We’re back for another fun yet enlightening session on how to preserve our mental health while experiencing an economic downturn. Jackie is joined by Dr. Yewande Olamide who is a physician, mental health advocate, financial literacy educator, and speaker and this is one conversation you do not want to miss.
Did you know that money is still the top stressor for Canadians despite just surviving a pandemic? Well it is, read on to pick up tips on how to stay happy while dealing with your finances this season
Tell us about your journey to becoming a mental health expert?
Talking about her journey to becoming a mental health therapist, Yewande was an ER physician for 10 years until she took a break from being burnt out which ushered her into a season of rediscovery and finally finding herself all over again. She started off just introducing empathy to her daily routine as an ER doctor which somehow helped her patients but also was fulfilling for her. She then decided to become a therapist and the journey has been great so far.
Tell us about treating people who experience stress when it comes to dealing with their finances?
Dr Yewande shared that financial stressors often come as a disguise coupled with the fact that there’s a lot of shame or stigma around that subject matter. We live in an economic society and it is no surprise that people have a lot of their identities wrapped around money. Oftentimes, the symptoms are lack of sleep, worry, anxiety stemming from uncertainty e.t.c. Dealing with the thoughts and the practicality of the issue is one of the ways she handles patients in this category. We really just need to dig deeper to identify where the real issue stems from as well as a switch in mindset to a more optimistic thought process.
What are some of the common financial stressors people come to you for?
Debt is a major stressor for a lot of people, from car debts to mortgages to unpaid taxes. It just causes an emotional burden that weighs them down. Another one is living paycheque to paycheque. Most people are worried about affording food and that tends to affect their mental health because living costs are the expense that’s most in your face.
Have things been any different now that we are coming out of the pandemic vs when it started?
Dr Yewande noticed that things seemed a lot better in terms of people being more at peace with their finances. At the being of the pandemic people could save more but now that things are opening up it seems like uncertainty and unrest is back and the inflation is not helping matters at all.
How do you think people can overcome some of these financial stressors?
Addressing the issue of shame, it is important to face these worries head on, find a safe space of people you can trust and who are non judgemental to share these issues and kind of unburdening. The reason for this is to help us get a different perspective from someone we trust or think is in a much better place to give advice. Another thing is to educate yourself as ‘not knowing’ is a big source of fear and anxiety. Financial literacy is so underrated. The final tip is to plan! We need to figure out what our next steps are, is it a new job? budgeting? Putting money aside for our set goals? Cut back on unnecessary expenses? planning is very important and would greatly impact one’s journey to becoming financially secure and mentally free.
Final advice for anyone who is down and wondering how they can get back up?
One thing that can really be helpful is community, there are many Facebook groups that allow you share anonymously and that could be a useful source of support. Also, try not to make big decisions from a point of fear or pressure. When there is panic, take a step back and try to bring in some logic in order to find a balance.
If you want to connect with Dr. Yewande you can reach her on Instagram @dr.yewande and on LinkedIn – Dr. Yewande Olamide. She is also the host of the podcast called happy without medicine. Team Jackie Porter is offering a 30mins free consultation for people who need help with planning their finances. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org