How Depression & Anixety Impacts My Finances And 3 Easy Ways I Budget For Them
During the last half of 2018, my anxiety and depression got so bad that I was financially dependent on my family to support me. I recently shared how I felt miserable, anxious, and hopeless but it also hurt me big-time financially. I was dragging a mountain of shame because I had prided myself on being a young, financially independent Black woman living on my own in Seattle and working at one of the largest tech companies in the world. Y’all, I went from easily saving $300-$400 every week from my tech job to receiving cans of tuna and beans from a friend and receiving rejection letters from over 50+ job applications.
I kept begging God, “What is it that you want me to learn? Fix me God, please! Heal me!” Silence.
No podcast, worship song, book, or motivational video would give me peace. NOTHING worked. I got so anxious that I started to forget important bills or appointments, impulse buy on food with the little money I had (something that I previously had under control), and stingy over money that I stopped tithing or giving. I was so on edge, negative, and depressed that I literally got into a car accident just 10 days after I got a car. I’ve NEVER had an accident in the 7+ years that I’ve been driving.
But by the grace of God, I went through a humbling season where I was stripped away from everything. I needed to be completely alone so I can trust God. Right now, I can honestly that I am finally the most happy that I’ve been in the last 2.5 years. I’ve proactively made necessary changes from my mindset shifts (i.e. releasing shame, forgiveness, and stop caring what people think) and I’m FINALLY seeing progress in my personal life, finances, and mental health. It was overwhelming at first but here’s the 3 easy ways I budgeted for my mental health:
Find An Affordable Therapist Near You $$-$$$+
Several months ago, I was so overwhelmed trying to do everything that I ended up really doing nothing that actually helped me get unstuck. I was super insecure and was trying to please people who were telling me “Nothing is actually wrong with you. You’re just lazy and won’t stay at a job.” It broke my confidence and I stopped prioritizing my therapy appointments because I felt like they knew me better than I did. WRONG. I need therapy. I’m broke not broken I need the support of someone who can help me out once a week.
So, I started to budget for this with my inconsistent income. I even found an affordable therapist on Open Path Collective, a site that offers affordable therapy for people who need a sliding scale of $30-$60 for individuals and $30-$80 for couples). My new therapist is even less than 10 minutes from my home. God seriously lined it up so perfectly for me when I began to trust that He will provide for ALL my needs.
The initial investment of Open Path (lifetime) membership is $50. Now, I pay $120 a month for therapy and $30 per session. I will happily pay my therapist more when my income increases because she’s pretty awesome. This is a necessity so I work more hours or I’ll sell items on Poshmark or OfferUp to make sure that I’m there, every week.
2. Research 1-3 Supplements And Budget For Them $$
Depending on your medical insurance, you can probably get your medication covered for free or pay a small co-pay. I absolutely believe that it is your choice to take prescription medication. In fact, some of my closets friends take it. But I knew in my heart that I still needed to have and maintain a healthy lifestyle, which meant that this would not be sustainable for me right now.
DISCLAIMER: Please consult your doctor prior to taking any medication. What works for me may not work for you. With love, you are solely responsible for your life and well being.
I started doing some research and I found that I have 4 supplements that have been working wonders for me that you can buy at Whole Foods:
Magnesium- Calcium, Zinc, and Iron: I mainly take this for the Magnesium. It’s a mineral that is a vital factor in our biochemical responses benefits our stress response, recovery, and repair time. There a TON of benefits to read more here. I’ve noticed that I’m more alert, I’m way calmer, spend less time overthinking, and my attention span is higher. It costs anywhere from $12-$23. I get mine from Whole Foods for about $13.
Vitamin D3 spray: I use this because I live in Seattle and the sun does come out but not enough for this California girl. If you’re vegan or vegetarian and lack natural vitamin D that’s usually obtained from eating meet this is for you. Vitamin D3 helps the body absorb calcium, gain bone strength, and for a healthy immune system. To be honest, I just take it everyday. I’m sure it’s doing great things because I feel way less depressed but I don’t feel a difference. I paid about $11 for this at Whole Foods.
B-12 Energy Boost Droplets: OMG this stuff is incredible if you need a boost. I used to drink 2 cups of coffee a day and I just put less than a 1tbsp on my tongue and I’m hyped for at least 2 hours. Benefits heart health, contains Folic Acid to produce and maintain new blood cells, improving your memory, and prevent heart disease. You can read more about that here. I paid about $16 for this at Whole Foods but Walmart sells it for $9.
*I also take a multi-vitamin adult gummy but you can find those anywhere!
After I bought them and was taking them for about 5 weeks, I spoke with my doctor and confirmed that she would even recommend these for me. She even said that “even though these aren’t prescription medication that you still have to wait 6-8 weeks to see a difference.” That means that this impatient girl had to let this stuff work while she still felt like the world was crumbling. But when it kicked in (along with working out, reading my bible, actively thinking about what I’m thinking about, etc.) …WOW.
I budget out $50 a month but depending on what runs out first I usually am buying something every other month. If I don’t need it that month then I will put the extra money towards savings.
3. Join A Fitness Class Or Gym To Get Active $-$$$
There are so many fitness classes, bootcamps, gyms, or you can even find a trainer on Youtube. Around this time of year, gyms offer deals because they want people to join. I’m very lucky that my apartment has a gym downstairs that I use but I decided to invest in hot yoga classes to help calm my anxiety.
During a bad day while I was eating a burger and steak fries (don’t judge me), I remembered taking a yoga class and feeling deeply relaxed and connected to God. As of today, I’ve gone consistently for 1 month and I make time for it. I refuse to miss it because I need it. Plus, this is the easiest way for me to meet new people as an introvert.
I thought there was no way I could afford this and it was a luxury with it being $50 a month. However, I go 3x a week and that averages out to $4.12 per class. I can definitely stop drinking Starbucks to enjoy 1 hour of sweating and feeling powerful.
Applying what I’ve read in Scripture in a practical way has allowed me to experience peace beyond all understanding. I’m content with my life even if I wish things were better. Also, I still overthink (I’m an analytical person) but not obsessing over the outcome. It’s much easier for me to release things that I can’t control. Please speak with your doctor and therapist about what will work best for you. There is no shame in taking prescription medication if that is what you need. You haven’t failed as a Christian and in fact God wants you to take care of yourself on this earth.
I hope this helps! Let me know if you try and implement some of these ideas. 2019 is already amazing - just keep fighting.
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