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Coping with financial 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've got 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.

Get advice

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.

Find out how to eat a balanced diet

More help for money problems

GOV.UK has information about a range of work and money-related issues including:

Finding a new job

GOV.UK also has a lot of information and advice if you're looking for work, including tips on writing a CV, planning your job hunt and applying for jobs online.

Coping with debt

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.

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 you should get medical help

Most people who experience emotional distress find that after a few days or weeks they're 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 talking therapy services in your area.

You can also refer yourself directly to an NHS talking therapies service

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

See a GP, call NHS 111 or contact a helpline such as Samaritans (call free on 116 123) for confidential, non-judgemental emotional support.

Find out more about mental health services

Page last reviewed: 25 April 2023
Next review due: 25 April 2026