According to a survey done by the Financial Planning Standards Council, 44% of Canadians believe their mental health has been negatively impacted by their financial situation. Many Canadians even say their financial worries overtake stress from other parts of their life like work, personal health, and relationships. Anyone who manages their own money or has limited access to funds can struggle with financial stress.
Common sources of financial stress include:
- High levels of debt
- Living paycheque to paycheque
- Managing household expenses
- Saving moving for short and long-term goals
A certain amount of stress is a normal part of daily life, but when stress is overwhelming, it increases the strain on your mental health and can result in depression, anxiety, substance use problems, sleeping difficulties, and pain.
Some common signs and symptoms of stress include:
- Persistent worrying
- Difficulty concentrating or thinking
- Difficulty making decisions
- Feeling guilty
- Low morale
Financial stress can affect areas of your life outside the home as well, resulting in social withdrawal, work absenteeism, and reduced productivity. Letting these issues persist can lead to a vicious cycle, with feelings of hopelessness, worry, and low self-esteem preventing you from making smart financial decisions that could help in the future.
That’s why it’s important to seek professional help if you feel you are in over your head and your financial issues are affecting your mental health. Although financial struggles can feel especially overwhelming, expert advice can help create a path to guide you to improving your finances and lessening the burden on your mind. Consider seeking financial advice from trusted and reputable sources such as accredited not-for-profit credit counsellors, financial advisors, or licensed insolvency trustees. There are also many online tools, calculators, and information available on the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada website. You can also reach out to your health care provider to learn how to better cope with stress and other resources to support your mental health.
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