Are you feeling concerned about how your family will cope this Christmas during the cost of living crisis?
Times are tough right now and lots of us are worried about how our family will manage at Christmas and through the winter months. Many parent/s and caregivers are under a lot of financial pressure and finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet as prices and taxes rise and this can cause anxiety, stress and upset. You may have overhead whispered worried conversations between your parents or witnessed arguments over money-related issues and are feeling anxious. If you can relate to this, we have some tips and advice to support you and your family.
Talk About Your Worries
The best thing to do when you’re feeling anxious is to share your worries with someone else. Talking about your thoughts and fears helps to lessen the burden and can make you feel heard and supported. It might also help you find some solutions to your problems. Talk to your parent/s about how you’re feeling. If you’re worried about adding to their stress and would prefer to talk to someone else, you could speak to a teacher, family member or adult you trust. Bottling up your worries will only make you feel worse and isolated.
Lean On Your Friends
Having the support of a friend can help you get through tough times. Spending time with friends and having fun is also a good distraction from worries at home. Talk to your friends about your worries – you may be surprised by how many of your friends share similar worries to you. This cost of living crisis is affecting nearly every household in the UK and so many of your mates will be sharing the exact same concerns.
Lend A Hand
Talk to your parent/s about ways you might be able to help and support them. Most young people are unable to contribute financially and this can make you feel helpless, but there are other ways you can help out. Something as simple as offering to walk the dog can be a big help and is one less thing for your parent/s to worry about. You can also be savvier around the house to help reduce energy bills – for example, swapping a bath for a shower and remembering to turn off lights when you leave the room can save energy.
Get The Facts
When we don’t have the full picture, it’s easy for our minds get carried away and imagine the worst. This could be the case with your money-related worries. For example, you may have overhead a stressed parent having a wobble over a big electricity bill and are now worried that they won’t be able to afford food, clothes and other bills. Put simply, you may well be wasting your time and energy worrying about things you don’t have to – your family’s finances could be in better shape than you know. This is why talking about your worries with your parent/s is so important and can help you gather a more informed picture of the situation. If you’ve been stressing about stuff that isn’t even an issue, your parent/s will be able to put things straight and reassure you. And for the stuff that IS an issue, your parent/s can hopefully provide a listening ear and a supportive hug. Whatever the outcome, whatever your family’s situation, talking to each other and building a solid support network can help you all during the very toughest times.
If you need further emotional or financial support, please reach out for help. The below organisations may be helpful:
Find a foodbank: https://www.trusselltrust.org/get-help/find-a-foodbank/
Citizens Advice: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/
Samaritans: https://www.samaritans.org/ Or call 116 123 for free. Samaritans are open 24/7, 365 days a year.