Protecting what matters involves looking after your total wellbeing. For many, this starts with ways to be physically healthy, but considering ways to support your mental and financial health are equally important.
Worrying about money is very common, and doesn't just affect people who are short of money or who have debts they find hard to manage. In fact, money worries can affect anyone, regardless of their financial wellbeing, and this can have an impact on mental health.
There are lots of signs to look out for, but here are a few of the most common behaviours that indicate that your relationship with money is affecting your health and wellbeing:
You spend money you can't really afford just to make yourself feel better.
You feel anxious whenever you spend money, even if it's on essential, everyday items.
You're not sleeping well because you're worrying about money.
You continually reassess what income or savings you need to give yourself peace of mind.
You avoid answering the phone or opening your mail, in case it's someone chasing you for money.
If money worries are affecting your health, you should seek help from a doctor, or qualified medical practitioner, as soon as possible. You can also try some of these healthy practices designed to protect your wellbeing:
Facing your challenges - Get help to face up to money worries and problems with debt. Seek advice from your bank, lender, a financial adviser or a debt charity to help you prioritise your debts.
Staying active - Physical exercise can improve your mood, and there are plenty of activities you can do without spending any money.
Keeping up your social life - Trusted friends and family are there to help at times like these, so make sure you stay in touch.
Talking about money - Talking about money can be good for you, and may help you manage your stress. It's good for your mental health and your relationships. It will also help you to plan your financial future more effectively.
Mindfulness is the practice of "focusing on one's awareness in the present moment", and it's increasingly used as a treatment for common mental health problems, such as stress, anxiety and depression.
These same principles can be used for mindful spending, which is about consciously thinking about your spending habits, and being mindful of the association they have with your emotions. The idea is that if you question the motivation behind each purchase you make, you'll save money, and benefit your lifestyle and wellbeing at the same time.
If you want to give mindful spending a try, ask yourself these questions each time you're about to make a purchase:
Why am I making this purchase?
What do I hope to get or achieve from buying it?
Is this purchase making up for something lacking in my life?
Is there a cheaper alternative that would serve my purposes just as well? Does the more expensive option provide something better for me?
Mindful spending is a great habit to get into and can help you to improve your relationship with money and become financially fit. Check out our other tips on how to become financially fit.
Health insurance can cover the cost of surgery and in-patient treatment, the cost of your stay in hospital, as well as out-patient treatment, appointments with specialists and consultants, and the cost of diagnostic or follow-up tests.
Policies can vary greatly, so consider insurance policies that protect both your physical and mental health. Some health insurance policies include provisions for mental health support in addition to other medical support including dental care, eye care, physiotherapy, and pregnancy or maternity services.
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