This year, Canadians are suffering from financial insecurity at higher rates than those before. The economic impact of COVID-19 has hit people hard, and many are seeing mental health effects as a result of their difficulties meeting financial obligations.
Financial stress is a tricky subject, especially during the pandemic when it feels like we have less control over our jobs and savings than ever before. The sense of helplessness many of us feel exacerbates other pre-existing issues in our lives, and puts strain on our relationships and self-image.
The statistics reported in 2020 are clear: 43% of Canadians who reported significant negative changes to their financial standing also reported moderate to severe anxiety symptoms. 49% have lost sleep over financial stress. 18% have stated that this stress has caused problems in their relationship. 80% of Canadians said that at least one aspect of their finances causes them stress.
How do we go about regaining a sense of control? How do we regulate the anxiety that seems to be eating away at so many of us?
A lot of the havoc that financial troubles reap on our mental health could be alleviated if we weren’t so hesitant to talk about them. For many Canadians, economic instability is something we’ve been taught to bottle up, even from those we’re closest to. Talking about financial anxiety, however, is the first, and one of the most effective ways to alleviate it. In fact, recognizing mental illness and reaching out for help results in positive changes for 80% of those affected.
Isolating, on the other hand, negatively distorts our reality; simply letting someone know what you’re going through can contextualize your struggle. Often, you’re surprised by how understanding the other person can be; they could even be experiencing similar anxieties.
If you feel like you’re unable to talk about financial stress with people in your life, or that you need added support outside of your circle of loved ones, therapy might be a good option for you. A psychotherapist that has experience working with clients that deal with financial stress could be life changing.
Psychotherapists can help you:
⦁ Refocus on the things you can control- As much as it may seem like it, you are not altogether helpless. An experienced therapist can help you redirect attention onto the things you are currently able to do to better the situation you’re in.
⦁ Contextualize your financial struggles- Although it has seemed like an eternity, the pandemic wasn’t always our norm, and it will end. Financial stress brought on by COVID-19 is not permanent, and you will reach a point where the struggles you’re currently experiencing will be behind you.
⦁ Take care of yourself- Mental health issues can have devastating effects on your physical health, your relationships with others and your self-image. A therapist can help you reprioritize self-care, regulate negative moods and behaviours brought on by financial stress, and strengthen your relationships with your loved ones.
⦁ Bring joy back into your life- While financial struggles can feel all-encompassing, through a variety of techniques, a psychotherapist can help you find happiness through the anxiety.
⦁ Set a plan of action to better your financial state- A therapist can help bring back your confidence, organize and prioritize your affairs, and help you take the internal steps necessary to reach a more financially stable state.
There has been a huge rise in the number of people seeking online therapy. Those booking sessions for the first time, may feel more comfortable knowing they’ll be able to attend them from the privacy of their own homes. Additionally, for many people who struggle financially, the time and money you save travelling to and from a therapy office may make online therapy a more suitable, attractive option.
It isn’t only convenient, it’s effective too: studies have found online therapy to be extremely effective in treating anxiety. For some patients, online cognitive behavioural therapy (the leading therapy model in treating anxiety) is even more effective than in-person therapy.
At Mind + Zest we pride ourselves on our expertise. With over twelve years of experience helping people who suffer from financial stress and anxiety, we are confident we can provide clients the necessary support they need to see real changes in their day-to-day life. You don’t have to break the bank either; our team accepts insurance, and we even provide cost cuts for clients attending regular sessions. Go to https://www.mindandzest.com/ and get connected to our intake specialist free of cost. After carefully assessing your goals for therapy, you can connect with one of our Ontario board approved psychotherapists as quickly as today.