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Fending off financial depression

Fending off financial depression

Article updated on 04/02/2021
February is already here. The holidays are behind us, but our Christmas expenses (often on credit) may still be hanging around. We’re missing the sunlight and warmth, which affects our energy levels and moods.

January is known as the most depressing month of the year, so it’s no surprise we’re dragging ourselves into February, especially with the financial challenges waiting for us there. But while we may lack motivation, 2021 is nevertheless full of promise (as long as we don’t give up).

Things will get better. Really?

Faced with the current health crisis, it’s hard for us to stay positive. After nearly a year, the pandemic is affecting us emotionally and messing with our heads. Of course, the development of vaccines and drop in case numbers are bringing us some relief. But we’re all exhausted by the restrictive measures and lack of human contact. Also, with the CERB ending, many people’s personal finances have gotten even more complicated. It’s no surprise that a lot people are suffering from financial depression.

You’re not alone

If you find yourself in this situation, rest assured that you’re not alone. It’s completely normal to feel this financial depression rising in us. For many people, money worries are the leading source of stress, ahead of work, personal health and relationships. Also, 42% of Quebecers say they feel anxious because of their finances, and 26% say they lose sleep over financial worries.

The domino effect

The three pillars of good health include physical, mental and financial well-being. And they are all interconnected. It’s been proven that people who experience financial stress are four times as likely to suffer from headaches and are at greater risk of experiencing strain in their personal relationships. This stress can even lead to more serious problems, such as depression, anxiety or heart disease.

Working on your financial well-being will therefore have a positive impact on your physical and mental well-being. That means you have three times as many reasons to not give up and to maintain healthy financial habits that will be beneficial in the long term.

Three key behaviours for getting through financial challenges

  • Remain in control

Sticking to a budget gives you the feeling of being on top of things. It’s good for the wallet, and for the mind. With this simple action, we gradually take back control of our finances, which has an effect on our psychological health. There’s a saying: “Getting started is half the battle.” So go for it and take that first step! Plus, with the online tools available, doing your budget has never been so easy.

  • Nurture good reflexes

Fending off financial depression is a daily struggle. Developing these reflexes will help you solidify your personal finances:

–    Avoid non-essential purchases.

–    Prioritize paying off your existing debts before taking on new ones.

–     Stay on budget.

–    If you have to make an unplanned purchase, be sure it will be of long-term and not just short-term benefit.

  • Stick with it

When our personal finances get us down, it can be tempting to give up or make contradictory financial decisions that only worsen things. For example, relieving boredom by shopping online, not following your budget, not making payments on your debts, etc. This type of behaviour can certainly feel good, but it needs to be resisted. Stick with it! When you feel this type of urge, delay acting on it right away and give yourself a chance to think about it later, with a calm mind. Think about other things, call someone you feel close to, go for a walk … or review your budget.

 

Light at the end of the tunnel

The road can sometimes be hard, but with the right resources supporting you, anything is possible. Stay on track with your financial goals and step back to take stock of your situation; you’re not alone. It’s never been so important to be well supported at this particular time. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from our advisors if financial depression is weighing too heavily on your shoulders.

Meet with one of our counsellors for free

Don’t ignore a debt problem that’s ruining your life. Let’s work together to help you regain control of your finances.

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