The emotional toll of debt: Finding financial peace

As well as the financial challenges it presents, problem debt can take a serious toll on your mental health. If you’re struggling with debt, you may be experiencing feelings of anxiety, stress and depression. Perhaps you’re suffering through sleepless nights, or you feel constantly on edge and unable to relax?

Why debt can be so damaging to mental health

There are a number of reasons why debt can be so damaging to mental health. When you’re facing mounting bills and receiving letters of demand, it’s easy to feel like you’ll never be able to dig yourself out of the hole.

Debt can also make it difficult to enjoy life. When you’re constantly worrying about money, it’s hard to relax and have fun. You may feel guilty about spending money on non-essentials, or you may avoid social situations because you’re embarrassed about your financial situation.

Additionally, debt can put a strain on relationships. If you’re arguing with your partner about money, or if you’re constantly stressed and irritable, it can be hard to maintain healthy and happy relationships.

Problem debt can quickly trap you in a vicious cycle and leave you feeling overwhelmed and isolated. But, there’s good news: it is possible to break free from both the financial and emotional chains of debt, and to find peace. We know, because at Way Forward we see our clients go on this journey every day.

Practical strategies for managing the emotional toll of debt

So what can you do to manage the emotional toll of debt? Here are a few ideas you can put into practice today:

  1. Seek professional help: If you’re struggling with mental health issues related to debt, it’s important to seek professional help. A counsellor or psychologist can help you develop coping strategies and provide a safe space to talk about your feelings.
  2. Look to the future: Instead of focusing on regret, try to reframe your thoughts and remind yourself that debt is a temporary situation, and that you have the power to change your financial future.
  3. Create a budget: One of the best ways to take control of your finances is to create a budget. By tracking your expenses and identifying areas where you can cut back, you can start to make real progress towards paying off your debts. Use our free budgeting tool to get started.
  4. Prioritise self-care: It’s important to take care of yourself, both physically and emotionally. Make time for activities that bring you joy, keep you healthy and help you relax, such as exercise, meditation or reading. Self-care activities aren’t going provide a quick fix, but they can help you maintain the energy and confidence you need to keep walking in the direction of financial freedom.
  5. Connect with others: Having honest conversations with friends, family or a support group can be incredibly helpful. There’s power in human connection and you might be surprised to find that you’re not alone in your struggles.

Finding the way forward

If you’re struggling with debt and feeling overwhelmed, it’s important to remember that there is hope. With the right strategies and support, you can overcome the emotional toll of debt and find financial peace.

One of the most important things for your wellbeing is to take action. Whether it’s seeking professional help, creating a budget or connecting with others, taking steps towards financial wellness can help you feel more in control and less stressed. Inaction simply means that the same stresses will be waiting for you tomorrow.

Remember, too, that life is about more than just money. While it’s important to take care of your finances, it’s equally important to prioritise your happiness and wellbeing. It’s possible to enjoy a good life while also repaying your creditors.

If you need help managing your debts, get in touch with our friendly team of financial hardship advocates. We are here to provide you with the resources and support you need to break free from the emotional and financial chains of debt and start building a brighter financial future. You don’t have to do this alone.

Lauren Moxey

By Lauren Moxey

A policy and communications specialist with experience across the not-for-profit and arts sectors, Lauren is passionate about amplifying the voice of Way Forward so that more people can experience the compassionate and life-changing support that it offers people in financial difficulty.

Get help to overcome your debt today.