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7 Ways to Deal With Debt Stress

Sometimes it can feel like there is always something to worry about. Over the last 18 months, life has been quite uncertain in many ways. With the global pandemic, many people have found themselves furloughed, without work or in some form of financial difficulty. According to the American Psychological Association, the largest cause of stress in the United States is money-related, while in the UK, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a huge surge in anxiety. Here Debt Movement looks to offer advice on how you can deal with debt stress.

Debt stress is something that can quickly and easily impact us all. When it happens, it can feel like you are drowning under the financial burden and that you may never escape your situation. This stress and anxiety can leave you behaving in an unfamiliar way and can impact your relationships and even your physical health

Getting your finances under control and relieving yourself of suffocating debt stress is possible. With Debt Movement’s seven ways to deal with debt stress, you can take back control of your life and start planning for a financially-free future.

 1. Make Healthy Life Choices

Sometimes when you get into seriously stressful situations, it is easy to let it get the better of you. The all-consuming problem of debt stress can mean that you stop doing things for yourself, like staying active and having a social life. 

When you are dealing with stress, it is important to keep up some levels of exercise. Exercise offers many health benefits — and it pumps you full of “feel-good” endorphins, stopping you from focusing on your financial troubles. 

Maintaining an active social life should also be a priority when dealing with stressors. Debt can already leave you feeling alone and the last thing you want to do is isolate yourself from your friends and family. It is always a good idea to confide in those around you and never be afraid to ask for help if you need it. And maintaining contact doesn’t have to cost the earth – a phone call to check in, an invitation for a catch up or meeting for a quick coffee all make a difference, and all can be relatively inexpensive.

Finally, never turn to coping mechanisms like alcohol — an expensive way to dull the senses that will only exacerbate your anxiety. You will feel so much better if you can be kind to your body and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

 2. Understand When Stress Is Getting to You

Although stress is something we all experience, many people struggle to spot it or even understand it. It is therefore important to look for signs that you could be experiencing an unhealthy level of stress and anxiety. The following signs are a major indicator of debt stress:

  • The thought of debt makes you feel ill
  • Your sleep pattern is impacted and you find yourself feeling exhausted
  • You don’t want to see or speak to friends or family
  • You struggle to concentrate on tasks at work 
  • You feel overwhelmed.

3. Accept the Situation

When struggling with debt, there is nothing to be ashamed of. Even today, there is sometimes a stigma attached to debt when it is a problem that will impact many responsible, good people. According to the Bank of England, the average UK household is £30,575 in debt (excluding student loans). This shows exactly why accepting your situation and taking action shouldn’t be something to be ashamed of. 

When accepting the situation you are in, it is also important to try and take as much responsibility as possible. Accepting responsibility for your debt can help you overcome the issue and empower you to take action.

 4. Seek Support

If debt-related stress is getting to you, you must get support. If your friends and family can’t help you through this difficult time, you should consider contacting one of the many supportive organisations set up specifically to help you manage your debt, like the National Debtline or the Money Advice Service.  

If you have been dealing with anxiety and stress and you cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel, it is important to get medical help immediately and contact your local GP. Your doctor can offer advice and point you in the direction of psychological therapy services near you. It is important to know that there are many people and services out there ready to help you.

 5. Get Professional Advice

Remember that you don’t have to do everything by yourself. We know financial problems affect good people and here at Debt Movement, we are here to help. We offer professional debt guidance and solutions that will help you take back control of your finances.

With Debt Movement’s debt guidance, you will find all the information and advice you need to manage your debt and start making better financial decisions. 

6. Put Debt Stress in Perspective

Money isn’t everything and even when it feels like it is, it is important to realise that the worst-case scenario isn’t that bad and that many others before you have faced the same challenge but tackled it and are on the road to financial freedom. Also remember, you won’t be the last person to encounter financial difficulty – and by taking action you may be able to offer support to someone else in the future, as someone who has been there and understands first hand. Debt Movement is able to provide you with guidance on a range of  debt solutions, such as an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA).

An IVA is a legally binding agreement between you and your creditors to pay off an affordable monthly contribution  over a fixed length of time (usually 60 months) or as a lump sum (if you have one). At the end of this agreed period, the remaining debt will be written off and you will no longer have to worry about debt. 

 7. Make a Plan

Finally, it is important to come up with a plan to manage your finances. Take a look into your finances, try to figure out where you can save money and how you can possibly earn a little extra income on the side. 

Budgeting is a great way to keep track of your finances and understand what you can afford to repay. Once you start taking control of your finances, managing that debt doesn’t look like such an impossible task. Check out Debt Movement’s budgeting tips and learn how to be smarter with your money.

You can also download our FREE personal budget tool in Excel here

Although the global pandemic has had a huge impact on everyone’s finances, debt stress is something that no one should suffer. Be aware that your money worries are not unusual and you shouldn’t be embarrassed to ask for help. It is important to remember all the things you can be grateful for and know that help is always at hand.

Are you struggling with debt stress? Debt Movement can help you manage your debt with a range of debt management solutions. Request a free call back today and feel the weight lifted from your shoulders.

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