Help to deal with debt
Acknowledging, accepting and managing your debts can be a very disturbing time in your life. It is vital and important to manage your stress levels effectively in order to avoid possible long term physical and mental health problems.
Your attention must not be dominated by the practicalities of the actual debt resolution, you must remember to focus your attention on yourself too.
It’s Time to Take 100% Responsibility
If you have found yourself struggling with debt it is absolutely essential for you to take 100% responsibility for your actions. It’s not the fault of your family, nor friends, partners or spouse. No one else is to blame. You cannot point the finger at anyone else, you cannot make excuses, you cannot play the victim. You are the one who spent the money, signed the loan agreement or handed over the credit card, and you cannot ignore the reality of this. Harsh though this may seem, your financial instability is a result of the life choices you have made.
The following equation was brought to our attention by Philip Collett of Motivational Systems. This equation can be applied to any situation in your life before you make a decision or response. Try it, and be amazed at the enormous relief you will feel when you accept responsibility for where you are in your life.
E + R = O
E stands for the event that has happened in your life, for example – relationship breakdown, debt, redundancy.
R represents your response to that event, for example - you choose to respond negatively by burying your head in the sand hoping your issues will spontaneously correct themselves OR you choose to respond positively to debt by seeking professional guidance.
O is the resulting outcome that happens as a result of your response. Should you choose to respond positively you are more likely to get a positive outcome and likewise, should you choose to respond negatively then the outcome you achieve is likely to be negative.
Choose your own destiny.
You choose to seek help and use the advice to overcome your financial challenges whilst turning around your life circumstances.
You bury your head in the sand; wishing away your debt issues only to find that when you pull your head out of the sand, as you will inevitably have to do at some point, that your debts have escalated, your health is in jeopardy and your relationships are breaking down.
Remember, it is up to you how you choose to respond to your life events.
Make sure you get adequate rest and sleep.
Sleep is essential for the functioning of a healthy physical and mental self. Restlessness or inadequate amounts of sleep can result in ill-being physically but may also leave you unable to function mentally too. This can further result in you feeling unable to think straight, leaving you confused and unable to make the simplest decisions. This can be an overwhelming experience with things appearing much worse than they really are.
In order to get a restful night of sleep:-
- Go to bed and get up at a regular time each day. This regulates your body clock.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol especially in the evening. Caffeine is a stimulant. Both caffeine and alcohol will dehydrate you making you thirsty in the night.
- Avoid napping during the day. Save your sleep for the night.
- Start to wind down your mind and your body towards the end of the day to prepare for your sleep. Try reading, listening to calming music, take a warm bath with some essential oils, do a meditation.
- Avoid heavy meals in the late evening. Your body needs time to digest your food before you sleep.
- Avoid over stimulating the brain watching sensationalised television or reading the newspaper. Your brain will still be processing the information whilst you go off to sleep and wake you with nightmares when it is unable to file away the information or when your subconscious mind starts trying to make sense of it.
- Take part in some exercise
Exercise just to the point where you feel you need to take much deeper breaths for about 20 minutes and do this 3-4 times a week. This will not only improve your physical health but your mental well being will improve too as during exercise the body releases natural “feel good” chemicals called endorphins.
Exercise is a great therapy for managing stress. It need not be a painful process, try to encompass it into your everyday life. It will make a huge difference to the way you think and feel.
Stuck for ideas? try the following:-
- Take the dog out for longs walks, try to vary your pace.
- Join a gym, or look up the nearest free and voluntary activities in your area.
- Play a sporting activity such as tennis, badminton or football with your friends, colleagues or family. Group activity is much more fun.
- Get out on your bike.
- Go swimming.
- Walk instead of getting the bus or train to work. If it’s too far, get off the stop before and walk the rest of the way.
- Go dancing. Salsa, bokwa and disco are great for the body.
- Try something new like pilates, yoga or stability ball. Variety will keep you engaged and motivated.
- Take the stairs instead of the lifts
- Do the housework, hovering, ironing and dusting with much more vigour.
- Eat a Well Balanced Diet, maybe take part in slimming world to keep on top of your eating habits
A combination of a balanced and nutritious diet along with regular exercise makes for a vibrant body that bounds with energy and cope with the challenges of everyday life much more readily. Whilst struggling with the stresses debt can bring it is easy to adopt a less than healthy eating approach, seeking comfort in high carb foods such as takeaways, processed foods. The saying “you are what you eat” is very true. A good diet rich in fruit, vegetables, vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, and water will enhance your physical and mental well being.
- Avoid stimulants such as alcohol, fizzy drinks and caffeine.
- Keep processed foods to a minimum in order to maximise your energy levels.
- Eat foods with lots of colour. These will be packed with nutrients and give you much more vitality than the pale, dull and insipid processed and fatty foods. Fill your plate with as many rich vibrant colours as possible such as green sugar snap peas and cabbage, the rich orange of sweet potatoes and carrots and the vivid red of peppers and tomatoes.
- Eat only when you are truly hungry for food. If you eat when you are not really hungry then you are comfort eating to block out the emotions of stress and anxiety. Comfort eating is likely to result in weight gain which in turn can lead to further emotional and physical stress.
- Drink lots of water. It will help hydrate your body, keep you alert, flush out toxins from your body and keep your digestion working effectively.
Start to Develop Your Self Esteem
Your self esteem is your beliefs about yourself that you are a worthwhile, capable and loveable person. People with healthy self esteem are more likely to achieve success in life through managing their stress and life challenges effectively. They are the ones with the energy, the drive, the motivation and the determination to do whatever it takes to create the life they want.
Start creating the life you truly desire by working on your self esteem. Here are just a few ideas for you to experiment with:-
- Think more positively by turning every challenge and negative experience into a positive outcome.
Manage your time by making “to do lists”, delegating where possible and prioritising the most important jobs you have to do.
- Learn how to assert yourself in order to avoid people taking advantage of you and draining you of your personal energy. Learn how to say “no” politely and firmly and you will find that you will be able to manage your stress much more efficiently.
- Start to give yourself some space, relaxation and quality recovery time.
- Get yourself a “Feel Good File”. This will be your victory log or your trophy room similar to those you find in many sporting venues likes Old Trafford Football Stadium. Reminding yourself of all the positive things you have achieved will help keep your motivation for success alive, especially at times when you feel things are not going the way you want. Create your own book or file and fill it with records of all your achievements.
- Remember no one is perfect and you cannot please all of the people all of the time only some of the people some of the time.
Start writing down your achievements or anything you are proud of, such as getting a job, getting married, having kids, passing an exam, saving up for a holiday, learning a language, completing a course of exercise, learning a new skill.
Whatever it is that has made you happy and fulfilled, record it.
Put in photographs and mementos from joyful occasions. This will help create positive reinforcement when you are feeling low and remind you that if you achieved all this in the past then you are capable of achieving even more in the future.
Setting yourself achievable goals is a great way to build your self esteem. You can do this for the short and long term. Ensure they are meaningful to you and not just for the benefit of someone else. You must also be very specific about what you wish to achieve. Ensure the goal also carries a time limit.
A good example of a short term goal will be “By June 14th 2010 I will have reduced my overdraft down to zero” A good example of a long term goal would be “By July 27th 2011 I will have met all my contributions into my IVA and all my debts will be settled in full”.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
Stress can weigh very heavy on the shoulders, so take it easy and don’t beat yourself up. Ok you may have made some poor choices about your spending activities in the past but remember, that is in the past. Now you are going to make better choices. We are all human, no one is perfect and we all make errors in judgement.
There is no such thing as failure, only feedback. Just because you have made mistakes in your past does not mean you have failed. You have in fact learnt to not make the same mistakes twice. You have discovered what does not work and now you know you need to do something different in the future. However, to repeat your behaviour time after time of over indulging/over spending and still expecting your financial problem to disappear spontaneously is insanity.
Remember “if you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got”. Now is the time to learn from your mistakes and respond with healthier and more positive choices not only in terms of your debt management but also your life. Learn and grow from all your experiences.
Face Your Fear!
Burying your head in the sand, running away from your problems or continuing to make the same mistakes is often a sign of fear. This could be fear of rejection, fear of shame, humiliation or guilt, fear of losing a relationship and very often fear of being seen as a failure.
Do not allow yourself to stay in your comfort zone. As the book by Susan Jeffers says “face your fear and do it anyway”.
F.E.A.R stands for false expectations appearing real. Often, especially when in debt and suffering from debt anxiety, the smallest of problems can appear huge and unmanageable, things can become over exaggerated and minor life challenges can turn into catastrophic events.
You need to put things into perspective - 85-90% of what is feared never actually happens in reality.
Remember, during the time you spend ruminating over things, you allow your imagination to live through the feared event as if it were actually happening. You allow your mind and body to experience the fear even though the event is only in your imagination. The subconscious mind can no longer distinguish between what is real and imagined. Each time you feel the emotion of fear to an imagined event eg. your house being repossessed, your physical and emotional well being are put under stress from the release of body chemicals which causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, the palms start to sweat, the mouth to become dry, the digestion to become upset and breathing to become more rapid.
Try not to allow yourself to fear what is only in your head. Most fear is self created and irrational and it will paralyse you, if you allow it. Write down what you are imagining you are afraid of to help empower yourself to overcome it.
I would really like to ……………………………, and I scare myself by imagining …………………………………………………….
This quote from Anais Anin which will help you realise that you risk more pain staying where you are than the pain of actually facing up to what you fear and moving forward.
“And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”.
And good luck, you will win!
The Next Step
All debt solutions should be very carefully considered; we will always provide you with the best advice to ensure you get a soft landing away from the burden of debt. Simply forward your details on our Contact Form and we will contact you. Alternatively ring us for free on: 1890 989 609 to have a full consultation with our specially trained advisors.