According to a recent survey, six out of 10 Americans say that money is a “significant form of stress.” If you are one of the many Americans concerned about how you will pay your bills, you are not alone. Many Americans worry about money every day. When individuals have to file for bankruptcy, the stress related to money can increase. Filing for bankruptcy can bring individuals and families the financial relief they need to move forward. However, going through the bankruptcy process can cause additional stress. Here are some tips to help you and your family deal with bankruptcy stress more effectively.

Remind Yourself That There is No Shame in Filing for Bankruptcy

Many people still view bankruptcy as something shameful or something that only people who have zero control of their finances need to do. On the contrary, many people who have filed for bankruptcy have gone on to be successful. Do not think of filing for bankruptcy as a failure. Think of it as an opportunity to get the help you need to make a fresh start. Viewing bankruptcy as a fresh start can help you recognize your problems and take action to create a solution. Taking charge of your financial issues is something to be proud of, and it is not shameful.

Try to Think Positively and Improve What You Can Control About Your Life

One of the first things you should do is to acknowledge that filing for bankruptcy will be a stressful event in your life, no matter what. Realize that sometimes we need to go through stressful times to come out on the other end even stronger and more able to start a new financial chapter. You may feel guilty at first that you are allowing stress to interfere with your day-to-day life. It is important to remember that the feelings you are feeling, even if you are feeling angry, sad, or disappointed, are a normal reaction to your predicament.

Try to take the information before you during the bankruptcy process one step at a time. Nobody expects you to become an expert in bankruptcy overnight. Instead of thinking negative thoughts about your future prospects, try to think positively. Focusing on bankruptcy as a solution instead of a problem will help you deal with stress better. Instead of saying, “I can’t get through this,” try thinking, “I feel like I can’t get through this, but I am going to focus on one challenge I know I can address.” If you have a spouse or partner, try to work together to stay positive and brainstorm creative solutions regarding your finances and the bankruptcy process.

Do Not Argue About Money With Your Spouse

Financial stress takes a toll on relationships. Money problems are one of the most common reasons for divorce. It can be easy to let the stress of bankruptcy out through arguing with your spouse. Tensions are high and the situation can seem inflamed. If one spouse spends money and the other spouse does not approve, arguments can break out. Arguments can also happen over issues not related to bankruptcy because the stress is so high. 

Try your best to avoid saying things to your spouse or partner that you cannot take back. If you do feel an argument coming on, you may want to take a short break and re-group to avoid an escalation. If you have children, your children will benefit from you and your spouse acting as a team with a positive attitude. At the end of the day, the amount of money in your bank account will change over time, but what you said during an argument could be remembered forever. 

Try to Engage in Low-Coast, Fun Activities

Many people think that their lives will be miserable when they file for bankruptcy, but this is not the case. You do not have to be miserable while going through bankruptcy. Many people feel a sense of relief when they submit the bankruptcy petition and the court stops all creditors from contacting them. There are many different ways to have fun and relieve stress that are free or low-cost. 

For example, exercising at least 30 minutes a day can help you maintain your emotional health during stressful times. Exercise has been proven to enhance a person’s overall mood while reducing stress. It also gives you a mental break. Exercising can also help you get better sleep at night, which will help reduce your overall stress. Throughout California, there are low-cost activities you and your family can do, such as going to the park, the beach, or one of the many beautiful parks. Try to think of this as an opportunity to find new ways to stay healthy and active with your family and friends.

Talk to a Trusted Friend or Therapist

Many people are embarrassed when they need to file for bankruptcy, even though filing is normal and many people do it. They may avoid talking to family and friends, which can make things even more stressful. Talking to people who are closest to you is one of the best ways to keep your stress down. Discussing your feelings with a friend can help you process what is happening and help you get through the stress surrounding your bankruptcy. 

Talking to a therapist can also help, especially if you are not comfortable talking to a family member or friend. Therapists are professionals who can help you deal with financial stress and all of the related issues you are facing. Therapists act as sounding boards to help us understand how we are feeling. They can also give you practical tools to reduce your stress and cope with your emotions. Anything you say to a therapist is confidential, so you can feel free to unburden yourself and reduce your stress.