• Physical – shortness of breath or shallow breathing, indigestion, stomach upsets, frequent colds or flu, memory or concentration problems, difficulty sleeping or sleeping more, changes in appetite, exhaustion, low energy, tiredness, headaches, body aches or pre-existing conditions that have worsened
  • Emotional – impatient or irritable, less confident, anxious, tense, or tearful, numb and disconnected, regretful or guilty, embarrassed or ashamed, a lack of joy and energy for life
  • Behavioural – losing interest in whānau or work, finding it hard to make decisions, having trouble coping with day-to-day things, avoiding seeing friends, not doing activities you usually enjoy, using drugs or alcohol to cope

“Looking after your physical and mental wellbeing may not seem like a priority if you’re struggling to pay the bills, but it’s actually crucial to take care of yourself when times are tough,” Robinson said. “Try to introduce some simple wellbeing activities into your day. A brisk walk by the beach or calling an old friend can do wonders for boosting your mood and easing the stress.”

The main way to cope with financial distress, Robinson said, is to tackle it early on.

“It’s better to deal with financial issues now, rather than in the future,” she said. “Many lending institutes are providing extra support for people in financial distress plus there are free budget advisory services to help you navigate through the tricky times.   

“If you feel like you’re not coping, always, always reach out for help – there are 24/7 free helplines such as 1737 manned by trained counsellors that offer support, information, and help. You can also speak to your GP or community health service such as Marae health services.”

For more resources or information visit summer.allsorts.org.nz and www.mentalhealth.org.nz.

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