Is Money or the lack thereof affecting your mental health?
The first thing to know is that there is help out there!
A lot has happened in the last few months that is affecting all of us. We are facing serious financial struggles with the cost of most items, even basic necessities soaring. Everyone is feeling the pinch. So in this post, I hope to give some practical help and advice for coping so that your mental health will be, at the bare minimum, ok.
Many of us are quite resilient in times like these. We have adopted certain strategies that have proven to help us cope. I’ll share some of these. Others, on the other hand, feel a sense of hopelessness, they can see no way out and some even get suicidal thoughts.
Money worries is definitely one of the things that push people to breaking point but there is help so, here goes:
Before things get overwhelming, take action (even if you already feel overwhelmed, still take action). Gather your thoughts together and get them down on paper or on your electronic device. Keeping a diary is a brilliant way to note how you feel, note what plans you decide on, and what you actually did to improve your situation. It will be awesome to look back and see the excellent progress you make.
Put Things in Perspective
Put things in perspective and priority order. Don’t run away from the issues, Money issues too. They won’t go away if you just ignore them. Gather your bills and bank statements together. Put bills that are unavoidable and must be paid at the top of the pile. Put bills that are not necessary at the bottom of the pile, then put all others in the middle. Rid yourself of recurring payments that are not essential, you decide what these are. For me, they would be things like certain subscriptions like flowers or gym membership. These are luxuries that you might be able to afford at a later date. Sure they are good for you, but perhaps you can exercise at home with music on and you can certainly create some beautiful masterpiece bouquets from nature for your home. For example, autumnal bouquets can be made from foraging in your neighbourhood. From your middle pile, see what you can reduce or get rid of.
Know the Essentials
Focus on the essentials. Your food and energy bills are definitely going nowhere. But you should definitely try to be creative in paying for these. Shop around. Check comparison sites to see what energy tariff might suit you better. Try not to be tied in to everlasting contracts. When they don’t suit your needs anymore, it’s time to make the switch. Your food bill too can be reduced by being creative. You can plant your own herbs and some veggies.
Eat what you grow and swap with others who might grow things you didn’t plant. Also, you can shop at budget supermarkets. They have some different looking but amazing tasting offerings which you should try. Buy fruits and veggies when they are in season. If they are scarce, most likely they will be more expensive. You can also set your family and yourself some food-related challenges like: ‘cook a meal for all of us for under £5. Many supermarkets also have their own range (brand) of most foods which happen to be less expensive. Get used to buying these to help reduce your food bill. These tips will help to lighten your mood and help you to better cope. Do the usual things you can to save on fuel at home. You know, shorter showers, switching lights off etc.
Avoid Splurges, at Least for Now
Avoid spur-of-the-moment splurges, especially if these involve spending. This includes but is not limited to, trips to expensive cafes, where a cup of coffee is too exorbitant. Make your own from home and take it with you if you must. After all, you are more likely to make it just the way you want it… and you don’t have to worry about ‘keeping up with the Joneses’. Alcohol is definitely a splurge and it is our opinion that it is bad for one’s mental health too. What do you think?
Keep a Gratitude Journal
Look out each day for things you are grateful for or things that make you happy. Make a note of these in your diary.
Stay Strong and True to your Faith
Build your faith by tuning in to the God of the universe, giving thanks, singing praises, and helping those you can, even if all you have to give is a smile. Karma is a real thing and we’d like to think that doing good deeds for others will eventually result in good deeds being done for you in return.
Adequate Sleep Supports a Positive Mindset!
Try to get enough sleep each night. Avoid screens just before bed. Perhaps your diary entry of thankfulness should be the last thing you do before bedtime. When you have had enough sleep, you have the ‘head space’ to think more clearly of things to do and things to avoid, and what steps to take.
Think about the following too:
- Avoid toxic relationships. These are really bad for your mental health. Meet up with friends who you know ‘have your back!’ Now is the time to enjoy positive relationships.
- Think positive thoughts.
- Widen your interests. There are lots of ‘free’ activities that you can do so check to see what is available in your area.
- Avoid loan sharks no matter how lucrative their offer sounds. Many have found themselves in deep trouble with these people and really, they don’t care if you are stressed or anxious, or worried.
- Spend as much time as possible in nature. Walk more, and breathe deeply.
I hope these points can help. Remember you are not alone. You can always seek help from the Citizens Advice Bureau and always talk to your GP about how you feel and he/she may be able to signpost you to further help.
BASED ON THE FOCUS OF THIS WEEK’S POST, WE HAVE THESE WORDS OF THE WEEK: MONEY & MENTAL HEALTH.
We hope you all have had a good week, despite everything happening at the moment. Speak soon.