A recent BBC news article highlighted the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on individuals by stating that a woman had to choose between mental health therapy and heating her home. The cost-of-living crisis in the UK is causing people to choose between heating and eating which is starting to have severe effects on our mental health. Statistics also support this by stating that 66% of therapists say that the cost-of-living concerns are causing a decline in people’s mental health. At times of stress and uncertainty like this, it is important to keep our mental health in mind and still prioritise it.
What is meant by the cost-of-living crisis?
The cost-of-living crisis has meant that people in the UK have had to start paying more for essentials such as energy, food, rent and fuel. It has meant that people have had to be more mindful about their finances and how much they are spending.
How is the cost of living affecting mental health?
The cost-of-living crisis can affect mental health in many ways and the effects can be specific to each person. Many people are left feeling stressed and anxious as they feel fear over the future. The impact on mental health is also showcased through research statistics. Research shows that 49% of therapists say their clients are already cutting back on activities that benefit their mental health such as gym memberships. It was also found that 60% of therapists have also seen clients cutting back on therapy sessions due to money worries.
How to look after your mental health through the cost-of-living crisis?
It can be very easy to neglect your mental health when you are stressed because your mind becomes occupied with other things. However, if you find yourself neglecting your mental health, try some of the following tips.
1. Get enough sleep
Statistics show that 52% of therapists involved in the research reported that their clients are losing sleep over money worries. Stress and anxiety can make it challenging to get a good night’s sleep however, a lack of sleep will only make those feelings worse. Try creating a good routine by going to sleep at the same time and waking up at the same time each day. The use of mobile devices can also challenge a good night’s sleep. Try to turn off your phone so you do not feel tempted to use it before going to sleep. You could also put it on the other side of the room, so it is out of your sight.
It is also important to not forget about ‘me time’. When things get overwhelming it is important to take some time of the day out for yourself and do something that makes you feel good. You could try some mindfulness exercises such as sitting down and writing a list of things you are grateful for. Through sitting down alone and reflecting on the good, you become more present and appreciate your surroundings.
3. Reach out
When we are stressed and anxious, we often find ourselves engaging in less social activity which leads to feelings of loneliness. If you find yourself feeling lonely then reach out to a friend or family member and discuss your worries and concerns. Not only will talking about your worries help you instead of bottling them up inside, but you could also benefit from taking some advice you are given from a loved one.
4. Get Help
We have all been living through difficult times recently and if you are feeling overwhelmed with it all, it is best to talk to a professional about how you are feeling. You can talk to your GP if you have any concerns about your mental health or call 111 if your GP is not available. You can also get free support by phone or online by:
- Calling Samaritans on 116 123
- Calling CALM on 0800 58 58 58
- Messaging SHOUT to 85258
We hope these tips help you keep you with looking after your mental health during the cost of living crisis. If you feel like you need professional help, we are a private mental health hospital in Windsor with nurses on hand 24 hours a day who provide expert clinical treatment. If you want to arrange a consultation you can find out more about how to get a GP referral or how to self-refer. For more information visit https://cardinalclinic.co.uk/ or call 01753 869755 for help and advice.
For more tips on looking after your mental health, you can read our blog: 5 ways to keep your mental health in check this world mental health day.