Heading into January marks a new beginning—starting fresh, making resolutions, and generally thinking about how you can improve as an individual. Like many, one of your overarching goals may be reducing stress and anxiety. If your financial situation contributes to your stress, you are not alone.

Over the years, I have witnessed just how much financial wellness can directly impact mental health. Although you may be open to talking about this issue, many individuals are still unaware of how much these two aspects are linked. Here are some ways money trouble can negatively affect you, and how to attain more financial wellness in 2020—regardless of your bank account.

Accumulating debt

Today, both students and adults can experience mounting debt. Research has shown that if you suffer from mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder, you are more susceptible to developing challenges with your finances. However, on the flip side, you may face exascerbated symptoms as a result of accumulating debt. The issue is truly cyclical.

Debt, whether personal or professional in nature, is extremely common. If you find it difficult to tackle your debt and it’s affecting your mental health, seeking out helpful resources can get you on the right path. Organizing your bills, cutting costs, and lowering your interest rates are all ways to guide you on your journey to financial wellness.

Spending wisely

I’ve met many individuals over the course of my career who say they have difficulty monitoring their spending habits. New studies indicate that the existence of “money disorders” (e.g. issues that directly correlate with increased spending and mental health) can be the root cause of financial recklessness.

If you find that your spending habits can get away from you, I recommend tracking your finances and setting goals. It can also be beneficial to have a spouse or other trusted family member to help hold you accountable. Through this, you can potentially release some of the stress associated with feeling “out of control” with your finances. 

Financial stress and your family

Financial stress doesn’t just impact individuals. If you experience financial issues, the situation can trickle down to affect all members of your family, manifesting in feelings of loss, fear, anxiety, and confusion. The best way to lessen the blow is to be open and honest about what’s happening, and take a proactive approach to tackling the problem.

I strongly suggest contacting your Student Assistance Program (E/SAP) provider immediately to discuss some tangible means of rectifying the issues. Speaking to a professional, qualified counsellor will not only help you find solutions to your financial strain, it can also help you find long-term solutions for stress management.

Facing the new year

As stressful as your finances may seem now, there are always solutions available—and within reach. For more information on how you can attain financial wellness in 2020, and decrease stress associated with your finances, contact your SAP provider today.