Tips on Dealing With Debt Problems and Debt Stress
With Bell Let’s Talk Day taking place on January 31, 2018, there is an excellent opportunity to engage in conversation about mental health, stress and anxiety. And in many cases, the first step to dealing productively with stress is talking about it.
“Debt not only causes financial problems, it causes serious mental health issues by creating high levels of stress and anxiety. These mental health problems develop into physical problems as well, so it is safe to say that carrying debt negatively impacts your health in many ways,” says Jeff Schwartz, Executive Director, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada.
“One of the great tragedies for those struggling with mental health issues is the feeling of isolation while they try to overcome their problems. In actual fact, there is help all around you- both to deal with your debt and with your anxiety, stress or depression. Opening up to talk about your challenges is the first step to opening the door towards a brighter future,” says Schwartz.
If you are trying to cope with mental health issues like anxiety, stress or depression as a result of your money troubles, here are some helpful hints.
See your doctor
What’s most important in your life? Your health- both physical and mental. If you think that you may be grappling with anxiety, depression or another problem, it’s time to get professional help so you can improve your state of mind.
Maybe your debt stress started with a sleepless night here and therefore worrying about how you were going to make your obligations. Has your stress evolved to the point where you have headaches, dizziness or nausea? Are you sleeping very little or far more than you should? Have you lost interest in your friends, family or hobbies? Do you feel hopeless or even suicidal? These are all warning signs and should not be ignored.
Seek guidance to pay down debt
Now that you’ve got some support to deal with the mental and physical consequences of your debt, take steps to develop a plan to get rid of your debt.
Tally all of your debts and examine your options. If you can manage on your own, set up a debt payment or consolidation plan. Consult with your lender to see what options you might have there. If you require more support, it’s a good idea to seek support from a credit counsellor who will help you with budgeting and paying down your debt successfully.
Less debt= less stress
Developing a debt repayment plan is a huge step in the right direction. Executing that plan will carry you towards a debt-free life. As your debts subside and you learn responsible money management techniques, your stress levels will probably subside too.
Take care of yourself
While you are managing your debt, here are some tips on how you can keep your mental health balanced.
Try to keep perspective. Remember that your debt is part of your life, but it isn’t your whole life.
Eat right and exercise. A proper diet, plenty of fluids and regular exercise will not only reduce stress, it will provide you with the physical strength that you need to overcome your adversity. Try to get a proper amount of sleep every night too.
Applaud your bravery
Asking for help is a sign of bravery, not a sign of weakness. By reaching out for help and talking with others, you not only help yourself, but you motivate others to do the same who may be reluctant.