Feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope with the daily routines of your life? Feeling worried, anxious and low, like a thick gray cloud is constantly over your head?
Depression adds to the feelings of overwhelming, makes daily life harder to cope with and coping with difficulties much harder in general. Not only does being in debt and worrying about how to pay bills to lead to depression, but losing a job, being made redundant, going through a divorce, having a life-changing accident, having children that grow up and leave the family home, heading towards pension age without any savings.
There are various elements that can lead to depression and financial worries can also affect mental health.
It’s important to take the relevant steps to ensure that whatever worries you may have, do not reach the point of a mental health condition or Clinical Depression, which will require medical intervention.
Many situations, such as those mentioned above, will cause what is called Situational Depression and this type of depression thankfully, is the type that can be addressed without medicine.
When facing a mountain of debt, many people can experience a period of depression which can add to the difficulty of actually dealing with the debt.
Coping with debt that is increasing over time, whether due to a shortfall in income versus expenses, monthly interest repayments added to the debt or perhaps the need to go into further debt to pay for emergencies, can make it seem as though one will never be free of debt.
Dealing with feeling a lack of motivation, a feeling of dread, spells of anxiety and generally “down in the dumps” can mean the difference between not coping with life and believing that you can overcome this hurdle and slowly but surely take steps to get back to your normal self.
Here are some tips to help you see the bigger picture and to help you break free of depression as a cause of circumstances…
Make an effort to see friends and family
Feeling low and “under the weather” can lead to closing ourselves indoors and either sleeping too much or just being lazy. It’s important to get out and meet with a good friend or family member from time to time.
This is easy advice to give but not always all that easy to implement. It’s important to push yourself for the first few times. Put your trainers on and go for a walk outside.
Whether you walk around the nearest park or around the block a couple of times, it will do a world of good and eventually, you’ll feel like going out for your daily walk. They key is to push yourself and even if you can only manage ten minutes at first, just do it as ten minutes is better than no minutes.
Do not avoid your bills if you’re in debt
Bills will continue to be sent and it is natural that these will make you feel uneasy and possibly even more depressed. Don’t ignore them, but rather contact the company and let them know that you are experiencing some difficulty in paying your bills and ask if you can arrange a payment plan with them.
This will help to lift some of the weight off your shoulders, knowing that you are not facing a large and unmanageable debt, but rather small, manageable amounts.
Contact each and every creditor and make the request. You may also want to look at setting up an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) which a formal agreement between you and your creditors. This will also help stop any calls or letters that you may be receiving.
Be mindful of your alcohol intake
For many people, having a couple of drinks can take the edge off their worries. However, there are those that will take it too far and will drink as a way of blocking out their concerns and anxieties. This leads to alcoholism and is a real problem.
The guideline is to drink no more than 2 units per day for women and no more than 3 units per day for men, which equates to a maximum of 14 and 21 units per week respectively. If you find that you are regularly drinking more than this it’s advised to get help so contact your GP as a first step.
It almost sounds cliché, but eating in a balanced way, incorporating decent amounts of nutritious foods is crucial. Eating well not only feeds your brain and helps to balance chemicals and hormones, it contributes to feeling better about yourself inside and out.
Get out into the sunshine
Spending some time outside in the sun not only boosts the levels of vitamin D in your body but can give you a feeling of wellbeing. Just think of when you spent a week in the sun on a past holiday. Spending so many hours in the sun made you feel great – it wasn’t only the relaxation.
Consider talking therapies
Talking to someone who is professionally trained in psychology and the way the mind works is helpful. There are various types of talking therapies, for example, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), counseling, Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) and mindfulness to name just a few. Understanding the thoughts and feelings you’re experiencing when facing depression and coming to terms with the reasons for feeling the way you do can help you to cope with them as well as being shown ways in which you can work towards changing your current behavior and thought patterns.
Contact the Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB)
One of the two main aims of the Citizen’s Advice Bureau is to offer advice to people that need help for the problems that they are facing. It’s a free service and the advice is impartial and confidential. One of the problems that can cause depression is being in debt and receive advice from the CAB can assist.
Do things you love to do
Even if you don’t feel like being active or doing something that you would usually have loved doing, it’s vital to make the effort to do them. No matter what it is, from cooking to scrapbooking to model building – whatever hobby you used to take part in, do it as regularly as you can.
Following the above tips are excellent ways to handle feelings of situational depression but if you have tried to overcome your situation and are still experiencing difficulties and feelings of dread, you may need professional help.
How do you deal with debt?
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