Rehab 4 Addiction

In the modern world, the general public is facing more strain than ever before.

With a range of varied factors in play, the rate of inflation is increasing, meaning that costs are increasing in all areas of the market.

Unlike issues with supply or resource shortages, the cost-of-living crisis means that everything is getting more expensive – something that is not often matched by an increase in wages.

Because of this, many households may begin to struggle with the rising bills and costs that they are facing.

Group holding leafs

The average electricity bill, for example, has increased from £450 in 2020 to £760 in 2021 – an increase of 36%.

Many households are not able to keep up with these raising costs due to a lack of response from employers.

Many businesses are not increasing wages to match inflation, meaning that although things are beginning to cost more, most individuals are not making more money to match this.

All across the UK, people are beginning to struggle financially to keep up with these costs.

Whether it is water and electricity bills or the cost of shopping for food, any increase in the financial burden of these factors can have a massive impact on an individual’s mental health.

How Can The Cost-Of-Living Crisis Affect Mental Health?

Drinking coffee

When faced with financial trials, many individuals are likely to begin to struggle.

This can be in terms of financial difficulties i.e., raising enough money to pay for their household costs, or it can be in terms of mental health.

For those who may not be able to keep up with these increasing costs, or those who excessively worry about finances generally, the rising cost of living is enough to cause a host of issues.

head to head

For example, anxiety is a mental health issue that may be especially affected by this crisis due to the nature of the disorder.

If an individual is more likely to worry about things in general and be caused stress by everyday activities, a sudden increase in the cost of their weekly food shop may be enough to cause them severe stress.

In addition to this, many individuals have people who rely on them, especially in the case of carers or parents with young children.

This can cause additional strain when considering how to continue supporting them.

General Top Tips For Coping With The Rising Cost Of Living

Female therapist with male

If you or someone you know is finding it especially challenging to cope with the cost-of-living crisis, then it may be useful to begin to consider adopting new habits or working towards reducing the stress of a financial strain.

In general – no matter the physical or mental symptoms of the individual’s mental health issues – it is important to remember that help is always available.

In addition to government schemes and promises of aid, there are also many privately-operated programmes that are working to help reduce the strain of the cost-of-living crisis.

There are also several steps that an individual can take themselves, whether this is in the comfort of their own home, as part of their daily routine, or something that they may introduce as a form of self-help and mental wellbeing.

The following paragraphs cover some of the top tips for coping and managing an individual’s mental health during the cost-of-living crisis.

Physical Activity

Walking outside

This is one of the first things that individuals are recommended to do when seeking help for a majority of mental health issues.

As well as having a renowned effect on the strain of mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, physical exercise can come at no additional cost to the individual.

To take part in physical exercise, individuals can organise team games with friends, join a local walking group, or start working out at home.

By focusing the mind in this way, individuals are more likely to get into a routine (something that can be reassuring to many individuals) as well as providing them with an alternative point of focus.

Keep A Financial Record

Man with pen

In order to stay on top of the rising costs across the market, it may be useful to keep a detailed and accurate record of all spending and bills across the household.

Not only will this provide peace of mind for many individuals who struggle with money, but it is also a great way to track how and where costs are rising, helping to cut down in some areas where it is possible.

This can be done by creating a spreadsheet, either a physical record or on the computer.

Individuals should track their monthly income and expenses, making a note of the different areas of spending e.g., essentials, recreational, bills, etc.

Get Outside

There is nothing worse than being confronted with an issue and staying inside all day to deal with it.

This is why, where possible, it is always recommended to get at least a few minutes of fresh air every day.

Even if this is taking a step outside between meetings, taking some deep breaths whilst on a lunchtime walk, or spending free time in the garden or balcony, getting outside can give the individual’s mental health an instant boost.

Especially during the pandemic, it was noted that even a short amount of time outside could help to mitigate the negative effects to mental health and wellbeing.

This is also the case in more general cases of mental health, being appropriate for the cost-of-living crisis now just as much as it was then.

Learn More About Where Your Money Goes

Group

Following on from financial tracking, actually understanding the ways that the cost of different services or products is broken down can be a great way to reduce the stress associated with these uncertainties.

For example, some households have combined bill costs, meaning that understanding the breakdown of these can be difficult.

In these cases, it is possible to check the breakdown of bills or contact the company directly to understand more about how you are being charged.

This can be added to the financial tracker, increasing understanding of costs as well as redistributing finances to other areas where possible or necessary.

Talk With Close Friends And Family

In many cases, individuals tend to keep financial worries to themselves.

Whether they believe it to be a sign of weakness or struggle or simply be embarrassed about their financial situation, this is not the best way to deal with these issues.

By talking to people that they trust, individuals may be able to get advice or support.

For example, the individual may not have heard of schemes in which they can access cheaper goods, but after talking to a friend or family member, they may learn about this and cut down on the costs of some areas of spending.

It is also a great way to unburden oneself of the stresses that are carried during the financial struggle.

Just talking to someone else may be enough to motivate someone to change their habits, research more about their situation, or start a financial tracker.

Take Small Steps

Two people hugging

In all cases of struggling with a mental health issue, it is important to be patient and take every situation as it comes.

By thinking too much about the future and the possibility of financial issues, the individual is subjecting them to worrying about the issue twice.

The first time is as in anticipation of the future, and the other as it actually happens.

Taking it slow and working through every day as it comes may not sound like a great idea to start with.

Still, when the individual stops worrying so much about what is to come rather than the issues currently at hand, the less stress they will endure and the more likely they are to make progress both in their financial situation and their mental well-being.

Avoid Burnout

In a worst-case scenario, individuals who struggle and worry too much about the issues facing them in the past, present, and future may risk burnout.

This is where the body begins to shut down, either physically, mentally, or both.

Though this is especially prevalent amongst healthcare workers, it is quickly becoming a universal risk through the mounting pressures of the cost of living.

Burnout is something that individuals want to avoid as it often stops them from working as they normally would or taking part in everyday activities.

By following the above tips, taking things step by step, and seeking help where necessary, individuals are far less likely to experience a burnout.

In the cases where burnout occurs, the individual should continue to be patient with themselves and not push themselves beyond their limits.

Closing Words

Diverse people in a supporting group session

The cost-of-living crisis is affecting every individual in the UK right now.

Not every individual will encounter the same issues, but when faced with a generally increasing cost across all areas, there are likely to be issues.

By staying on top of the situation, being aware of the changes that are happening, and taking time from an everyday routine to incorporate some mental well-being activities, individuals may feel less stress and mental health strain than they did before.

As mentioned above, the top tips in this article are designed to help the individual to help themselves.

In the case where further support is needed, there are a range of online resources to help individuals who are struggling or may require specific advice.

How Rehab 4 Addiction Can Help

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To learn more about the cost-of-living crisis, its effect on an individual’s mental well-being, and how to get additional support for this, please feel free to contact Rehab 4 Addiction’s support line on 0800 140 4690.

Although we primarily offer support for addiction, mental health forms a key part of our expertise.

For this reason, Rehab 4 Addiction is practised in providing mental health support as well as referring individuals to additional sources of support should they need it.

Get in contact today to find out how we can help you.