Debt and the stress that comes with it are at an all-time high, perhaps due to the high cost of living, higher house prices, a higher debt-to-income ratio, high-interest rates, student loans, and so on. Overwhelming stress can give rise to mental conditions like depression and anxiety and thus should be addressed. If you’ve been feeling like you are up to your eyeballs drowning in debt and have started experiencing some stress-related symptoms like tension headaches, losing sleep, and maybe a poor appetite or difficulties with motivation and productivity, it’s important to know there are ways to navigate these conditions.
1. Know the Facts
It’s depressing to constantly get calls and messages from your credit providers while having a family meal or even at work, with what often sounds like insurmountable threats. The good news is, there currently aren’t any debtors’ prisons, so no, you will not be going to jail over your debt. Depending on your location, you can research what the homestead laws are. In some states, the debtors can’t lean on your residence due to consumer debt and a lawsuit; they also can’t garnish your wages and taxes.
Having facts in a row helps you rest easy, knowing you’ll still have your essentials and that you don’t have to fret about things that won’t happen. Find out your options; filing for bankruptcy doesn’t have to be bad if it gives you a much-needed opportunity to get a fresh start. A lot of your stress can disappear by dropping some of the mental load on what you’re worried about.
2. Seek Professional Help
A debt problem is often a chicken-and-egg situation, an income problem caused by depression and anxiety. Symptoms of depression, such as sleep and eating problems, aches and pains, plus isolation, can debilitate an individual. This could lead to a downward spiral of not being well enough to work, causing an income deficit, plunging you into debt problems, and cutting you off from family and other healthy support systems.
According to the National Institute for Mental Health, social anxiety disorder can affect work, school, and other daily activities. It can be hard to make and keep friends, and crawling out of that alone could be a challenge, hence the need for professional help from both a mental and financial standpoint, which is the only way to end the vicious cycle.
3. Take Good Care of Your Overall Health
There can’t be mental health without overall health and vice versa. Make it a priority to get enough sleep, exercise, get out in the sun, and spend time with family and friends. Also, eat regular healthy meals. Morderndent.com found that 92% of adults have had diet-related cavities at some point. Indeed, you’re what you eat; if you constantly eat high-fat or sugar diets, there’ll be repercussions.
4. Come Up With A System Instead of Setting Goals
While goals are binary, either you achieve the goal or you don’t, and if you don’t, that can interfere with or stop you from going forward. On the other hand, a system helps you reprogram your brain to do things since it doesn’t require willpower or even thought once in place. Principles, like not getting into more debt or not using credit for everyday expenses, can help you do what you should without much effort. As cited by Mckinsey & Company, in 2020, 48% of surveyed Americans admitted to using Grubhub, Uber Eats, DoorDash, or Postmates for take-out, some of them multiple times a day. You can choose to eat home-cooked meals rather than ordering out to save money.
Wherever you’re on the journey to a healthy and financially stable you, keep taking one step at a time; there is hope. Right now it may look like you’ll never get out of the debt hole you’re currently in, but if you follow the above strategy and stay positive no matter what, you’ll soon be in the black, and the depression will be gone.