Think back to when you had no debt -- remember that time? Wasn’t that nice? For a moment in time, you didn’t owe anyone a nickel. Did you let go of the fear, anxiety, and stress of having debt?
Debt is not only about your balance sheet, but there’s also a non-financial impact of debt. The one that keeps you awake at night worrying. If you have any kind of debt (or even know someone close to you that does!), you know what kind of impact we’re talking about. We like to call it ‘debt stress.’
Stress-related to debt can be suffocating. A recent Sands and Associates survey found that 28% of survey respondents were diagnosed with depression largely due to debt - 18% noted that they had contemplated suicide due to depression caused by debt. Stress is a major contributing factor to certain types of depression, and debt stress is very real.
Even though going through the following exercises will not relieve your debt, making a conscious effort to step back from debt stress will help alleviate some of those heavy feelings.
Take a look at these ways to manage your stress -- and let us know if you try them!
- Be in the moment. The popular term for this is ‘mindfulness.’ It’s really just about being in the place where you are right now. For example, if you are talking to someone on the phone, concentrate on that person’s voice and the conversation - not on any of those bothersome thoughts about debt that might be swirling in your head.
- Realize that you do have the right to be spoken to with respect. We wrote a really in-depth Medium post about this here (this applies to any lender you might be speaking to!).
- Learn to breathe. Yes, you do breathe automatically -- but when was the last time you actually thought about your breath? Try it right now - take a deep breath and then let it out slowly. Better, right?
- Exercise. You don’t need an expensive gym membership to exercise. You can find great exercise videos online or you can simply put on your running shoes and go for a long walk or run. Exercise boosts the happy chemicals in our brains - so you’ll automatically feel better.
- Get your debts in order. Trust us, this will make you feel better (even though you may not believe it!). Write out how much you owe on a chalkboard or someone you can see it, and then devise a plan to start paying back some of that debt (monthly payments are a good start!).
- Speak to your creditors and arrange something that works. We wrote about this here - take a look.
- Be a kid again. If you have kids, go to the playground and run around with them - or run through a sprinkler with them. Who says adults have to sit on the sidelines?
- Get involved in a sport. There are a lot of adult leagues out there. Pick one and become part of a team - being connected to a group of other people will help you feel better about the world around you.
- Take a tech break. Leave your phone at home one afternoon. You’ll be amazed at how great this feels!
Debt is real and debt stress is bound to happen, but you don’t have to let it get you down. Try some of these stress-relieving tactics, try getting your debt in order, and see how you feel after. If you do feel that you are in a debt hole that you can’t get out of, please contact us today - we can help.