Small steps can make a big impact on your financial and mental wellbeing

2021-06-21   minute read

Debt Solutions

It’s been more than a year since the terms COVID-19 and pandemic entered our daily vocabulary and completely upended our routines. The mental health impacts of the virus, the various health orders, and their financial impacts are as significant as they are indiscriminate.

The past 14 months have reinforced feelings of hopelessness and helplessness for many Canadians. We loathe our lack of individual control over the circumstances and uncertainty around almost every aspect of our lives: the lingering impacts of loneliness and isolation; the struggle to support children through the ups and downs and maintain some sense of normalcy; the feeling that no matter what you do, your fate is ultimately in the hands of someone, or in this case, something else.

Then, of course, there are the hundreds of thousands of households who have been enduring one of the most significant periods of economic and employment instability since the great depression. They face additional, equally unsettling questions:

  • How will the pandemic affect short- and long-term job security?
  • Can they keep food on the table, a roof over their family’s head, and the creditors at bay? If so, for how long?
  • What options do they have to access financial aid? When should they reach out for professional financial support?

These are even more stressful times for households already struggling with unmanageable debt and financial instability.

It’s tough to compartmentalize financial stress

Nearly every aspect of our lives is tied to money in one way or another, so it’s not surprising there are strong links between our financial and mental health. People who struggle with paying their bills and debts often also struggle with performing at work, communicating with loved ones, and getting a restful night’s sleep. This in turn makes it more difficult to navigate their financial troubles, and so the vicious and self-perpetuating cycle repeats.

No wonder, then, that feeling helpless is one of the most common things we hear from individuals who attend a Free Confidential Consultation with MNP.

Focus on what you can do

In any extended period of fear and uncertainty, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and discouraged by the countless factors outside of our control. As bleak as the situation may seem, there is almost always something you can do. Even small wins can go a long way in re-building your sense of hope and rejuvenating your mental health.

If you’re still able to pay your bills and debts every month, but feel your financial situation is not improving, consider:

  • Making a list of all your income and expenses. Look at ways to increase income, such as a part time job or free lance work; selling off items that you no longer need / use, and decrease expenses, like eliminating a vehicle and the related costs.
  • Adopting a strategy to pay down the higher interest debt first.
  • Applying for a consolidation loan to reduce your interest costs and the number of debt payments you make each month.

If you’re struggling to pay your bills and the minimum payments on your debts, consider scheduling a Free Confidential Consultation with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. They will review your financial situation and identify options both formal, as governed by the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act such as Consumer Proposal and personal Bankruptcy, and informal to help you choose the best course of action for you and your family situation. Your path to financial peace of mind and a sounder night’s sleep is a phone call away!

Of course, your finances are only part of the equation. It’s equally important to take positive steps to directly improve your mental and emotional health as well — especially during this time of higher levels of stress and anxiety. The Canadian Mental Health Association has a great list of resources and tips to support your road to recovery.

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