Financial Fitness for the New Year
It’s often thought that having money leads to happiness. While that’s not necessarily true, being financially secure does create a sense of well-being which impacts your mental and physical health. To address our whole health in 2023, we need to understand the relationship between financial and physical wellness.
Inflation, at 7.1%, has made financial stress worse and the rise in prices has had a major impact on people’s finances and their ability to afford everyday purchases. In February 2022, the American Psychological Association(APA) reported the highest number of people experiencing money-related stress since 2015 – 65% of respondents said money is a significant source of stress. Younger people are more stressed about money, with 82% of Gen Z (ages 18–25) and 81% of millennials (ages 26–43) reporting that money is a stressor.
When you are experiencing financial troubles or have unforeseen expenses to cover, your health may be impacted.
People with financial burdens often neglect important preventive care or medical regimens. Delaying routine exams and preventive screenings can make it difficult to catch medical issues early when they are easier and less costly to treat. Additionally, experts have found that stress from money problems tends to be chronic, or long-lasting.
Remember that it is important to continue making your physical health a priority as you work on your financial well-being. Although you may likely still face financial stress, there are ways to make it more manageable:
- Eat a healthy balanced diet
- Exercise regularly
- Practice stress reduction techniques (taking a walk, yoga, connecting with others)
- Utilize an employer financial wellness program, if available
- Talk to a financial advisor to develop a plan of action
Without the right relief strategies in place, a vicious cycle of financial and physical stressors affecting one another can form. Creating a plan to properly address your overall well-being can help you understand how this cycle works and how financial stress and physical unfitness are interconnected.