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Wellbeing

Is debt affecting your ability to look after yourself?

Posted 12 December 2016

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It’s important to remember to look after yourself while you deal with your debts.

Are debt worries affecting your general well-being? It’s no secret that worry and stress can have an effect on your day-to-day feeling of wellness, and debt can sometimes cause us to worry more than normal.

If this is you, there is help out there – sometimes it’s just a case of knowing where to go for that help. With the right plan, you can get back on track, both from a wellbeing point of view and with your finances.


Help and support

Whatever stage you’re at with your debts, it’s important not to forget to look after yourself. Whether you’re just starting to struggle with your repayments, or you’ve got a default, or you’re already looking into debt solutions, your health should come first.

If you feel like you need help and support for your mental health, Mind is a great resource and The Samaritans are available 24/7 on 116 123, if you feel you’re at a crisis point.


Remaining calm

A big part of feeling well is staying calm and reminding yourself that you will find a way to deal with the situation. Mindfulness and applied relaxation are both useful techniques, if you want to work on reducing the amount of anxiety in your life. Mindfulness is all about becoming aware of the present moment and focussing less about what the future may or may not hold. You can practise mindfulness through meditation, or simply at any moment when you find yourself worrying too much.

Applied relaxation involves relaxing your muscles in a specific way during times that would normally make you feel anxious. This technique does need to be taught and supervised by a trained therapist, so, if you’re interested, make an appointment with your GP and mention that you’d like to look into it.
Have a look at our previous blog, natural stress busters, for more tips.


Sleep

Your sleep can also have a big impact on how well you feel and function throughout the day. Did you know that, according to the Royal Society for Public Health, the general public is missing out on one night’s sleep every week on average?

So it looks like lack of sleep is an issue for the general population as well as for those that might have debt worries keeping them awake at night. Here are some tips to create the perfect environment for a great night’s sleep:

•  Make sure your bedroom is the right temperature and you can control the amount of light in the room.
•  Make sure you’re as comfortable as possible, with the right type of pillow for you.
•  Try to go to bed around the same time each night, so your body gets into a rhythm.
•  Don’t have drinks containing caffeine close to when you’re planning to go to bed.
•  Get regular exercise.
•  If you simply cannot drop off, get up and do something relaxing. Eventually you should feel tired enough to go back to bed.


Exercise

When it comes to maintaining your overall health, exercise is very important. It can help lift your mood because of the chemicals that your brain releases. It can also support your sleep, so you can kill two birds with one stone.

If you’re struggling to find the time to exercise, a good way of introducing more movement into your routine is to walk or cycle to work, rather than take the bus or drive.

In order for exercise to benefit your health, you need to make sure you’re moving enough to raise your heart rate, breathe faster and feel warmer – without overdoing it.


Food

To feel like you’re firing on all cylinders you need to make sure you’re putting the right fuel in the tank. So eating right is important, especially if you’ve got a lot on your plate at the moment. Our previous blog nutrition on a budget should give you some good ideas to make sure you’re getting a well-balanced, healthy diet that doesn’t break the bank.


Practical help

As we’ve said, it’s very important that you take care of yourself while you’re dealing with your debts. But you’ll probably only find that your worry stops when you face the problem head on and put a plan in place to deal with your debts.

You can contact an expert debt advisor here at Debt Advisory Centre using any of the options at the bottom of the page. They’ll have a chat with you about your situation and tell you the best way to deal with your debt problem. There may be fees associated with some of the solutions once they’re up and running, but the initial advice we give is always free of charge.

You can also get free and impartial debt advice from the Money Advice Service and various debt charities.

by Christine Walsh

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To find out more about managing your money and getting free debt advice, visit Money Advice Service, an independent service set up to help people manage their money.