I’ve learned that mental health and money are linked. Life challenges, physical health and mental health all impact my concentration levels and stress. It's made it difficult to stay at work, it's decreased my confidence and affected my earning potential. This, combined with developing a shopping addiction as a coping strategy for my depression, lead to debt.
The cycle continued, it was difficult to adjust my spending, and being in debt added pressure, which worsened my symptoms of stress, depression, and anxiety.
After joining New Leaf Recovery and Wellbeing College and doing some of their courses, such as ‘Practising self-care, ‘Employment and self-management’ and ‘Understanding anxiety’, my confidence improved. The courses helped me to develop better-coping strategies, which helped me return to work and lessened my depression, reducing my shopping addiction. With more income and less spending, I was able to pay off my debt and the pressure lifted. The college’s ‘Pressures of daily living’, ‘Understanding stress’ and ‘Building opportunities’ courses were also pivotal in helping me with my recovery around money worries, as they explore budgeting, pressure and goal-setting. It was encouraging to know I wasn’t the only one feeling the way that I did, and I am grateful to have received support to get me through it.
With a clearer head and increased income, I can now focus on activities that improve my recovery, such as eating healthier food, taking a bubble-bath and connecting with others.
This is my positive cycle, these activities decrease stress and improve my mood and confidence, which helps to keep me in work; and staying in work gives me more earning potential to spend on keeping well.
It is thus in hindsight, and through experiencing both these cycles, that I have learned the significant connection between money and mental health; as well as the long-term impact that either cycle can have on my well-being. I could be my own worst enemy – or I can choose recovery and stay in the positive cycle going forwards.
NOTE FROM NEW LEAF RECOVERY AND WELLBEING COLLEGE:
If you’re worried about money, visit the worrying about money website to find local support, view the documents below or visit www.newleafcollege.co.uk/further-help to locate the most appropriate Hertfordshire-based resources and organisations to support you.