Consultations available by video and phone with electronic signatures.

How to Handle Debt Stress

If you are dealing with a large amount of debt, struggling to make ends meet, or both, you know that it can be very stressful. The stress caused by debt can be very difficult to deal with and very harmful to your health. This is because debt stress is with you 24/7. Thinking and worrying about debt can make it tough to eat well, get enough sleep, focus on work, and much more.

You don’t have to live with overwhelming debt stress. Here are some tips for how you can handle the stress and improve your situation.

Face Your Problems

For a lot of people, it seems easier to hide from your problems than to face them head on. This is understandable. However, throwing away bills unopened, avoiding your bank statements, and ignoring your debt will not make the problem go away. Instead, it will just make it worse. If you don’t do anything about your debt, it will continue to grow and you will continue to feel stressed out and anxious about it.

Though it may be scary to do so, sit down and figure out exactly where you stand financially. Add up your debts, look at your bank statements, and get an accurate picture of your situation. You may find out that you’re not as bad off as you thought! And, even if your situation is as bad as you expected (or worse), at least you’ll know what you’re dealing with. Once you have the full picture, you can begin to make a plan.

Come Up With a Plan

Once you fully understand your financial situation, it’s time to come up with a plan. Figure out how much you’ll need to pay each month to reduce your debt. Then take a look at your budget and determine what cuts you can make so that everything balances. If you can’t fit your payments into your budget, you may need to make some changes to your lifestyle.

It’s also a good idea to talk to your creditors. You may have been avoiding them for a while, but reach out and let them know your situation. Tell them that you’re having trouble managing your monthly payments and see if there is anything they can do. In some cases, a creditor will reduce the amount of interest you’re paying or give you more time to pay off your debt. It’s worth a shot.

Having a plan to improve your financial situation should reduce your debt stress quite a lot. You’ll be more in control of your situation and you’ll have a way to solve your debt issue, which can be very freeing.

Learn your Triggers

Another way to reduce debt stress is to spend less money. If you spend less, you’ll have more money to put toward debt repayment and you won’t have to deal with increasing debt. One key way to cut spending is to learn your “triggers.” A lot of us spend money when we’re sad, stressed, or upset. Sometimes we spend more when we’re tired or when we’ve had a busy day. Watch your behaviour and see if there are any situations that cause you to spend more money. Then figure out what you can do to avoid these situations and stop spending.

Care for Yourself

When you’re struggling with debt, it’s easy to focus on your troubles and nothing else. However, it’s important to make sure you care for your own health and wellbeing. Eat well, exercise, and try to get enough sleep. Yes, these things can be tough to do when you’re feeling anxious and overwhelmed, but do the best you can. When you’re not eating well, exercising, and sleeping enough, it’s tough on your physical and mental health and that can make it tough to live your daily life.

Be sure to do some activities you enjoy as well. Learn that you don’t need to spend money to have a good time. Go for a walk, visit a local library, or have some friends over for tea. All of these activities are good for your mental health and they don’t cost very much. When you’re feeling more positive and relaxed, you’ll be in a better position to tackle your debt problems.

Get Help

One reason why debt can feel so overwhelming is because it often feels very isolating. It’s important to know that you’re not alone. Millions of people struggle with debt problems. Talk to someone you can trust and work together to solve your issues.

It’s also important to know that there is help out there. If you are feeling stressed and anxious about debt, talk to a licensed insolvency trustee. He or she will be able to give you details on the options available to improve your financial situation.