The mental health conversation has come to the forefront and it’s about time! A 2017 survey by the Varkley Foundation found that young British millennials have the second worst mental health wellbeing out of 20 countries assessed. This is a growing issue and home buying has a part to play too.
According to a survey by Aldermore, over half of aspiring homeowners were made ill by the stresses of the buying experience – up from just over a third last year. And according to a recent report by online mortgage broker Habito, 67% of homeowners have suffered from mortgage related anxiety with 35% citing sleeplessness as one of the top symptoms.
There’s no doubt that home buying is a tough time for many, but we think that it doesn’t have to be. Read on for some advice on the best ways to improve mental wellbeing during the journey:
1. Don’t be afraid to talk about mental health
More people are experiencing mental health issues than you may think and sometimes starting a conversation with a friend can be really reassuring. The more we talk about it, the more we break the stigma and people can get the help and support they need. Be kind to yourself and remember it’s normal to feel overwhelmed sometimes. Try to involve other people on your journey: why not take a friend with you to the viewings for a second opinion and support?
“Moving is listed as a major life stressor for a good reason… Accept all help offered: it’s not a slight on your organising capabilities. And if folk offer to help, give them something concrete to do; a proper task that you can cross off your list. And if people are slow to offer help, damned well ask for it!” – Trisha Goddard, Mental Health Activist.
For those going through particularly stressful situations, who don’t feel like they can talk to a friend or family member, there are helplines out there that provide professional support and advice. Mind is perhaps the most well known with a helpline and lots of online information.
Ruby Wax, comedian and recent mental health cover girl, is an advocate for mindfulness and self-care. You might have heard of mindfulness, in fact it’s become a bit of a buzzword and there’s a good reason why. Mindfulness refers to a therapeutic technique to calm the mind and focus one’s awareness on the present. Studies show that it can help you manage mild depression, anxiety and other common mental health problems.
“Moving house is a huge task. Paperwork, packing, re-organising your life. I often get overwhelmed, so I’ve started using a simple but effective mindfulness technique: I stop, centre myself in the present, concentrate on my breathing and relaxing my body, so I can focus again. It has taken practice but it works.” – Julie Davis, Learning Disability Nurse and mum.
Apps like Calm and Headspace can be a good place to start. According to a study, researchers found that only 10 days of Headspace reduced stress by 14%. If you work for a company, its worth asking HR if they can provide subscriptions for the employees for free as the benefits of improved mental health can also positively impact the workplace.
3. Eat, sleep and exercise
It may seem obvious, but when we’re caught up in the stress of an event, sometimes we can lose track or forget the importance of these essential patterns to keep us physically and mentally in shape.
“Looking back on when I bought my first house … for me, going running helped. When it all got too much I would put on my trainers and hit the streets. By the time I got back my head was clearer and I could deal with whatever the problem was.” – Paul Carse, CTO of FirstHomeCoach
4. Don’t compare
Contrary to what Gio Compario might have been operatically shouting at you for the last decade, stop comparing (at least when it comes to you and other people). For most millennials it can often feel like life is moving at a faster pace for some more than others. Some are excelling in their dream jobs, getting married, travelling the world… while others are just trying to sort out their finances for the following week!
Stop benchmarking your life to a social media feed. Chances are that your life is far more interesting than that person who’s oversharing about their trips to Hawaii and the dream home they’ve just bought. It’s important to remember that people do things at different times, and there’s no rush.
5. Let FirstHomeCoach help you!
If you think the home buying journey is long, complicated and stressful, think again! FirstHomeCoach is here to help you. We’ve done all the hard work of figuring it all out so you don’t have to.
“My advice to anyone is rather simple – you can’t solve all the issues at once. What you can do is focus on one problem at a time. What often helps me is to write everything I need to do on paper and start checking things off.” – Sandra, Product Manager.
“The best advice would be to get organised and learn enough so you don’t feel out of your depth the whole time. Lots of “experts” will tell you stuff that’s not that complex but as it’s all new it can feel that way.” – Paul Carse, CTO.
Our app is designed to guide you through the entire house buying process, step by step, helping you figure out how much you can afford and all the costs involved in buying your dream home. You can access all the information you need to help in your decision making and can connect with trusted advisers to assist with things like your mortgage, insurance and legal paperwork.
Don’t forget to sign up to be a beta tester if you want to start reaping the benefits early on! It’s completely free. You can thank us later! 🙂
If you have any tips or tricks you use to cope with stress particularly during the home buying journey we’d love to hear from you. Why not get in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn and let us know?