Movement for Mental Health

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, and this years theme is Movement for Mental Health to help recognise the benefits of moving more our mental health.

Regular physical activity is known to improve our mental health and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. It also helps to prevent heart disease and more health conditions, however a third of UK adults do not complete the recommended amount of physical activity. Without regular activity, we are more vulnerable to feelings of stress, depression and anxiety as well as health conditions such as strokes and diabetes.

Physical activity has great benefits on our mental health, so why do some adults find it more difficult to exercise regularly?

  • Time and motivation
    Finding the time and motivation can often be the hardest part of exercising regularly. Setting a regular schedule can help you set time aside to exercise. Exercising with friends and family can also help to keep you motivated! Take a read here at how some of our teams like to exercise
  • Space
    Some people may not have the space at home to work out. With kids toys and pets running around, physical activity at home is not always possible. Walking to a nearby park or driving to a gym class can help you get to take part in physical activity while getting out of the house too. Remember, many of us are active in ways we hadn’t thought of too, like dancing while cooking dinner and running up and down the stairs!
  • Money
    When thinking about how to exercise more, many people think of joining a gym to take advantage of the exercise machines, classes and swimming pool. However, the cost of the average gym membership is £45 a month, and this cost can put extra financial pressure on our wallets.

Money and Mental Health

Money worries are one of the leading causes for stress and anxiety. Worries about money impact your mental health. Your mental health impacts how you manage your money. Poor mental health can make managing money harder, and worrying about money can make your mental health worse. It is a vicious cycle.

How to balance your money and mental health

Swap & Save

StepChange found money worries and poor mental health are often linked. Having personal debts causes anxiety, and anxiety can surge if you’re struggling to repay those debts.

Juggling multiple repayments at different interest rates and different payment dates, can make your finances complicated and cause you stress and anxiety, but our
Swap & Save Loan can help you tidy up your finances by consolidating your borrowings into 1 manageable repayment and save you money.

By consolidating all your borrowings into one manageable repayment with a lower interest rate, we can help you tidy up your finances and reduce the amount you repay each month. We also do the legwork and pay your existing lenders directly.

Planning for the future

Asking ourselves “what if?” can keep us up at night, and the worries about what would happen to our loved ones if the worst was to happen to us are a common cause of anxiety.

Our Free Life Cover is a free benefit for all members, giving financial help and peace of mind in the event of your death.

Our free life cover provides the following:

  • Double the value of a member’s savings with Voyager Alliance, up to a maximum of £5,000
  • For members with less than £250 in savings, the Bereavement Fund payment will be £500
  • Repay the deceased member’s loan*

If you’re feeling low, you may lack motivation to manage your finances, so all of our members benefit from free life cover. Members really are at the heart of everything we do, and our Bereavement Fund gives you the comfort of knowing that you’ve got a plan in place to make sure money if one less thing for your close ones to worry about at the worst of times.

Create a budget you can stick to

Feeling stressed, depressed, or anxious can make it difficult to manage money, and you may find it harder to create or stick to a budget, but planning a realistic budget is important to keeping money worries at bay.

Money Helper’s Budget Planner Tool helps you take back control of your household spending. In just 10 minutes, the Budget Planner shows all of the money you have coming in, what you spend it on!

Budgeting makes sure you’ve set enough money aside for the essentials and will help reduce the feeling of anxiety and dread when the bills are due. Budgeting for days out or holidays will also make you feel happier and less stressed, and having an emergency fund of savings gives you peace of mind if the car breaks down, or the roof starts to leak.

Sticking to a budget helps you prioritise your spending, improve your wellbeing and increase your levels of happiness overall!

Dealing with money and our personal finances causes over 1/3 of us to feel anxious on a regular basis. It isn’t always big life events such as relation pressures, starting a new job or moving house which cause us to feel anxious.

Learning how money and mental health are connected may help if you’re struggling. Money Helper, MIND and StepChange are helpful resources if you want to balance your money and mental health better.