Financial stress – 6 tips to help you cope when you’re in debt

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Don't let debt stress get the better of you!

Don’t let debt stress get the better of you!

At least half of people with debt problems feel anxious or depressed, so it’s important to do whatever you can to make yourself feel better.

Getting practical advice is always useful but you should also be aware of the emotional impact of debt.

Following these tips might not help you get out of debt any quicker but they could help to improve your state of mind…

1.    Focus on the here and now

Whether it’s debt management or an IVA, getting out of debt can be a long term project and it’s important to take it one step at a time. Spending all your time thinking about the future and what might happen can lead to your stress levels creeping up. It’s scientifically proven that living in the moment will make you happier.

It’s equally essential to not get too bogged down with the past. We speak to many people who go over all the things they could have done differently to have avoided their current situation. It’s much better to accept what’s happened and focus on taking positive steps to improve your life right now.

2.    Stay positive

Think about all the things that you love about your life. Getting out of debt often means having to do without some of the material things that we often convince ourselves we need. If you take stock of your situation it’s certain that there’ll be things in your life that are more important than money. They’re what’s important.

Keeping a positive mental attitude will make everything in your life easier to manage. Being positive doesn’t mean painting on a fake smile and struggling on. Here are some tips on how to stay positive – it’s sometimes hard work to stay positive but worth it in the long run.

3.    Face your demons

We all have times when we want to bury our head in the sand. If problems seem too much to deal with it’s incredibly tempting to try to put them out of our minds and forget them.

Only we never really forget things when we try to put them out of our mind – they just hang over us like a cloud and makes us feel worse. This can be doubly true when the problem relates to money, as feelings of fear and shame make it even harder to hold our hands up and ask for help.

We know that taking that step and getting help will make a huge difference. Last year we asked our clients how they felt before and after getting help with their debts and the result conclusively showed that getting debt help reduces stress.

4.    Stick to a budget

Anyone familiar with this blog and the advice we give will know we never shut up about budgets. I’m not going to apologise though as there’s a reason we bang on about budgeting all the time: it’s important.

Creating a budget and sticking to it will be a practical help with your finances but it will also help you feel better too. Knowing what money you’ve got will help make you feel in control of your finances and lead to more peace of mind.

5.    Keep active

Physical exercise releases chemicals in our brain which make us feel happier. So if you feel that your money worries are getting on top of you it might be a good idea to go for a jog or even a brisk walk.

Staying active doesn’t need to mean spending money either. We’ve got some great tips on keeping fit on a budget. Our friends at the Mental Health Foundation have put together this great video with some suggestions about keeping active:

6.    Get support

We know that being in debt can be an isolating experience. For some reason we all feel a bit strange about talking about money to our friends and family and it can lead to feeling quite lonely. If you can overcome this awkwardness and confide in a trusted friend or family member then you’re bound to feel less alone.

We can help too. We understand what it feels like to be in debt and know how to help. If you’re worried about your finances then you should use our advice tool Debt Remedy. It can give you a tailored debt solution within 20 minutes.

James Winterbottom has been a debt advisor for six years. Away from work he is an amateur app developer and writes fiction. James is a lifelong supporter of Huddersfield Town football club, which suggests he is either very loyal or very daft. He also likes to talk about himself in the third person in bio pages.

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  • Anthony B.

    I have a lot of debts but i’m slowly paying them off, but, I am unemployed and i have organised my payments except for one,i have absolutely nothing left to live on, i eat less food, my gas and electric run out 3 days before pay day but i have managed to offer this last debt £10 a month and they won.t accept it, i have been through the county court 6 times to try and reason with them, now i’m not allowed to take that route, now its only the bailiffs that are coming now without doubt to take my things, i just cannot get this one resolved, is there another avenue i can take?

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