Let's talk about money...
This week is mental health awareness week and it is fantastic to see so many people being open about their mental wellbeing and sharing stories of their experiences. We know how much money worries and concerns about finances can have on mental health, so we have put together this guide to help you with taking control of your money, to help you with your mental health journey…
In this post
- How money and financial worries / concerns can negatively affect your mental health.
- What resources and support there is available to help with overall wellbeing and positive mental health.
- What resources and support is available to help specifically with your money and finances to affect positive change in your mental health.
The impact of having a pro-active and constructive mindset and approach to money and finances is proven to improve overall mental health, and I am passionate about promoting positive actions which you can take to get control over your money and achieve those money goals.
1. How does money affect your mental health?
There are several ways that money can affect your mental health in both a positive and negative way:
Having money worries or concerns about your finances can really affect your motivation – not only to deal with the issues at hand but also your overall mood and motivation for general tasks. According to mind, having money worries, particularly about debt, can lead to anxiety and depression, which can be really hard to move on from.
Your relationship with money and how you spend money can be strongly linked to mental health and wellbeing. Do you find that you are a splurger when it comes to spending when you are feeling down, which then makes you feel even worse? If you are, you are definitely not alone. It is common that spending habits fluctuate depending on mood, which can then become cyclical.
Planning for the future , when it comes to pensions and savings can not only be daunting for women in particular, it can be a trigger for anxiety, which can lead to procrastination, or a paralysis to take action. A 2019 statistic found that 35% of women do not feel they have an adequate pension promsion, which can cause fear, anxiety and trigger depression as women become unsure about their future welfare.
Mental health concerns caused by relationship issues which centre on money is a significant issue in today’s society. The Lloyds Bank The M-Word scheme sought to highlight the need for families to talk more about money, to positively affect relationships and reduce the stigma around money concerns in a bid to promote a more positive approach to money and finances in 2020.
2. Resources and support available for those experiencing mental health concerns.
There is now a wealth of resources, support and help available to positively affect your mental health, which I think is a really positive step toward breaking the stigma of mental wellbeing and how we deal with our mental health. These resources here aim to specifically help women (please note this is not an endorsement of any of the services, but an indication of the support available).
- www.womenatwish.org.uk – independent emotional support and advice for women.
- www.weareagenda.org – a new £1.8m programme to help women with their mental health.
- www.womanstrust.org.uk – specific help and advice for women who have experienced domestic abuse.
- www.makernalmentalhealthalliance.org – support and awareness for women with pregnancy and birth mental health concerns.
- www.mind.org.uk – national support and advice on all aspects of mental health.
3. What resources and support is available to help with money to positively affect your emotional wellbeing.
I want every woman to feel they are in control of their money, that it doesn’t own them, but that finances and financial planning are manageable, and even enjoyable! Here are a few things that you can do to help your emotional wellbeing when it comes to money:
Acknowledge the situation. Whatever concern you have, or action you have perhaps been putting off. Acknowledging it can make a real difference. It’s a bit like ripping a plaster off, it hurts, but the feeling after can be refreshing! Tip: Find a trusted person to help you with opening that bill pile, or looking at future options.
- Seek expert advice This one is so important, whether it is going to a pensions expert to help you with retirement planning or visiting your bank to get advice over debt, do not underestimate the power that seeking the support from a qualified professional can give you. It can save a lot of time and emotional energy. Tip: An independent advisor is able to offer you the whole of market solutions rather than single branded products, which means you can get an idea of all of the offers available.
- Set yourself a target to get things in order. I recently published a post on how to overhaul your finances which has some good tips on how to get control of your money. One of the biggest tips in there is to set money goals, and create a plan to achieve them. Giving yourself a structure can relieve some of the feelings of fear of the unknown, and give you something constructive to work towards. Tip: Download The Core E-book, this is packed with information on taking control and has a handy financial checklist for you to complete.
- Be kind to yourself. We can all be our own worst enemy when it comes to money, and our beliefs about money and finances can become a self fulfilling prophecy. Practising positive affirmations and finding daily reasons to be grateful can really make a difference over time to our money mindset and overall emotional wellbeing.
Mental health and wellbeing is something we should be openly talking about all the time, and I hope that this post has given you the opportunity to think differently about your emotional wellbeing and the link to your financial health.
Remember, we are all in this together.