Navigating the Storm: The Cost of Living Crisis and Its Impact on Mental Health
Amidst the surging cost of living, our mental well-being is at stake. Let's explore how the cost of living crisis impacts our mental health, and what we can do to look after ourselves.
Jan 23rd, 2024
What is the cost of living crisis, what caused it, and who is affected by it?
The cost of living crisis is an overarching issue where the expenses of basic necessities such as housing, food, and energy have been consistently rising at a rate much higher than people's incomes. Several factors contribute to this crisis, including inflation, stagnant wages, and increasing costs of essential goods and services.
This crisis impacts a wide range of people, from young professionals struggling to find affordable housing, to families grappling with the soaring costs of keeping the household running. It's not limited to a specific demographic; instead, it's a pervasive issue affecting communities across the UK (and worldwide, too!). Due to uneven wealth distribution in our country, the majority will feel this crisis more than others.
How the cost of living crisis affects people's mental health
Living in a constant state of financial stress takes a toll on mental health. The anxiety of making ends meet, worrying about debt, and feeling the pressure to keep up with rising costs can lead to heightened stress levels, depression, and even exacerbate pre-existing mental health conditions. The uncertainty of the future can contribute to a sense of hopelessness and despair, further impacting one's mental wellbeing.
What can people do to look after their mental health during this crisis?
Seek Support: Don't hesitate to reach out to friends, family or colleagues. Sharing your concerns can be a relief and may lead to practical advice or emotional support. If you need professional mental health support, please get in touch with one of our MyMynd Responders (email@example.com) who can assist you in finding the most appropriate support for your needs.
Educate Yourself on Financial Wellbeing: Consider doing research or taking courses on financial literacy. Many online platforms offer free resources to help you understand budgeting, saving, and investing, empowering you to make informed financial decisions. YouTube is a great starting point!
Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques: Incorporate mindfulness and relaxation techniques into your routine. Whether it's meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises, these practices can help manage stress and improve mental wellbeing.
Practice Gratitude: During difficult times such as these, it's easy to get caught up with what we don't have and forget about what we do have. There is often a lot to be grateful for, and practising gratitude is often viewed as one of the core pillars of happiness. You can do this by using our practical tool, Three Good Things, as an exercise in practising gratitude.
Set Realistic Goals: Break down your financial goals into manageable steps. This can make the situation seem less overwhelming and provide a sense of accomplishment as you achieve each step. Why not have a go at creating some of your own financial goals, using our Wheel of Life tool?
Prioritise Looking After Yourself: When times are tough, our self-care often takes a back seat. It can feel incredibly overwhelming when so many things are outside of our control. That is why it's important to ensure we stay on top of the things we can control - such as how we take care of ourselves, our mind, and our body. We get it - staying active and healthy is often perceived to cost a small fortune, but this doesn't have to be the case! Check out our handy guides for Healthy Eating on a Budget and how to Exercise on a Budget.
Happiness can be Free
In the midst of the cost of living crisis, it's crucial to recognise that love and joy doesn't always have a price-point. As we navigate these challenging times, let's not forget the immeasurable value of self-care, community, and the simple pleasures that cost nothing at all. By prioritising our mental wellbeing, embracing the beauty of free experiences, and supporting one another, we can find strength in unity, and build resilience in the face of financial adversity. Together, let's rewrite the narrative, turning the pages towards a future where happiness and fulfilment are not dictated by our wallets, but by the richness of our shared human experience.
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