, can take a toll on your physical well-being. It may manifest as frequent headaches, digestive problems, high blood pressure, and other stress-related ailments.
Resource: Ideas for improving your physical health to boost your mental health
Trouble Thinking Clearly
High levels of stress and anxiety can impair concentration, decision-making, and memory. This can affect performance and compound the stress further.
Resource: Tips for reducing stress and relaxing to improve thinking from MIND
Social and Relationship Impact
Financial stress can strain relationships, causing tension, arguments, and communication breakdowns. Additionally, it can lead to social isolation if individuals feel embarrassed about their financial situation or are unable to participate in social activities due to financial constraints.
Resources: Ideas for improving social connection | Advice about talking about money
At times, people who are facing financial difficulties might resort to avoidance behaviors, such as disregarding bills or avoiding opening bank statements. Unfortunately, this can exacerbate the financial situation and intensify feelings of anxiety.
Resource: Blog on tackling avoidance behaviours
Using substances like alcohol, tobacco, or drugs can sometimes be seen as a temporary way to cope with stress, but it's important to recognise that over time, it can lead to substance abuse problems.
Resource: Friendly confidential advice from Frank. Text or call
It's crucial to keep in mind that many of us may be going through some or all of the experiences mentioned above.
Fortunately, there are resources available to assist with both financial and mental health challenges. Seeking support from professionals in each field can help you navigate your situation and start relieving the stress you're facing.
If you're looking for guidance on budgeting and financial management, you can find valuable information on the Money Helper website here.
We understand how challenging it can be when you've tried everything to effectively manage your money, yet you're still facing difficulties in making ends meet. Fortunately, there are support services available to assist you.
A free and impartial service set up by the UK Government. They provide a wealth of information about financial products and services, and can help you manage your money better.
Resource: Money Helper
Provide free, confidential, and independent advice to help people overcome their problems. Their advice covers a range of topics, including money, benefits, housing, and employment issues.
Resource: Citizens Advice
A UK charity providing free, specialist advice and practical solutions to people struggling with debt.
Resource: Step Change
Free advice and resources to help people deal with their debts.
Resource: National Debtline
Building our resilience
At MyMynd, we understand the importance of building resilience factors, such as nurturing hope and prioritising self-care, to help us navigate through times of financial stress.
Helping each other
Creating spaces where we can openly communicate with one another is one of the most supportive things we can do to help each other. By practicing empathic listening, we can provide a safe environment for people to share their challenges without judgment. For guidance on empathic listening, you can read our guide here.
Signpost to appropriate support services
Lastly, there are many great organisations in the UK that can support anyone suffering from anxiety.
So whether you or someone you know or work with might be affected, take a look at these helplines.