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Chelsea sits down again with Kati Morton to talk about money, emotions, self-esteem, self-control, and everything in between. She answers the most burning questions from the TFD audience.

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Hey guys, it's Chelsea from The Financial Diet, and I am joining you guys once again with our new friend here at TFD, licensed therapist and fellow YouTuber, Kati Morton.

Thanks so much for having me back. Thanks for being here.

So for those who may have missed your first video, which we will link in the description, tell us a little bit about yourself. Yeah, my name's Kati Morton, and I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist. And I've been on YouTube for eight years answering all sorts of questions about mental health.

There's nothing off limits or no wrong question to ask. I'm just trying to raise awareness and break through the stigma. So let's get right into it.

Yeah, let's go. How can I keep my financial health and mental health separate? This is a tricky one, and I like this question because they can be so intertwined.

But I think the best thing we can do is recognize what triggers our spending because this is where we can tease it out, right? If our depressive episode triggers spending, then we know that we should talk to our therapist, who helps manage our depression, so we can get to know those signs and symptoms earlier on, right? Honestly, sometimes it has nothing to do with it.

And we need to kind of figure out where it ties in and where it doesn't so that we can understand the triggers, so that we can cope earlier. And that will help separate so that we don't allow our mental illness to invade our spending or vise versa. Does that make sense?

Totally. I agree. I also have found that, in my own life, practicing radical transparency around everything financial is hugely beneficial.

Yes. Like, I am a completely open book about anything that I earn, anything that I pay, anything I spend on anything. You can ask me anything-- any kind of debt I had, any issues I've had with money.

Because once you remove any shame, any obfuscation, any stigma from these things, you feel totally in control of it, and no one can ever use it against you. No one can ever judge you for it or make you feel less than because you own it totally. You're already owning it.

And I think that's the truth. The more we talk about things, the more we're candid about it the better. I talk about this with mental health, too, is like, the more we keep it a secret and the more we pretend it doesn't exist, the bigger it gets, the more it grows.

We talk about it in therapy, like the elephant in the room being like the one thing we're not talking about. And so the more candid you are, the better. This one is very serious, and we will be discussing suicide if that's something you're sensitive to.

How serious are suicidal thoughts, and what if I see suicide as my only option? Suicidal thoughts are very common. I just want to put that out there.

A lot of people go through periods of time or huge chunks of their life where they feel like suicide is the only option or they have fleeting thoughts. And so I kind of want to break this down into what suicidal thoughts are, suicidal ideation. There's a lot of different terms people use.

So the suicidal thoughts can be fleeting, like oh, what would happen if I jumped in front of that truck or jumped off this bridge or whatever. We can have these little weird thoughts it pop in and pop out. Those are pretty common, and I call those intrusive suicidal thoughts.

There's no prompting. There's nothing that's necessarily triggered it. It just happens, and we're like, that was weird.

So those are very common. Then there's suicidal ideation where we start thinking about it, planning it, maybe taking some steps to make it happen. That could be like hoarding pills or anything.

And there's two parts to this. If someone in your life is suicidal, it's OK to talk to them about it. You can't make someone's suicidal by just asking them about it.

That's a common misconception. And two, if you are taking these steps and you're thinking about it a lot, there is the crisis text line. You can text them at 741-741.

There are national suicide hotlines. And also just see a therapist. Reach out.

We're there to help. And if you worry you are going to hurt yourself, please call 911. Please take yourself to the emergency room.

It's not the best thing that we want to do. We don't want to have to go to the hospital, but it's there to keep us safe. And so that's where you can see how they turn from thoughts into potential actions, and that's when it becomes a serious issue.

And so as a therapist, in order to figure out if I think it's serious enough that we need to take action or not, I'm going to ask you if you have a plan. I'm going to ask you if you have the means to go through with that plan, and then I'm going to ask you if it's an imminent threat. Is it two days out or is it next week?

When are you planning for this to happen? And I know people are scared to talk about it. It can seem and it is a serious topic, but it's OK to talk about.

And if you're seeing it as your only option, please reach out. Please talk to someone. It does get better.

Suicidal thoughts come out of a hopelessness, and sometimes we just need someone to give a little spark and remind us that things can get better. And a therapist's job is primarily that when it comes to suicidal thoughts and ideation. How do you, Kati, refuel your tank slash help yourself since you spend so much time helping others?

What do you do for self care? I do a lot of different things. First of all, self care cost money.

We kind of touched on that in our last video because I think it's really important that people know that self care can be completely free. I go for walks and listen to podcasts that are unrelated to mental health. It could be listening to an old story about how a city was founded or something random in history.

I find this stuff kind of interesting. It could be crime, I love solving crimes. Do you listen to My Favorite Murder?

Yes, I do. And I listened Serial for a long time, still waiting for new ones. There's a lot of podcasts I listen to just to get me out of my head.

I also see my own therapist, and that's a great way to recharge. Love that. And also just to gain perspective on my own life because just because I know better doesn't mean I always do better.

I know how hard it is. Trust me. Very true.

And then I spend time with friends and family. I talk to my mom. My mom and grandmother are both very grounding, and so I talk to them a lot just because some of those things that I think are a big deal aren't a big deal and I need someone to be like, snap out of it.

Right. And then there are some things I do that do cost money but I find really soothing. That could be getting a massage or a manicure pedicure.

I find those to be really nice. So I'll do some of those things or take vacations, but I also take mini vacations where it's just like an afternoon I take off. Like, oh, Thursday at noon, I'm done and then maybe I'll catch a yoga class or maybe I'll go catch up with a friend.

I'll do things that I want to do just because I want to do it. But it's a constant thing that I have to incorporate, and sometimes it has to be a non-negotiable where I'm like, I'm not working this weekend because I'm really stressed out. I'm not, and that's not something that can be changed.

Do you ever cry about your patients? I have. I've cried in session with a couple of patients.

So shocked. But we're human, too. As much as I can, I try to keep it under wraps.

But sometimes I think it's OK to just feel it with them. I think sometimes that empathy and sympathy for it can go a long way. And the job can be very trying and tiring in many ways, so I have to find things that recharge me.

Do you have any rituals when you stop working that help you break away? It's funny you say rituals because that's what I was just going to say is rituals help. So I used to work in a hospital, it was a chain of hospitals in Los Angeles.

I used to work for them. And the car ride would be where I would just sit. I'd be silent, and it was like my decompressing before I would get home so I didn't bring it home with me.

And for many of us, we have a nice commute where we can either sit in silence, we can listen to a podcast, and that can be a way to just like, there's a barrier. I also would come home and put on pajama pants. It sounds so silly, but I wash my face.

I'm kind of transitioning from work Kati into casual, home life Kati. And so if there are ways that you can incorporate that, that's great. Even if it's coming home and having a cup of tea or sitting down and chatting, you have this 30 minutes where you chat with your spouse or roommate or partner about your day and then you have something you do and you move on.

But the pajama pants is a big thing for me. Have you ever wished that you took a different path slash what is one thing that you wish you could change? Those are two different questions, I guess.

Because sometimes it is hard to turn off work, especially because I'm online. It never sleeps, and so there's always stuff to do. And I work with my spouse, and I think that comes with its own set of challenges.

And in some ways, I wish I hadn't done that only because I was so boundaried before around work and not work. And when I wasn't at work, I wasn't thinking about work. I wasn't working at work.

I used to be so good at that. I would do all of my notes, all of my research, all of my stuff at the office, and then I would come home. So that was really nice.

So I do miss that in some ways. But would I haven't actually done anything differently? Do I wish I'd done something differently?

The answer is actually no. I think getting on YouTube when I did, I was definitely, like, the first of the party. Like, no one was talking about mental health.

I was really early. But it's been the most rewarding thing, so even though everything comes with its own set of challenges, I don't think I would do it differently. How do I stay independently happy in a relationship without depending on my partner?

I love this one. I think this is very hard for a lot of people, but they are ashamed to admit it. And I think the truth is you have to have things that you love just because you love them and so making time for yourself.

And I don't know if you've seen this meme, but it's one of my favorites. I'm probably going to butcher it, but feel free to share where the real one is in the comments. But it's pretty much like, every day I'm trying to drink eight glasses of water, get enough exercise, make time for my friends, journal, talk to my therapist, like all these things each and every day and then get up and do it again.

And so I think a lot of times we tell you to make time for yourself, and you're like, where? How would I fit that in? I have so many things.

And I feel that way a lot, too. But I think it could be small things in your life that you do just because you like it. Like, I like to go for walks.

I go on my own. It's something I do to feel joy for myself. And so making sure that when you get into relationships, and I'm assuming they mean romantic relationships, that you don't let go of who you were before.

I agree. So making sure you still make time for your friends when you go on your own. It doesn't have to be couples friends.

It actually shouldn't be, in some ways. If you enjoyed taking spin class, you still make time for that. So yeah, I think finding any way to continue being who you were before you were in the relationship as well as make time for your relationship.

Those things aren't mutually exclusive. You shouldn't have to let go of who you used to be to be in that relationship. Totally.

In fact, I find when we do that, then the relationship tends to suffer because the person who we fell in love with almost doesn't exist anymore. Totally. I'm always weirded out by couples who do everything together, like go to the gym together and stuff.

You need a break. Yeah, yikes. Sometimes you just want to put on your music that you like and watch reruns of the show that you love.

Totally. This one's kind of controversial, but I try to sleep alone at least once a week because A, we're both sleep rollers. We roll around a lot, and sleep hygiene is very important.

But also, to be perfectly honest, I just like watching my own TV shows in bed and doing stuff that I like to do. And I'm not going to burden my husband with having to have a laptop playing The Real Housewives of New York next to him while he's trying to sleep. I don't know.

I feel like we don't have as much of a language to talk about life partnership that also very much allows for a separate personal life, you know? Yes. People think that when you're in relationship, you're all in.

Yeah, and it's very much one or the other. And I find that having that time that is just my own makes the time that we're together feels so much better. I'm like, oh, I'm excited to see him now.

Yeah. Well, we all need alone time. Totally.

That's where we do some of our best thinking and even just figuring out who you are now, right? Because we grow and change all the time, thank god. Yes.

And we need some of that alone time to sort through that, and I think that's why it is really important. And knowing that you can't compare your relationship to anyone else's either. Like, you want to sleep one night alone?

That's fine. No one else gets to weigh in on that. That's your relationship.

Totally. What is a really common mistake you see couples making? Not talking about things, like real things.

They'll be like, oh, we talk all the time. And the main reasons people breakup-- sex and money. So do you talk about your sex life?

Are you happy? It's OK to say, I don't like when you do that or I'm not in the mood or I am in the mood or I want you to take me do-- it's OK. If you can't talk about it, you shouldn't be doing it.

So we should get comfortable talking about sex. Also money, are you buying things and hiding them in your car for three weeks without telling them and then sneaking them in one by one? I have lots of patients that do that.

Are you afraid to tell them how much you spend? Do you have a separate account they don't know about? Do you have a credit card they don't know about?

I know. I know what happens because I hear about it all the time, and so that's why I think almost every couple should be in therapy. It doesn't mean something's wrong.

It means you're doing something right. You have to open communication. Well, listen, my parents watch this channel, so I've never had sex.

I don't know what that is. That's the problem. People are so uncomfortable.

Listen, dad, turn the channel off. No, but with regards to all of those topics, I feel also a really healthy dose of humor is so important. You've got to break that tension because I feel like the more a topic is taboo or if you feel like something's not going well, even financially.

A lot of couples go through periods where they don't have a lot of money. Yeah, we've done that I've had that. It's extremely stressful.

And just being like, man, it really sucks to be this broke. I want to go to this restaurant or I want to go out to the movies. Being on a talk about it in a very honest and honestly humorous way is, I feel like, the best medicine.

Yeah, because they're your partner in life. You have to be able to go through ups and downs together, and we can't only celebrate the happy times. We have to also be able to talk through the bad times.

I feel like it would be really hard for most people to accept the idea that you can go to couples therapy even if there's nothing wrong. Well, first of all, I don't like seeing couples because they wait too long to come in and then they just shout at each other or one talks for the other and the other just sits in silence like they're wounded and so that's my experience. I've been in practice now for 12 years?

I don't know. I'm old. I'm not sure.

It's been a while. You're in your 30s. I know, but they come in too late and people wait too long.

Yeah, no, it's true. OK, so let's say you're a couple and things are going well. And you're like, let's take Kati's advice and go to therapy.

What do you talk about? You can talk about anything that maybe is uncomfortable to talk about regularly. Like, you're not comfortable talking about sex.

Well, my parents are watching. You never have had it. You've never had it, and I understand.

Yeah, what is this thing you're talking about? But that might be something that's helpful to talk about so that you can find language that's comfortable for you and your partner. Totally.

If money is a tricky topic, you bring that up. And let the therapist do the work for that. So if you're like, hey, money is something we're not comfortable talking about.

A therapist can ask questions to start a conversation that's a little more healthy, like did your parents ever talk about it? Maybe there's some shame. Did you ever have debt?

You can start conversations so that you and your partner can have a real discussion about it. It could be like setting goals for the relationship, like maybe you want to live in different areas in the end. Like, I want to retire to Florida, I want to retire to New York.

You know what I mean? And you're like, those are very different. Let's talk about that.

I think we have a lot of issues that we're afraid to discuss because of what it might mean or what it might lead to when in reality, the not talking is what leads to bad things. What is something that you see couples doing really well? A lot of things.

I mean, a lot of times I'll have couples come in that they picked a good partner, like it's a good match, and that's hard. A lot of people get married really early before they know who they are, and then they end up with someone who knows and loves 18-year-old them, but now 36-year-old them is very different. And so it's like, they'll pick a good mate, they'll choose to grow together.

And honestly, just going to therapy means that you'll work together, which is good, which is a huge step. Because trust me, there's usually one person who does not want to be there and is forced by the other spouse or partner. Oh gosh.

Is it usually the man? Yes. But I think that will be shifting over time because the conversation about mental health is shifting.

But yeah, I mean, and reaching out for help and coming in to see a therapist is a great thing that couples do. What about friendships? What are people doing wrong in their friendships?

Thinking that they have to be lifelong. Oh, drama. Tell us more.

I think that not all friendships have to be lifelong because we change and thank god that we do. And not everyone grows in the same way. Because unlike romantic relationships, we don't spend every day with our friends.

Often we can text with them or whatever, but we're not always in constant contact. So we may have different ideas about what life is. It could be as simple as one friend wants to move to the suburbs and be a stay-at-home mom, which is a beautiful choice and that's a wonderful thing for them.

But another friend might want to never get married and live in the city. And I know you're thinking, like, oh, that sounds so stereotypical, but it's true. And we all make different life choices.

And we can choose to celebrate those life choices with our friends and grow together in the friendship, or we can be like, hey, I don't do that. I don't want that. That's not my lifestyle.

Because it's not always so cut and dry where it's like, oh, they're toxic or this is just a bad recipe, we bring out the worst in each other. Friendships can change, and they can maybe only call when they want something from you and it becomes that kind of dynamic where you're just like, I'm just not going to pick up anymore. But if you can communicate, it's best because that will help us in future relationships.

Because through that communication, hopefully we glean our role in it. Yeah. We all have our own role.

And I've found that the friendships where the person on the other end was very receptive to that and totally responded and was like, I agree, like, what's going on here-- Yeah. --have become the best friendships. Like, I had a very candid conversation once with a female friend that she was dating a dude that we weren't necessarily the biggest fan of. And it was like, listen, I'm not going to lie to you.

Like, that dude's a big part of your life. You know, and we totally talked it out, and she was like, you know what? X and Y are valid criticisms.

I'll make sure that that's not going to happen going forward because I want to make sure that this works. Yeah. But the alternative to that, which I think a lot of people would have done, would have been like, avoid the person, talk shit about them, and then just let the relationship fade over the course of a year.

Yes. I do not have time for that. But those are the problems in friendships, again, lack of communication.

I think communication is the key to all healthy relationships. What are some of the strategies that you would recommend for people who feel that they have a very difficult time advocating for themselves at work? This is something we hear all the time from our viewers.

A couple of things. First of all, practicing on your own, writing down bullet points of what you're wanting and practicing saying it out loud. If you have a roommate, a friend, a spouse, someone, role play it.

Because I think a lot of us don't do that. We don't have the words come through our lips until we're trying to advocate, and then we get scared and we second guess. But if we practiced it, it can feel like second nature, like it's super easy to do and we've said it a million times before, and we've already thought about what they might say back.

That's my first tip. But then the second, I think, is also just assessing your work environment because sometimes we are in toxic work environments. And if you feel belittled in any way or put down or you feel like you're never being heard, they talk over you, they don't make time for you, maybe you've been overlooked for a raise or something over and over and over again, those are things that you should bring to the attention of your direct boss and then put your resume online and look for something else.

We can relate that to relationships as well because a lot of people feel like I'm just stuck in this job or this relationship and I can't get out. The only reason you can't get out is because you're not letting yourself out. We always have the choice to leave.

Yes, it can be hard. And yes, we might not be able to do it right away, especially with a job because bills keep coming, unfortunately, it doesn't mean that you can't start looking for another job. Maybe even take a pay cut for a little bit just to get out of that unhealthy situation.

It's really important to define your compensation in terms other than money, too. Obviously, there's a baseline amount of money that you need, but do you have some work-from-home flexibility? Do you have a good schedule?

Do you like your co-workers? Great health care benefits? Your benefits?

Do you like the work that you're doing? There is so much more to compensation than the number on a piece of paper. I call it reward or compensation and not money and hourly rate or salary.

Try to think of it in terms of the full picture because toxic work environment is a huge cost to you every day. Absolutely. As the last question, so a lot of people will come to us and say that they have a very difficult time getting started on a budget.

It's a huge mental block for them to start budgeting, period, and they'll put it off for years and years. What is one strategy to help people get over that initial blockage to budgeting? Yeah, I think a lot of people equate budget with limits.

And immediately, people were like, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, I don't want to stop doing what I'm doing. Right. And so I think the first thing for budgeting-- and this was my sneak way of trying to help myself do the same because it's hard, trust me, I know-- is just figuring out what I spend.

So it's not really a budget. It's like, what do I spend my money on? Because a lot of people are like, I don't know.

I don't want to know. I just spend it. And I think it's really important to instead of thinking of budgeting, the first step being like, well, what do I spend my money on?

Yeah, you have a budget, whether or not you've ever written it down. Yep. And it's also important to occasionally feel that wave of self disgust and be like-- Oh, god.

Yeah. --that amount of money I spent on delivery food-- Yeah, food. Oh my god, food is my biggest spending. That's like when I Marie Kondo-ed my life, if you don't know The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up-- Oh, do you do the t-shirt fold?

I still do. You do it, too? Our camera person did it, too.

But when I did that, having to pull all of my clothes out and put them in one room, it was too much. I was like, wow, Kati, this is disgusting. What are you doing?

And so I think in the same way, we have to pull all of our spending out and look at it. And that will, honestly, in its own way, probably help you budget without having to think, oh, I have to create a budget. Because then you can look through that list and be like, in Marie Kondo, what brings me joy?

What is the thing that is the most helpful? Maybe you do spend a lot on food delivery, but that means that you're eating regularly and that's important for you and your overall health. Maybe instead we cut back on clothing or something.

Holly who's behind the camera, our editor, she actually has a very good tip, which is to go through your last couple months spending, like all your transactions and your bank statement, and highlight everything that you don't remember buying. Oh god, oh god yes. Mindless spending.

I did that once, and it was like a shameful amount of purchases that I was literally like, what is the name of this place? I don't even know if that's a restaurant or a store. Yeah.

And it clearly was not worth it. Yeah, and then what did that add up to? Oh my god, yeah.

What does it add up to and that's not a list of things to not spend on again. Yeah, yeah. Because you know it's not worth it to.

No, it's not bringing you any fulfillment. It's not sparking that joy. No, no joy.

Well, Kati, it has been a pleasure, once again, to have you. Yeah. Where can people find you if they want to know more?

My channel name is just Kati Morton on all social medias and my YouTube channel. Feel free to hit me up in those comments and chat. And I will be over on Kati's channel talking about money, emotional spending, mental health, all that great stuff, so be sure to check me out there.

And as always, guys, thank you for watching, and don't forget to hit the Subscribe button and to come back every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday for new and awesome videos. Bye. Bye.