Are you stressed out about money? You may have trouble focusing because of bills, or could be too exhausted from working to earn an unrealistic amount. Money and mental health are interrelated. However it’s affecting you, here are some ways to become well balanced.
Assess How Money Impacts Your Mental Health
Money impacts virtually every aspect of life, and mental health is no exception. Consider how you feel about your money, and what effect it might be having on your well-being.
For people who have substantial debt, the effects of debt on mental health are becoming well established. Research has shown that debt worries can temporarily lower your IQ by 13 points, and 46 percent of people who have debt are also diagnosed with a mental health issue.
You don’t have to have debt problems for money to impact your mental health, though. Unrealistic income goals can cause worries, and working too hard in some jobs can leave you mentally exhausted. Even worrying about how others judge your financial situation could negatively impact you.
Figure Out Whether You Might Lessen the Load
If your mental health is being affected by money troubles, consider how you could lessen the stress by adjusting your financial situation. You probably can’t get out of a predicament instantly, but you may be able to take steps to reduce the trouble’s impact.
Depending on your situation, you might try building emergency savings, paying off high-interest debt, paying off small debts and/or consolidating debt. These tactics can help you better handle unexpected issues when they arise, and reduce the debt burden on your monthly cash flow.
Of course, the most effective ways to manage debt require coming up with extra money. Create a budget to see whether you might save some money on certain expenses, and consider picking up a side gig. Gig work that lets you do work on your schedule can be a great way to get some extra income, regardless of whether you’re a student, single person, mother or father.
Make Room for Mental Health in Your Budget
As you review your budget, make sure you leave some room for your own mental health. Consider budgeting for a therapist if you need to, and/or have coverage through health insurance. You could also take a long weekend somewhere, enjoy a day at the spa or even make that small splurge.
For a more comprehensive approach to reducing money-caused mental health strain, combine a few of these ideas. Give yourself a small perk each day, and then the occasional larger spa or therapist service. Just make sure you don’t spend more than you should when paying for these things.
Money has a tremendous impact on how we feel. Approach money and mental health from a positive perspective. It can help you see how you can improve your well-being by managing money differently.
About the Author: Scott Brodie is a freelance writer covering education, insurance and finance. He is often found with his cup of coffee and faithful dog at his side.