Fri 29 Sep 2023

The cost-of-living crisis and mental health

In the third in a series of three articles on the cost-of-living crisis our debt team manager Jo Purdy discusses some practical ways to look after your mental health and stay positive as the UK continues to feel the pinch with rising cost of food, fuel, utilities and household bills.  


Nuffield Health's 2023 Heathier Nation Index, reports that more than half the people in the UK say that the cost-of-living crisis has had a negative impact on their mental health.  These results are not surprising given the ever increasing prices for food, fuel and services.  Money worries can be very challenging and have a negative impact on even the most positive person's state of mind. Here, we offer tips on how to manage money worries.

1. Lower your stress

One of the best ways to deal with stress is to focus on what you can control. Step away from the bigger picture (don't think about what the energy companies and politicians are doing) and instead focus on the small things you can achieve personally. This could be related to your finances such as shop at a cheaper supermarket or something simple like:

  • Call a friend
  • Listen to a podcast
  • Go for a walk
  • Read a book
  • Eat a healthy lunch

2. Try to reduce feelings of anxiety

If financial hardship is interfering with your daily life, there are some steps which might make things easier:

  • Focus your attention on tasks rather than thoughts.
  • Remember that life is always uncertain and worrying about the worst case scenario won't change the outcome.
  • Be kind to yourself and prioritise exercise, self care and sleep.

3. Boost your mood

Worrying about your finances can have a negative effect on your mood and may make you feel tearful, frustrated and empty. To help you feel better and stay positive here are some things to try:

  • Be physically active.
  • Pay attention to the present moment - there are lots of free meditation sessions available on apps or YouTube.
  • Connect with other people.

4. Sleep better

Whether you're struggling to fall asleep because your mind is racing or you’re waking up during the night, making small changes to your lifestyle and bedtime routine can make a big difference to you sleep. Some top tips include:

  • Eat a healthy diet and stay hydrated.
  • Switch off any tech devices at least 30 minutes before going to bed.
  • Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet and the right temperature.

5. Get financial support

Money worries can affect your mental health and at the same time your mental health can affect how you manage your finances - if you’re feeling stressed you may not have the motivation to deal with your financial situation. On a positive note, there is lots of free help at hand including things like:

  • Create a household budget planner so you know where you're spending your money and where you could cut back through online apps.
  • Take back control of your finances with the "7 Days, 7 Ways programme with StepChange".
  • Get your personalised guide to saving money online.
  • Contact the CAB or a money adviser for serious debt concerns.

Whilst the economy continues to slowly recover and we look forward to better days ahead, the reality of it is that we're still in pretty difficult times.   The impact on mental health of, firstly, the pandemic and now the cost-of-living crisis cannot be underestimated. However, if we can try to do some of the things in this post then we might just help improve our situation, even just a little bit.  That's got to be worth a try. 

Make an Enquiry

From our offices we serve the whole of Scotland, as well as clients around the world with interests in Scotland. Please complete the form below, and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.

Morton Fraser MacRoberts LLP will use the information you provide to contact you about your inquiry. The information is confidential. For more information on our privacy practices please see our Privacy Notice