How To Balance Your Finances And Mental Health

Thinking about finances can be stressful and emotional. When you are concerned about making ends meet and covering expenses, you’ll likely find yourself in a negative space.  Financial insecurity can trigger feelings of panic, anxiety, and depression. This can affect your self-esteem and lead you to despair. When financial stress becomes overwhelming, your mind, body, and social life can pay a heavy price.

How can you tell if your finances are affecting your mental health?

  • Lack of focus and indecisiveness When you have financial problems, you may experience episodes of distraction and lack of concentration. This may lead to poor decision-making.
  • Mental health conditions Financial problems can lead to many mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and feelings of worthlessness.
  • Poor relationships Finances can put a strain on any relationship, both personal and professional. This is because it causes tension and conflict, and this affects communication and trust.
  • Sleep disturbances Insomnia or poor quality of sleep. A person who is not sleeping properly will become fatigued, irritable and have difficulty concentrating.
  • Poor coping methods Financial strain may also lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms like alcohol and substance abuse. These types of unhealthy or risky behavioural patterns only worsen financial and mental health problems.

Ways to balance your finances and mental health:

When you have seen how your finances are affecting your mental health, it’s important to know how to alleviate the stress and cope better. These are some of the ways:

  • Learn how to create a budget You can get help from an expert like a financial advisor who can help you set self-discipline practices to have more control over your finances. This will also help with identifying problematic areas like where money is being wasted and what you can cut down on.
  • Prioritise needs over wants Decide what’s really needed in your life and prioritise it. Rather than buying takeouts, you can prepare your meals at home. When you focus on those things, it will not only help reduce your financial obligations but also reduce stress and anxiety.
  • If you have debt, manage it effectively It may seem like a task, but you can overcome debt with the right attitude and implementing the right strategies. Once you’ve worked out your budget, it can help you plan how to pay off your debt.
  • Practice self-care This is important when managing stress and anxiety. Self-care practices like exercise and meditation are some ways that you can gain a healthy grasp of the situation and can reduce mental health problems.
  • Be forgiving to yourself Mistakes happen and setbacks will occur. Be kind and patient with yourself. Don’t allow your current situation to affect your future. Commit to your financial stability and mental health.

Remember, if you are struggling financially or psychologically, ask for help. This may be in the form of getting financial advice to reduce financial difficulties or simply sharing with someone you trust. When you notice you cannot cope and you are feeling hopeless, reach out to family and friends you trust or get help from a mental health practitioner.

If you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, an  Instagram message, a  Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).