Managing financial stress and supporting your Mental Health in our current economy.
The current state of New Zealand's economy is complex and multifaceted, with a combination of factors contributing to a rise in the cost of living and mortgage rates. The COVID-19 pandemic, international supply chain disruptions, and increased demand for goods and services have all played a role. This can have significant implications for our mental health, as financial stress has been shown to have a negative impact on our well-being.
Financial stress can affect our mental health in a variety of ways. It can increase the risk of depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and other mental health disorders. Financial stress can also lead to physical symptoms, such as headaches, fatigue, and difficulty sleeping, which can further contribute to poor mental health. Additionally, financial stress can lead to relationship difficulties, social isolation, and feelings of shame and stigma, which can exacerbate mental health problems.
Managing financial stress is important for wellbeing and mental health.
Here are some coping strategies that can help:
Create a budget: Creating a budget can help you get a clear picture of your financial situation and identify areas where you can cut back on expenses. This can help reduce stress and give you a sense of control over your finances. The New Zealand government has a free online tool called the Sorted Budgeting Tool to help you create a budget, plan and take control.
Seek financial counselling: If you're struggling with debt or other financial issues, consider seeking the help of a financial counsellor. They can provide guidance and support on how to manage your finances and develop a plan to get back on track.
Find support from family and friends: Talking to loved ones about your financial stress can help alleviate some of the burden. They may be able to offer emotional support, practical help, or even financial assistance if needed. Additionally, there are support groups available for people struggling with debt or other financial issues.
- Practice self-care: Taking care of yourself is important for managing stress and protecting your mental health. Make time for activities that you enjoy, such as exercise, mindfulness, or spending time with loved ones. Taking care of your physical health, such as getting enough sleep and eating a healthy diet, can also have a positive impact on your mental health. Natural supplements such as magnesium can also help with stress and anxiety. Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a role in regulating mood and reducing stress. It can be found in leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and whole grains or a handy Supplement
- Seek professional help: If you're experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety, or other mental health disorders, consider seeking professional help.You can find a mental health professional through your primary care doctor, health insurance provider, or through online directories such as the Mental Health Foundation.
Remember, managing financial stress and protecting your mental health is an ongoing process. It's important to take small steps every day to manage stress and build resilience.
Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment. (2022). Economic dashboard. https://www.mbie.govt.nz/business-and-employment/economic-dashboard/
Mental Health Foundation. (n.d.). Find a mental health provider. https://www.mentalhealth.org.nz/get-help/find-a-provider/