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Mental health and finance

Managing money during Christmas can add to stresses of the holiday

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Although Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, for some it ends up being the most stressful time due to the financial burden. Even if it's a temporary period of difficultly, you can start to feel inadequate and insecure – as if you are failing yourself and your family.

It's difficult when you do have financial worries to keep the problem 'contained' to just your finances. Stress, low mood and worry can all increase, which can lead some people to think they are a failure as they struggle to manage the financial issue in isolation. Much of this is because of the impact a poor monetary situation has on the rest of your life, it affects everything and can do for many months and even years.

  1. Control is key. It's really important to control your finances and not let your finances control you. When we feel out of control of any aspect of our life it's often a kick start to anxiety.
  2. Create a budget. In order to take control, being proactive by making a budget - and sticking to it is vital.
  3. Don’t feel embarrassed. Nobody wants to be a scrooge at Christmas but sometimes you just can't afford to buy gifts for everyone, there is no shame in this – almost all of us struggle financially at some point in our lives.
  4. Manage expectations in advance so that everyone understands. If friends or family choose to spend above and beyond what you've agreed then just enjoy their generosity, there will be a time you can repay in other ways should the need be too great to ignore.
  5. Keeping up with the Jones’s. You don’t have to! It is far less about the tangible things and more about the experience you will have together.

It's important to know what steps to take if you do find yourself in financial troubles this Christmas. If you need help to resolve the issue you must find it. Don't stick your head in the sand and wait for it to disappear - avoiding issues only makes matters worse. Before you know it, the situation will spiral out of control causing stress, depression and anxiety.

Please ensure every one of your colleagues sees this brief, post of noticeboards and help sign post people if they feel they are facing financial troubles.

There is support through Royal Mail’s own independent Feeling First Class Team.

Feeling First Class support line

 

Or external support from Citizens Advice: www.citizensadvice.org.uk

Or

The Money Advice Service: www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk