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The Link Between Finance and Mental Health: How to Manage Both

Money matters can significantly impact your mental health, and your mental health can influence your financial well-being. At Oldham Credit Union, we understand the relationship between finance and mental health.

Understanding the Connection
Financial stress is a common trigger for mental health issues. Worrying about debt, struggling to pay bills, or facing financial uncertainty can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems. On the other hand, poor mental health can make it difficult to manage your finances, leading to a vicious cycle that’s hard to break.

Signs of Financial Stress
Recognizing the signs of financial stress is the first step in addressing the issue. Common indicators include:

  • •Constant worry about money
  • •Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • •Feeling overwhelmed by financial responsibilities
  • •Avoiding financial decisions or discussions
  • •Using unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as overeating or substance abuse

If you identify with any of these signs, it’s crucial to take action to protect both your mental and financial health.

Practical Tips for Managing Financial Stress

Create a Budget
A well-planned budget can provide a sense of control over your finances. List your income and expenses, identify essential and non-essential spending, and allocate funds accordingly. Budgeting apps and tools can make this process easier and more effective.

Seek Professional Advice
If you’re struggling with debt or financial planning, consider speaking with a financial advisor or a debt counselor. They can help you develop a strategy to manage your debts and improve your financial situation. Many organizations offer free or low-cost advice.

Set Realistic Goals
Setting achievable financial goals can provide motivation and a sense of accomplishment. Whether it’s paying off a specific debt, saving for an emergency fund, or reducing monthly expenses, having clear goals can guide your financial decisions.

Build an Emergency Fund
An emergency fund can provide a financial cushion during unexpected events, reducing stress and giving you peace of mind. Aim to save at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses in a separate, easily accessible account.

Avoid Unnecessary Debt
Be cautious about taking on new debt, especially if you’re already feeling financially strained. Consider whether a purchase is necessary and explore alternatives, such as saving up before making a big purchase.

Taking Care of Your Mental

Talk About Your Concerns
Sharing your financial worries with a trusted friend, family member, or mental health professional can provide emotional support and perspective. Sometimes, just talking about your concerns can alleviate some of the stress.

Practice Self-Care
Incorporate activities that promote relaxation and well-being into your routine, such as exercise, meditation, hobbies, or spending time with loved ones. Taking care of your physical health can also have a positive impact on your mental health.

Seek Professional Help
If financial stress is significantly affecting your mental health, don’t hesitate to seek help from a mental health professional. Therapists and counsellors can provide strategies to manage stress, anxiety, and depression.

Stay Informed
Educate yourself about financial literacy. Understanding financial principles can empower you to make better decisions and feel more confident in managing your money.

At Oldham Credit Union, we believe that financial well-being is an essential component of overall health. By addressing financial stress and taking steps to improve both your finances and mental health, you can work towards a more stable and healthy life.

Useful Links
Budget Planner – Money Helper
Help with benefits and money – Oldham Council’s Information
Mental health professionals – TOG MIND

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