Sticking to a financial plan – such as paying off a mortgage – can be a long journey that’s punctuated by high highs and low lows. Here are some tips to get you through the tougher times.
October is generally the month that people all around Australia and the world dedicate to improving awareness around mental health.
According to Mental Health Australia, 1 in 5 Australians are affected by mental illness, yet many don’t seek help because of stigma.
The thing is, mental health and financial safety are strongly linked, with many studies showing personal finances are one of the main sources of stress.
With that in mind, below we’ve outlined six ways you can help protect your mental health from being eroded by financial concerns.
First, however, we believe it’s important to add that if you’re feeling severely down or depressed, please contact your GP or call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
1. Know the warning signs
Signs that you may not be coping as well as normal include:
- Arguing with the people closest to you about money
- Sleeping difficulties
- Feeling angry, fearful or resentful
- Sudden mood swings
- Loss of appetite
- Not wanting to hang out with family or friends as much as usual.
2. Exercise daily
Exercise releases feel-good chemicals such as endorphins and serotonin. It also gets you out and about, which minimises your feelings of loneliness.
You don’t have to run a marathon or anything either. Just a brisk 30 minute walk each day will deliver both physical and mental health benefits – and help you sleep better at night.
3. Eat well
There’s not much use doing all that exercise if you’re just going to smash a few Big Macs straight after.
Instead, try cooking some new healthy recipes with your loved one, or inviting a friend you haven’t seen for a while to come eat with you.
A healthy diet not only improves your physical health, but it’ll make you feel better too.
The best bit? Cooking uses brain power, which will help distract you from any issues that are making you down or anxious. And they’ll make you proud of your gourmet creations, of course!
4. Reach out to support networks
Make an effort to reach out to and catch up with family, friends and other members of your community.
Don’t wait for them to reach out to you – be the one who initiates contact.
It doesn’t have to cost you anything extra, either. Kill two (or three!) birds with one stone and invite them over for a walk, or a home-cooked meal.
5. Positive sense of identity and an optimistic outlook
Always look on the bright side of life.
For example, if you’ve recently become redundant, look at it as an opportunity to launch into a new job, or finally give running your own business a shot.
Also, adopt a positive attitude to seeking support. Rather than feeling down about seeking help, take pride in the fact that you’ve got the initiative to recognise when you’re not feeling up to par.
6. Improve your financial literacy
Sometimes, our finances can feel all too overwhelming, which in turn, gets us feeling down.
If you fall into that category, brushing up on your financial education can help you feel a whole lot better about things – not to mention equip you with the tools you need to improve your budget bottom line.
Our regular blog covers a wide range of topics that can help you improve your financial literacy.
Alternatively, don’t hesitate to give us a call if you’re worried about your finances, such as paying off your mortgage.
We’d be more than happy to workshop some ideas with you to help improve your situation and get you sleeping better at night.
Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.