How Your Financial Health Impacts Your Physical Health

Betesha “Bea” Ethridge

Hello friends! Let’s take some time to check in on each other. Let’s discuss how our financial health impacts our mental and physical health. I, like many of you, know the impact of stresson mental and physical health. I know how it can lead to depression, anxiety, and physical illness. Your financial health can affect your overall wellness. More than two-thirds of Americans struggle financially, according to 2020 data from the Financial Health Network, an organization that focuses on financial health. At least 84% of Americans are experiencing financial stress due to COVID, per a 2020 survey from the National Endowment for Financial Education. If you happen to fall into a subgroup, such as women, low-income, and minority communities, you are impacted more severely. Not to mention the already massive wealth gap.

Did you know that people in debt have higher rates of depression and anxiety than those who are not? Take tuition into consideration, unemployment, and financial instability. Personally, I know what it feels like to lose sleep, not knowing what will happen next or what to do when “life happens”. Financial related stress can even wreak havoc on your digestive system. Studies have shown that it’s common to have gas, bloating, nausea, and other digestion- related issues from money worries- which can trigger your body’s fight-or-flight response and since your nervous system helps your digestive system in check, spending too much time in fight-or-flight mode can mess with regular gut function. Let me tell you, I know all about that, on a personal level. My gastroenterologist can vouch for me! Your mental health impacts your physical health, and your financial health impacts your overall health.

If we have learned anything over the past two years of a global pandemic, we have learned flexibility, creativity, and survival techniques. We know how to apply for loans, extensions, forgiveness, and even how to ration out toilet paper. The pandemic is only one factor, to the millions of existing factors, that impact our financial health. Life changing circumstances are incontrollable and I, for one, have learned that having a support system is one of the keys to surviving those circumstances. Your title does not determine your struggle. We all have them! Whether it is financing your child’s, or your own education, or unexpectedly losing a job, or having a sudden decline in your health… your finances take a hit. So, what do you do? How do you overcome “life”? 

The main thing you do is “plan and prepare!” Even if you don’t have an opportunity to plan for the circumstances, mentally prepare yourself for the circumstances and create your support system now. There is nothing worse than not knowing where your next meal will come from, or how you will pay your mortgage, or missing that payment on your credit card, or receiving that medical bill. Your support system will be in place to help guide you to the resources or be the resource you seek. If you don’t know where to start, feel free to contact me. We are in this together. #bankwithbea