How to meet your Emotional Needs during the cost of living crisis

by Suffolk Mind Team | 20 Jan 2023

With rising prices and squeezed budgets, many of us are focusing on our finances. But worrying about money can have a cost on our mental wellbeing.

In this article, we look at a number of free ways to meet your Emotional Needs during the cost of living crisis.

Sleep and Movement

Think of sleep as an essential, rather than a luxury. Getting enough sleep is really important, as It has a huge effect on how able we feel to deal with the challenges of everyday life. If you have young children, this need might be especially difficult to come by. One way to prepare for better sleep could be to include some movement in your day, such as  a long walk with your family or friends, or even on your own. Studies show that exercise can be helpful in tiring us out physically, which means we have a better chance of getting some restful sleep. Other ways to get more sleep might be to cut down on screen time before bed and finding a way to wind down which works for you, such as reading.

Food & Drink

We all have moments of over-indulgence sometimes. While there’s no harm in having a treat, we all know that if we really overdo it, it can leave us feeling sluggish and less well. For other people, the pressure to eat things we don’t usually choose to eat – or to drink as much as other people – can also be tough. Food and drink can sustain us, fuel us, and give us enjoyment, but if it’s not for you then that’s okay.  ‘You do you’ as they say. If it matters to you to eat healthily, then prepare some meals you enjoy.


Security is the need to feel secure in our lives, whether that’s in our relationships, at work, or in our homes. With the cost of living crisis, this particular need can feel difficult to meet. But, feeling secure can be easier to enjoy than you might think. Having a chat with a close friend or loved one can make you feel secure, knowing that they care about you and that you matter and are secure in that relationship. You can also give that feeling of security to other people. If you’re the kind of person who helps other people, maybe by getting their shopping or always being there for them, then you’re already making that person feel more secure.


Control is the feeling of having a say, and an influence upon your life. That could be  making your own choices or having the ability to choose how things are done at work or at home. Control also links in with Security, in that having some control can make us feel more secure. Things like money worries can really affect these needs. If you need support, there are lots of charities which can help give you advice about your finances, debt, benefits and social welfare. Citizens Advice is a good place to start.

Attention and Status

Attention is the need to be recognised and be seen by other people. Status is linked to Attention in that it’s about being valued for who you are and what you bring. You can give attention to someone by simply listening to them fully – without being on your phone. You could give attention to someone in your family by booking something to do with just them in the next few months to give them your undivided attention and time. In terms of status, you can look back on everything you achieved  in the last year, and what you’d like to achieve in the years ahead.  Even if it seems like small things to you, you achieved them and got through them, and you can feel proud of yourself, knowing that you matter and you are amazing.

Community and Privacy

Community is the need to feel part of a group, whether it’s at work, or maybe in a group hobby or interest. Privacy is the need to have some time to yourself, and it could be as simple as your commute home from work, or 15 minutes with a book, or with your toys if you’re little. Feeling like you’re part of a community is really important in helping us feel well If you have a hobby which helped you make friends, , then you’ll likely be meeting this need really well. If you feel more isolated, then maybe you could join a local group that interests you. Or you could get a group of your friends together, or even volunteer. Charities are always looking for volunteers (including Suffolk Mind), and it’s a great way to meet people who care about the things you do!.

Emotional Connection

Emotional Connection is the need to feel a meaningful link with another being, including a fellow human or even your pet. Make the time to meet this need, whether that’s by making a fuss of a loved one, having a proper catch up with a friend you haven’t seen for months, or by spending time with your pet.

Achievement and Meaning & Purpose

Achievement is the feeling of a job well done, while Meaning & Purpose is the feeling of having an aim, and something that’s important to you to get up for in the morning.  You could meet your need for Achievement by cooking for your loves ones, catching up with chores, finish reading that book, or by keeping up your exercise routine. You could even help someone else meet it, by encouraging those around you to meet their goals. Or you could meet your need for Meaning & Purpose by doing things which matter most to you. If you get your meaning and purpose from helping others, then make the time to help someone you know, or give your time or a donation to a cause that matters to you. Donations don’t have to be in the form of cash. Think about having a clear-out – your unwanted items could help others.

by Suffolk Mind Team
Squiggle Icon
Phone Icon Need help now? Click here for crisis support
1 of 2
Who do you want to support?
Self Referral Form
What do you need support with?

How are you feeling?