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As a result of the ongoing global pandemic and the resulting financial crisis, many people have found themselves in an unexpected but exceedingly difficult situation with money. Aside from the practical considerations such as paying rent, mortgage, and fuel costs, this can also have a serious effect on your mental health. Though Covid 19 has affected everybody differently, the financial consequences are something that everybody from small business owners to chief executives will bear the brunt of. In this article, Asteria examines how your financial situation can affect your mental health and also what you can do to help keep your mind as healthy as your wallet.

Disturbed sleep

Lying awake and worrying about money is commonplace, especially for those with existing debt. When salary loans or credit card debt begins to spiral out of control it can feel as if it is the only thing you can think about. To deal with this, it is important to acknowledge the reality of the situation and do everything you can to try and resolve it. Even if this involves contacting debt advice charities or contacting your creditors to explain the situation. In the short term, making a list of the steps you intend to take in order to rectify the situation is a good strategy. This process allows you to organise your thoughts and may help you to get a better night’s rest.

Strained relationships

Whether you are a single person, a couple or a part of a larger family, debt and financial worries can be a huge source of conflict and negative emotions. Worrying about debt or lack of income means that you may find it difficult to interact with people because your mind is elsewhere. Though it is important to choose who confide in carefully, being open and honest about your situation can prevent hostile interactions and can even help you to get a sense of perspective. Hiding your financial difficulties from those closest to you is never usually a good idea as it will ultimately create resentment and bad feeling. Use those you trust to help you get a handle on your finances so you can avoid unnecessary conflict or other problems.

Physical Symptoms

In extreme cases, stress and anxiety can manifest as physical symptoms in the body. These included rashes, disturbed sleep, poor digestion, aches, and pains or in the most severe situations, panic attacks and long-term depression. If you feel that your financial situation is beginning to impact on your mental in a significant way, it is essential that you seek help immediately. Though lenders are primarily concerned with growing their own businesses, they can be flexible and offer help when needed. Things like payment holidays, temporary suspension of interest or longer to pay off what you owe are all viable options, providing you are upfront with your lender about your situation. There are all debt charities all over the world who can help you to manage your money more effectively.

Reduced Social Activity

When you can only afford to make your minimum repayments and pay for the absolute basics such as food and fuel, you are unlikely to be able to afford to go out to the local bar or meet friends for a trip the cinema. Though it might sound trivial at first, Covid 19’s enforced lockdown has shown us that these types of interactions are absolutely essential to maintaining good mental health. Living within your means is important, but so is living in a way that promotes well being and positivity. If you are struggling with debt to the extent that you can no longer afford to do anything other than work, eat and sleep, it is definitely time to take long hard look at you borrowing and spending habits.

Poor Diet

As food prices can fluctuate, especially during times of recession or financial instability, those who are in severe debt can often suffer from poor nutrition, which inevitably leads to other health problems. The phrase “you are what you eat” has more than a grain of truth and living on cheap, low quality food has a significant effect on your overall mental state. Avoid making food your lowest priority, even if you do need to save money. There are plenty of unbelievably cheap, very tasty recipes available that use low cost ingredients but are still packed with both nutrition and flavour. If you are in a situation where you are having to miss meals or eat nothing but low-quality junk food, it is time to seek help and make some serious financial changes.

Less exercise and sporting activity

Exercise is one of the best ways to take care of your mental health, but if you are in a situation where you can’t afford gym memberships or simple equipment like running shoes, you may find it difficult to take care of your body. This will inevitably have an impact on your mental health and over time, can cause serious problems. Those with high interest salary loans, credit cards or personal loans that have got out of control often have to sacrifice things like exercise in order to pay off what they owe. If this sounds familiar, we urge you to seek help as soon as possible.


Financial and mental health are strongly linked and though not everybody can rich, having enough money to pay for the basics in life has a huge impact on the way you feel overall. Never underestimate the way money can affect the way you think and feel. Though there are far more important things in life to consider, taking ownership of your financial situation is one of the most powerful things you can do to control your mental health. Ultimately, responsible borrowing, careful saving and trying to maintain a regular income are all ways that you can avoid falling into financial related mental health problems. Even during situations like Covid 19, it is important to maintain healthy financial habits so you can promote good overall mental wellbeing.

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