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Financial stress – 6 tips to help you cope when you’re in debt
Today is #StressAwarenessDay, and we’re all too familiar with the stress and worry that comes with being in debt. Debt problems and feeling anxious or depressed are linked, so it’s important to do whatever you can to make yourself feel better if you’ve got money worries.
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.
But a problem shared is a problem halved. Taking that step and getting help with your debt will make a huge difference.
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, because 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 also 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 online debt advice tool. It can give you a tailored debt solution within 20 minutes.