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We surveyed a representative sample of over 1000 UK millennials who don’t own their own home, following a surge in online searches for the cost-of-living crisis and mental health hotline.

The survey revealed that 57% of millennials feel like a failure for not yet owning their own home. Whilst 11% of which say not owning their own home affects their mental health severely.

When it came to renters, 31% are struggling to save a deposit for a house which is subsequently having a negative impact on their mental health, 16% of which have severe mental health because of not being able to buy their own home due to the cost of renting and the increase in bills hindering their saving progress.

58% of millennials don’t think they will own their own home in the next 3 years, with 76% of millennials negatively impacted emotionally by not yet being a homeowner.

The findings are astonishing, and whilst we knew the impact would be negative, the percentage figures are considerable, and it shows that as a nation, we truly are suffering at the hands of the cost-of-living crisis.

We found the following phrases were most common when asked about the cost-of-living crisis:

“The more I pay in food, fuel, and bills, the less I can save for a deposit, it’s simple maths.”

“The deposit margin has now increased over what I have available to buy.”

“I can't afford the basics anymore, it's tough. Recession and high living costs have hit me badly. Praying it's over in the next month or two.”

“On top of the nursery costs for 2 children the increase in utility bills, fuel cost and grocery means I have no way of saving.”

“It is impossible to save enough money. We moved away from Buckinghamshire to North Yorkshire as rent was cheaper, and since then the cost of housing has increased significantly. We are still unable to afford our own home.”

Following the results of our survey, we spoke with Adult and Child Psychotherapist, specialising in trauma, anxiety, and imposter syndrome, Tasha Bailey, and Anita Bentata, Psychotherapist, to discover the best tips, and practises we can do in our own homes to overcome the overwhelming feelings the cost-of-living crisis may bring.

Tasha Bailey: Adult and Child Psychotherapist who specialises in trauma, anxiety and imposter syndrome:

“Renting can already be traumatic for non-homeowners, as the renting market thrives on reactivity, rejection and a fast-paced attitude. This can often trigger millennials into a fight or flight response, as they have to be ready to drop their other priorities (including self-care) to attend viewings at the drop of a hat. I have worked with many clients who have found the process of flat hunting to increase their anxiety and difficulties with sleep.”

“With the added pressure of an increased living crisis, this can cause a lot of additional stress. Those who thrive on social rest and alone time, are likely to have that jeopardised since living alone has rocketed in price. This means that renters might have no choice but to jeopardise their need for private space by living with incompatible flat mates which may cause other forms of stress, and for others, they might have no choice but to stay with family.. which is particularly difficult for those who live in toxic or unhealthy households.”

“Financial stress is one of the main causes of anxiety, and renters should look out for signs of this through things like teeth grinding, irritability, intrusive thoughts and controlling behaviour. People may find it difficult to talk about it or ask for help. In our society, we hold a lot of shame around talking about money, let alone asking for help with money. Shame leads us to low mood and low self-esteem, and we might find that we blame ourselves for being in a financial situation that was never really our fault.”

Tasha’s top tips:

  • Recognise that this is a crisis which is impacting many people right now. You are not alone, and it is not your fault. Find people that you can speak to about your financial worries. Even if they can’t help themselves, offloading some of the stress and shame will help activate the more regulated, calmer parts of your brain.

  • Whatever your circumstance, make your home your haven. Have regular rituals to help you feel grounded such as meditation and journaling. When you find yourself ruminating and worrying about financial stress, go on a walk with the intention that you will not bring this stress back into the house with you.

  • The higher cost of living might be triggering other experiences of financial trauma. It’s worth reflecting on your relationship with money. Journal or draw your journey with money from birth to adulthood. What limiting beliefs, assumptions or shame do you carry that might be resurfacing right now?

Anita Bentata - Psychotherapist:

“Any situation we don’t feel resourced about, don’t feel in control of, and feel overwhelmed about can lead to our mental health getting ‘bruised’. Chronic stress impacts mental health. Many younger adults would say that owning a home doesn’t feel certain or an expected life stage the way it was previously.”

“Most people don’t realise overwhelm equals trauma. Trauma doesn’t need to be huge or acute, it can be chronic. Trauma develops any time we don’t feel safe, supported or resourced to respond in our natural, instinctual way. Ongoing unresolved anxiety is known to lead to depression. When we’re stressed, our survival system doesn’t want us to do new things as it doesn’t know how it will go if something more that is new and difficult comes into our lives. So, we may start to feel ‘on a treadmill’ and our life becomes smaller. We often feel less inspired because we’re not tapping into our creative spontaneous self.”

“When we’re overwhelmed, the blood moves away from our frontal cortex - where we do all our processing and thinking about our situation and goes to the amygdala - the survival centre. We are not able to access our whole brain and we are in a quicker fix mode and short-term relief mode. The cost of living and not owning your home can lead to feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. This is particularly so in regard to living situations as it often hits on our survival and security.”

Some ways to get out of hopelessness:

  • See if you can turn off social media when it is complaining and negative. The same with limiting your contact with people who don’t think or speak from a generative or uplifting perspective.

  • You can’t create a solution in the mindset of the problem.

  • Spend time outdoors in nature. It helps regulate your central nervous system.

  • Breathe comfortably and go to sleep earlier so your mind body system has the energy to interrupt old patterns and regenerate. It is much easier to find a generative focus or to interrupt old patterns when you have slept well.

  • Hug someone. Regularly. Hug for longer than you might typically. Your system will appreciate it and you will find that as you change patterns in your brain and body, you can find moments of contentment and appreciation for all of what you do have already. Take the pressure off you having to be ‘somewhere’ to be ‘happy’.

The cost-of-living crisis has hit us hard, we’re aware that many are facing extremely challenging times that are resulting in a negative impact on their mental health. We wanted to speak with a mental health expert to share tips and insight on how to cope in times of high stress and anxiety. We were extremely shocked as a team to discover that 76% of Millennials have been negatively impacted emotionally as a direct result of the cost of living, with 57% of Millennials feeling like a failure for not owning their own home yet. Feeling like a failure is an incredibly negative feeling, which can lead to a downward spiral, so it was important for us to spread awareness and offer tips and advice on getting out of the hopelessness.

For more information, or if you have any property related enquiries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Alexandra Ventress

Alexandra is a Content Producer who enjoys writing articles, finding out about the property market, keeping you up to date with the latest trends.