In support of the Mental Health Foundation’s #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek, we’re sharing animations, tips, and blogs over the next five days on how you can take care of your wellbeing.

The theme for this year is Connecting with Nature. We think this is great theme. It’s accessible, it’s inclusive and it’s free. So, while we naturally are focused on your money and mental health, we have weaved in some nature-inspired tips throughout the week, too!

We know all about the strong links between money and mental health. In fact, 84% of our clients tell us that debts were impacting their mental health before they sought debt advice. So, as you can imagine, helping people to improve their mental health is a subject very, very, close to our hearts.

Our 2021 client survey also showed that:

  • 73% of people were embarrassed to seek debt advice
  • 39% said their debts were affecting their job and relationships
  • 62% said they are suffering from anxiety or depression
  • 80% feel their mental health is better after seeking debt advice

Five ways to look after your money and mental health

For many of us, the easing of lockdown brings longed-for opportunities, seeing friends, playing sports, and eating out. But, this ‘reopening of society’ may also leave us feeling apprehensive or anxious.

We’re kicking the week off with five ways to help look after your mental health to help elevate some of those extra pressures we are all feeling.

  1. Spend time in nature

Well, here’s our first link into the theme. Get outside and get out in nature! During the long months of the pandemic, 45% of us reported that being in green spaces had been vital for our mental health. So, find your local park, wood or beach and spend some time outside.

  1. Reorganise your finances

A budget planner is a great way to see what money you have coming in, and what you spend. Every time you have a change of circumstances, you should do a new budget.

This is particularly important if you’ve taken out any new subscriptions (think Disney+, Sky, Amazon Prime), have seen a rise in your energy bills, or you’ve had a change in income.

We may have seen taking out subscriptions as a like-for-like swap for the money you’ve saved on travel, or by not going to the pub. But, depending on your contract, they may not be so easy to turn off.  Make sure they are accounted for as you may need to start paying out for travel and socialising again soon too.

  1. Phone a friend

When was the last time you had a good old chat with a friend? Yes, you may have done a lot of zoom calls recently – or you may have even seen them at that quiz night you did. But, having a good old natter, one on one can do wonders for your mood. And, don’t forget to find out what’s been going on with them too.

  1. Get active

Looking after your body is equally important in the quest to taking care of your mental health. We know it’s been tough recently with the gyms being closed, but there are plenty of ways you can get active. Try going for regular walks or runs – you can rope a friend or member of the family to coming with you. Or, there are plenty of free activities online – download the Nike or Adidas apps for free HIIT workouts.

  1. Balance your food and drink

Similarly to exercise, what you eat and drink can really impact how you’re feeling. Almost anything in excess can put you out of sync – think chocolate, caffeine, crisps – but even going the other way, if you don’t allow yourself to have a bit of what you fancy then it can leave you feeling wiped out.

Try writing down what you usually eat and see if you can make any changes. There’s tons of advice on the NHS website for healthy eating, and lots of free recipes online.

For more support, or free resources, visit our Financial Wellbeing Hub which has lots of info on taking care of your mental health and your finances.