CALGARY (CityNews) – Even in a public health crisis, personal health is not the primary source of stress for most Canadians. It’s money.
The 2021 Canadian Financial Stress Index reveals that 2 in 5 Canadians say money is their main source of stress in life, more than personal health, work or relationships.
The online survey of 1,510 Canadians was completed between April 30 and May 2.
“I see a lot of people who are really anxious, really stressed, really worried,” said psychologist Dr. Brent Macdonald. “They lost their health coverage, they lost their jobs
“The money is immediate. When we get that invoice or that invoice in our mailbox or online, as soon as we open it, we get stressed. Health, on the other hand, is more of a long-term gain. In which we exercise, we sleep well, we eat well. If we do all of these healthy things, we see long term benefits. But the short-term benefits aren’t as powerful as opening that credit card statement.
Economist Moshe Lander of Concordia University in Montreal says the way governments have handled the pandemic has caused people to be more stressed about money than health.
“The whole of the past eighteen months has been this constant trade-off between the health of the economy and the health of the people,” Lander said. “So what we’ve seen in the different waves is to varying degrees that the provinces have all approached differently, but when they start pushing to try to protect the health of Canadians, it comes at the expense. the health of the economy.
“So when they realize that they’ve pushed the pendulum too far, the moment the COVID numbers start to drop, the moment hospitalizations start to drop, then the pendulum starts to move the other way.”
The survey further finds that women (54%) are more likely than men (47%) to say they have lost sleep because of financial worries.
This means that financial stress has a direct impact on people’s health and sleep patterns.
“If we don’t sleep we have a hard time concentrating, we are more irritable, it impacts our relationships,” Macdonald said. “Then we get stressed out about relationships which creates a continuous near tsunami of stress and worry and financial stress is high on the list for a lot of people.”
The recent poll marks the fourth time in a row that money has been cited as the number one cause of stress for Canadians.
Lander says he’s not at all surprised.
“It’s quite interesting when these results come out that we realize that we are maybe a little more capitalist, the kind of free market Americans than we like to think,” Lander said.