As we approach Mental Health Awareness Week, it’s crucial to recognise the often-overlooked link between mental health and financial difficulty. They can create a vicious cycle, where one exacerbates the other. Here, we’ll explore this connection and offer strategies to break free.

The Financial Rollercoaster’s Impact on Mental Wellbeing

Financial worries are a significant stressor, impacting our emotional and psychological well-being. Here’s how money troubles can affect mental health:

  • Anxiety and Depression: Chronic financial stress can trigger anxiety and depression. The constant worry about bills, debt, and making ends meet can lead to feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.
  • Sleep Disturbances: Financial worries can disrupt sleep patterns, making it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. This lack of sleep further exacerbates anxiety and depression.
  • Strained Relationships: Financial stress can strain relationships with partners, family, and friends. Money disagreements are a common source of conflict, leading to isolation and loneliness.
  • Decision-Making Difficulties: Financial pressures can cloud judgment and make it difficult to make clear decisions. This can lead to impulsive spending or neglecting financial responsibilities, worsening the situation.


The Downward Spiral: How Mental Health Affects Business Finances

Mental health struggles can also negatively impact our financial situation, in an owner managed business that can impact your business as well as your personal finances:

  • Reduced Work Performance: Depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues can hinder focus, motivation, and productivity at work. This can lead to decreased performance, and poor customer service, losing clients and further straining finances.
  • Poor Financial Decisions: Mental health issues can affect our ability to manage money effectively. Reduced motivation might lead to neglecting bills, impulsive spending to cope with negative emotions, or difficulty creating a budget.
  • Social Withdrawal: Mental health struggles can lead to social withdrawal, decreasing opportunities to connect with friends or family who might offer financial support or attend business events that would develop the business.


Breaking Free from the Cycle: Strategies for Hope and Healing

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to break free from the cycle of mental health and financial difficulty:

  • Seek Professional Help: Don’t hesitate to seek help from a therapist or counsellor. Talking therapy can equip you with coping mechanisms for managing stress and anxiety, leading to better financial decision-making.
  • Create a Budget and Track Spending: Take control of your finances. Creating a budget and tracking expenses can help identify areas where you can cut back and free up resources.  In your business you could involve a book-keeper, a worthwhile expense to help you to keep control of the situation.
  • Seek Financial Advice: Consider talking to a financial advisor or credit counsellor. They can offer personalised advice on managing debt, creating a savings plan, and improving your overall financial health.
  • Prioritise Self-Care: Taking care of yourself is essential for mental and financial well-being. Regular exercise, healthy eating, and relaxation techniques can significantly improve your mood and energy levels, making it easier to cope with financial challenges.
  • Connect with Supportive People: Lean on your support network. Talking to friends, family, or joining a support group can provide emotional support and a sense of community, which is crucial during difficult times.

Mental Health Awareness Week and Beyond

Mental Health Awareness Week is a time to raise awareness, fight stigma, and promote resources. Remember, you are not alone. Financial challenges are common, and help is available. By taking care of your mental well-being and seeking professional assistance if needed, you can break the cycle of financial difficulty and build a more secure future.

Let’s work together to break the stigma surrounding mental health and financial difficulty. By openly discussing these challenges and seeking support, we can build a more resilient and supportive community.