What is Debt?
Technically speaking, debt is any amount of money owed to another person or organisation.
Realistically, debt is money spent but not yet earned.
Practically, we think of debt as being unable to repay bills or borrowed money.
Research carried out in the UK found that more than 15% of us regularly miss bill repayments or feel overwhelmed by debts because even our best-laid plans occasionally go awry.
Here are the 5 most common characteristics of personal debt and their effect on resilience and well-being.
1. Debt is so often so Mundane
There’s a common misconception that money management issues are karma, the reasonable result of extravagant life style choices. Sadly, the truth is much grittier.
A lost job, relationship breakdown, an illness or anything that affects our ability to maintain consistent income can create debt problems within a matter of weeks and it can happen to anyone.
Judgement, therefore, just isn’t helpful.
Helpful is an open mind and a willingness to create a recovery plan.
Go to https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en for more advice on how to move forward when things are going wrong.
2. Debt is Super Stressful.
About 50% of people with diagnosed mental health issues live in debt but who can say how many became ill because of debt or vice versa?
What we do know is that stress related to debt makes money management even more challenging. Short term fixes often have long term consequences and filling the fridge with a payday loan is a great way to perpetuate the debt, stress cycle.
The ability to recognise the most common signs and symptoms of mental illness in yourself and others can help prevent debt and depression becoming partners for life.
Step Change is a charity who offer support with debt stress, find them here … https://www.stepchange.org/debt-info/debt-stress-and-mental-health.aspx
3. Debt is Incredibly Isolating.
Despite the overwhelming worry, people find it really hard to talk about debt to family and friends.
Honestly, family and friends often find it hard to talk about debt too.
A great support network can help reduce stress, maintain self-esteem and enable a rapid return to health, well-being and financial equilibrium.
If you’re worried about someone close to you, ask how you can help, make no judgement calls and keep it confidential.
4. Debt is Seriously Exhausting.
Night time worry is notorious for being the most profound and least productive worry pattern of all.
Losing sleep to worry will always have a negative effect on well-being and emotional resilience.
To protect your job, your relationships and your health, it’s important to get help with sleep loss as early as possible.
Make one appointment with your GP, and another with a debt counsellor, then have a long talk with your nearest and dearest.
5. Recovering from Debt is Exceptionally Empowering
Getting mad at debt and kicking it out is actively good for your personal resilience.
People who never worry about money often never think about it and that’s a risky strategy.
Once you’ve sorted your bills, negotiated with creditors and made a few basic changes you’ll feel stronger and more competent than ever.
For more advice on Resilience and Wellbeing go to https://embraceresilience.com/embrace-resilience-wellbeing/