Star comment: Counting the cost of bills crisis on mental health
The cost of living crisis is having a very real impact on people up and down the country.
In a practical sense, it means having to make difficult choices for some and cutting back on life’s luxuries for others. There are many who are spending less on food, heating, and clothing, while others can’t afford holidays, leisure activities or gifts for friends and family.
The crisis is also placing businesses under pressure, which can lead to job losses and yet more difficulties. The unseen element, of course, is the mental impact this has on individuals. The issue isn’t necessarily visible, but is no less of an issue because of that.
Coming so soon after the pandemic, which also had a major impact on mental health, it adds up to an unhealthy cocktail. There are steps you can take that may help - and keeping an eye on others is also more important than ever during such testing times.
Taking exercise, eating healthily, and making sure we make time to relax are all key. It is a fact of life that if we are in good shape, mentally and physically, we should be better able to cope with the swings and arrows of outrageous fortune that life throws at us.
We are living through tough times.
The present epoch is probably more difficult and more challenging for most than the era immediately prior to the pandemic. Job insecurity is high, wage inflation is low. People are facing higher bills for essentials while food prices have gone through the roof.
We can’t control many of those factors, but we can influence our own mental wellbeing - and it is important that we do in order to protect our wellbeing.
The way we vote is changing. Photographic ID will soon be required when people go to the polls.
The decision to add in additional levels of security have been met with cynicism by some. Research shows that young voters, who might favour centre-leaning or left-leaning parties, are less likely to have the necessary requirements than those of an older vintage, who are more likely to favour right-leaning parties.
Whatever the truth, the change is upon us and it is up to each of us to take personal responsibility as we make sure that we are able to vote.
The decision has been made and it is important voters are aware of the requirement. The elections are approaching rapidly and the Post Office plea to act now is timely. We should all make sure we have our details at hand and are able to take part in the democratic process.