Five ways to feel calmer today.
With everything the world is facing in this current season, many of us are experiencing uncertainty about the future. The people we help through Christians Against Poverty (CAP) have often struggled with worry, anxiety and mental ill-health; the CAP Life Skills course, which is designed to help people manage on a low income, dedicates a whole session to dealing with worry.
Dealing with the issues that concern us today in manageable chunks can help us feel in control, reducing anxiety about the future and improving our physical and mental health.
Take control of your money
Feel like there never seems to be enough cash to make ends meet? Whether you’re in or out of work, having a clear picture of what money you have coming in and going out is essential. Start taking control by creating a budget. Have a look at moneysavingexpert.com/banking/budget-planning and other free resources online to help you.
The next step is acting on any issues your budget brings up. If you’ve got more money going out than coming in, consider what you can cut down or cut out altogether. Perhaps you could switch to a cheaper energy tariff, or cancel that TV subscription you never use.
Get help with problem debt
If you’re concerned about unmanageable debts, seek help sooner rather than later. Many CAP clients say they feel as if a weight has been lifted, even from making the first phone call to ask for help. You can call for free on 0800 328 0006 or visit capuk.org to find out more.
If CAP isn’t for you, there are lots of great debt advice organisations out there, such as StepChange (stepchange.org) and Citizens Advice (citizensadvice.org.uk).
Join a job club with a supportive community
Maybe you’ve been applying for job after job to no avail – it can be easy to lose confidence and let worry take over. Practically, job clubs can provide useful tips on writing an excellent CV and practising interview techniques to make yourself stand out. But more than that, you’ll meet other people in a similar situation who can empathise and support you.
There’s a wide network of job clubs available. Have a look at what’s local to you by searching ‘job club near me’, asking at Jobcentre Plus, or visiting capuk.org/jobclubs.
Alleviate stress with a healthy diet and exercise
Our hormones and blood sugar are affected by what we eat and drink. According to Anxiety UK, many sufferers of stress report that improving their diet made a big difference to their wellbeing. Plus, when we plan our meals for the week or month ahead, we can create less waste and save money by only buying what we need, which can also bring stress levels down. Check out skintdad.co.uk or frugalfamily.co.uk.
Exercise also has a big effect on our mental health. Any kind of physical activity, whether it’s a full-on workout in the gym or a brisk walk around the block, releases endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good hormones.
Think about what you can realistically add into your daily routine. Even ten minutes of exercise a day can really improve our mood. Have a look at nhs.uk/live-well/exercise for some inspiration and ideas for people of all ages and abilities.
Focus on today
By acting on just one of these suggestions today, you can start to feel happier, healthier and more in control of your life. For more advice on dealing with worry, have a look at anxiety uk.org.uk.