May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and at Avadian, we want to be a part of the movement to raise awareness regarding mental health, to fight the stigmas associated with mental illness, and to support anyone living with mental illnesses.
As a financial institution, we realize that the intersection of mental health and financial health is an important one.
Finances and Stress
A January 2021 article on Purdue Today reported on findings from a December 2020 survey from CreditWise that said finances are the number one cause of stress, above politics, work, and family. These results follow a 2019 survey from Everyday Health that also showed finances as the number one stressor for respondents.
Current events play a role too. A March 2022 article on WebMD highlighted findings from the American Psychological Association that showed “a large majority of Americans are reporting high stress levels due to financial concerns, inflation, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.”
Impact of Stress
Like with all kinds of stress, high levels of financial stress can affect mental health, resulting in anxiety and depression, as well as physical symptoms headaches, digestive issues, high blood pressure, muscle tension, heart arrhythmia, and more.
People commonly report that their spending habits and ability to make wise financial decisions deteriorate when they are struggling physically or mentally. As financial stress mounts and physical and mental health suffers, it becomes more difficult to manage finances appropriately adding additional stress and anxiety, making it more difficult to maintain a stable job. From the outside, it’s easy to see how the cycle continues and problems grow. But from the inside it’s overwhelming and devastating.
How Do You Keep the Cycle From Starting?
So much in life is outside of your control, but since we’re a financial institution we’ll highlight a couple of things you have more control over: spending and saving. We say that knowing you have only limited control over how much you spend on things because factors like inflation have forced prices higher, cutting into the amount of money you can put into savings.
But you can take a closer look on what you spend money on and take steps to increase the amount of money you are able to put in an emergency fund. So, we encourage you to take a good hard look at your income and plan a budget to control your spending as much as possible and maximize your savings.
If You’re Struggling Mentally
We’d like to say a few things in closing.
Mental illness is a very real problem for many people. We’ve focused on anxiety and depression in this post, but there are many other forms.
If your mental health is a struggle for you, there is no reason to be ashamed. We encourage you to get help from a mental health expert.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness has a helpline that you can reach from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Central time Monday through Friday at 1.800.950.6264. You can find additional resources on the “Get Help” section of its website.