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How to cope with money worries

Feeling low or anxious is a normal response when you've lost your job, been made redundant, or you're struggling with debt.

You may be feeling, behaving or thinking in ways that are unfamiliar. But that does not necessarily mean you're suffering from depression or an anxiety disorder.

How to survive financial stress

Stay active

Keep seeing your friends, keep your CV up to date, and try to keep paying the bills. If you have more time because you're not at work, do some form of exercise – physical activity can improve your mood if you're feeling low.

See our get fit for free for ideas on how to exercise without spending any money. You can also search for exercise classes and sports clubs close to where you live.

Face your fears

For example, if you're going into debt, get advice on how to prioritise your debts. When people feel anxious, they sometimes avoid talking to others. Some people can lose their confidence about driving or travelling. If this starts to happen, facing these situations will generally make them easier.

Do not drink too much alcohol

For some people with money worries, alcohol can become a problem. You may drink more than usual as a way of dealing with your emotions or just to fill in time. But alcohol will not help you deal with your problems and could add to your stress.

Get tips on how to cut down on alcohol.

Do not give up your daily routine

Get up at your normal time and stick to your usual routine. If you lose your routine, it can affect your eating – you may stop cooking, miss breakfast because you're still in bed, or eat snacks instead of having proper meals.

For tips on healthy eating, read our pages about a healthy, balanced diet and how to eat well on a budget.

More help for money problems

Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice is a good place to get information about benefits, how to deal with debt, what you're entitled to if you're made redundant and who to speak to if you're at risk of losing your home.

GOV.UK

GOV.UK has information about:

Finding a new job

The finding a job section of GOV.UK provides lots of advice for people looking for work, including tips on writing a CV, planning your job hunt and applying for jobs online.

Coping with debt

Citizens Advice offers help with debt.

Other organisations offering helpful advice online include:

Mental health and money

The charity Mind has a money and mental health section on its website, which includes advice on how to manage debt.

Mental Health & Money Advice offers information and advice for anyone struggling with money because of mental illness, or whose financial situation is affecting their mental health.

When should you get medical help?

Most people who experience emotional distress will pick themselves up after a few days or weeks and then feel able to tackle challenges, such as finding a new job.

See a GP if you're still feeling worried, anxious or low after a few weeks. If you think it will help, the GP can advise you about psychological therapy services in your area.

You can also refer yourself directly to a psychological therapies service near you.

Seek help immediately if you cannot cope, if life is becoming very difficult or if you feel it is not worth living.

Either see a GP or contact a helpline such as Samaritans (call free on 116 123) for confidential, non-judgemental emotional support.

See our list of recommended mental health helplines.

Page last reviewed: 2 April 2020
Next review due: 2 April 2023