Cope with difficult economic and environmental circumstances


Changing your life and improving difficult economic and environmental circumstances is not always possible. Changing your job, your financial situation, and living conditions can be difficult to do at a given moment in time, though there are ways to start planning for change.

If no change is possible however, you can learn tools to help you cope mentally and emotionally with these difficult circumstances and minimise their impact on your mental health.

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. Viktor Frankl

Coping with difficult economic and environmental circumstances

Below are some coping tools which can help.

One of the most effective coping tools when confronted with difficult situations which you cannot change, is meditation.

  • Meditation is free, easy to learn, and can take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes a day to have an effect
  • It can help you detach from a difficult situation by becoming the observer of your situation, and develop some healthy perspective around difficult life circumstances
  • It can calm your nervous system, enabling you to face stressful situations with more resilience, strength and wisdom
  • It can improve your levels of happiness even when faced with difficulties, by helping you to accept your circumstances, and by producing feel good neurotransmitters and hormones which increase your resilience and happiness levels

How to meditate. 

Mental therapy, whether self-therapy, or working with a therapist, can help you cope with difficult socio-economic and environmental circumstances.

  • It can help you get perspective on your difficulties
  • It can help you think creatively about possible solutions and explore changes that you can make to improve your situation — life coaching can be particularly helpful to find new directions and opportunities
  • If changes are not possible, it can help to talk to someone to relieve the pressure and anxiety you may feel around your difficulties

If you cannot afford therapy, there are therapists who offer their services for free or at discounted rates, or in the UK, therapy can be available on the NHS (National Health Service).  And you can also try self-therapy if nothing else is available or affordable.

Engage in mental therapy. 

When you are coping with difficult socio-economic and environmental circumstances, it is important to have the energy and strength to deal with these. Healthy nutrition is essential to providing you with this strength and energy, providing you with the macronutrients and micronutrients you need to detoxify from pollution, and to make healthy hormones and neurotransmitters.

Eating simple but healthy whole foods at regular intervals is affordable, and will pay great dividends in helpingyou maintain a healthy nervous system, hormonal balance and neurotransmitter balance so that you are better equipped to deal with whatever difficulties you are facing.

If money is an issue, focus on simple and inexpensive but nourishing whole foods such as brown rice, pulses such as chickpeas, beans and lentils, and green vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage, as well as onions and garlic, bone broth and eggs, which are all healthy and inexpensive staples.

It is also helpful to avoid problem foods (such as gluten, sugar and dairy) and processed foods, which can be detrimental to your mental health, and money saved from these is better spent on healthy whole foods.

Finally, eating to balance your blood sugar is very important to helping you maintain calm, focus and strength in order to deal with your challenging life circumstances and stressors.

Read more about how to correct your nutrition and supplement by clicking on the links below.

An inexpensive and accessible way to help you cope with difficult socio-economic and environmental circumstances is exercise. Whether you choose to walk briskly instead of taking public transport, or swim at a local pool, play football in the local club, go for a run in the park, or practice yoga from a video, there are many ways to obtain the benefits of exercise at no financial cost.

Regular exercise will in turn strengthen you in body and mind so that you are more resilient and calmer in the face of socio-economic hardship and difficult living conditions and environment.

If practiced in a local park, it can also help you get out of unhealthy environments and into nature.

How to exercise right. 

If your living conditions are unhealthy, unpleasant and toxic (for instance if you live by a busy road, in a cramped space, with financial hardship and relationship stress, working with little natural light, in a polluted atmosphere, etc…), it can be very healing to have daily exposure to nature and natural light.

Spending time in a local park or a communal garden can be very beneficial to your nervous system, and for hormonal and neurotransmitter balance. It can help you feel happier, calmer and more grounded, as well as improving your sleep by regulating your circadian rhythms.

Connect with nature and natural light. 

You may not be able to change the environment you live in, which may be polluted, noisy and crowded.

However you can do a lot to detoxify your environment so that it is calmer and cleaner, which will ensure better hormonal balance and brain health.

Read more about how to detoxify by clicking on the links below.

Mind body therapies can be very helpful for relaxing your nervous system, and in helping you to gain perspective on your situation so that it feels less overwhelming.

Yoga and qi gong for instance are practices that you can do on your own (using a video or a book), which can be extremely beneficial to help relax the nervous system and strengthen your resilience to stress and difficult circumstances. Other mind-body therapies can also be helpful.

Practise mind-body therapies. 

Regularly practicing relaxation techniques can help you manage the stress of difficult life circumstances such as poverty, difficult living conditions, unemployment, overwork, noisy and crowded spaces etc…

Like meditation, relaxation techniques are easy to do, free, and are very effective if practiced daily to calm the nervous system and help you gain perspective on your situation, approaching it with more resilience and creativity and with less fear.

Practise relaxation techniques. 

Often, the stress of being faced with difficult life circumstances such as poverty, unemployment, difficult living conditions, overwork, etc… can affect your ability to sleep. Usually, it means we sleep less well for less long, but with some people it can mean sleeping too long.

Paradoxically, good quality sleep is essential to develop resilience, calm and perspective when facing difficult conditions, and sleeping poorly can undermine your ability to cope with difficult life circumstances.

How to sleep better. 

While you may have little control over your external circumstances, it is helpful if you can manage your response to them.

You can do this by managing your thoughts and beliefs, which then impact your feelings and behaviour in relation to your external circumstances.

Manage your thoughts and beliefs.

Difficult economic and environmental circumstances can often go hand in hand with difficult social circumstances. By taking steps to improve your social circumstances, you can often improve the way you cope with difficult economic and environmental circumstances.

Cope with difficult social circumstances.