Going through bankruptcy is never easy. Often, you’re still recovering from the stress of collections, along with the feeling of failure that can come from having to cut your losses. The period after a bankruptcy can be especially hard if it was in a venture that you were passionate about, and it can go so far as to leave you depressed.
While there’s plenty of resources on how to navigate the business end of a bankruptcy, there’s not very many resources that cover the emotional repercussions that can follow. Many people find their worth as a person is tied to their financial worth, and facing bankruptcy can erode their sense of self because of it.
Know What To Expect In A Bankruptcy
There are two primary kinds of bankruptcies that people experience: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 bankruptcies are what most people think of when they think of the word “bankruptcy”–with a Chapter 7, the person or couple filing do their best to get rid of as much debt as possible, as quickly as they can. This can involve selling assets, including cars, electronics, and homes.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy isn’t quite as severe as a Chapter 7. In this kind of bankruptcy, a person works with their creditors to create a payment plan that ensures their debts are paid without foreclosures or repossessions.
Regardless of which one you’re facing, there is a great deal of stress and anxiety that comes with a bankruptcy. Discussing your options with a professional attorney like Rulon T. Burton & Associates is a great way to get started on getting your life back on track, but what else can you do to make this period of your life a little easier?
Acknowledge Your Feelings
Angry, sad, stressed, embarrassed–these are all normal things to feel after a bankruptcy, and stifling them down to pretend things are fine will not help. Allow yourself to feel these emotions; this will lessen the chance of them overwhelming you later on.
That said, if your stress is interfering with your day-to-day routine, or if you feel like you’re falling into a depression because of it, talking to a professional mental health counselor will help you navigate the emotions that come with a bankruptcy. They can also help you rediscover your sense of self in a way that’s not tied to your financial situation.
Get Your Sense Of Self Back With Self-Care
While jetting off to a luxury spa probably isn’t an option when you’re dealing with bankruptcy, taking care of yourself shouldn’t be forgotten even in the midst of a very stressful situation. Your body and mind will be feeling the effects of it, so find some time to unwind in order to keep yourself from being overwhelmed. A warm bath, a soothing drink, and even meeting up with friends are great ways to ground yourself and find some sense of peace through this process.
Self-care also includes the less fun parts that you won’t always see in peppy online posts–taking care of your family, your body, and your mind with mundane, everyday tasks can help give you a sense of normalcy even in very not-normal circumstances.
Look Into New Ventures
While you may not want to hop right back into a new job, much less a new business venture, it doesn’t hurt to start looking toward the future. You will make it out of your bankruptcy, and having something to look forward to is key to keeping your spirits up.
Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn to fly. Rather than saving up to jump into a new entrepreneurship, save up for flying lessons that you can use either to carve a new path for yourself or simply as a new hobby that you can enjoy for years to come. Research different programs, such as the affordable pilot lessons from FLT Academy, and create a plan that will let you pursue your passions without breaking the bank.
There’s more to life than money. Rediscover your passions and focus on those instead of trying to get back to where you were before.
Be Mindful of your Money
You may be thinking that going out with friends and getting into hobbies might be a poor idea if you’re fresh off of declaring bankruptcy. But the fact is that managing a budget can in itself be a form of self-care.
Many people find that creating and sticking to a budget can give them a sense of power over their finances in a time where it’s very easy to feel powerless and unable to do anything. Be aware of the assets you do still have, and be mindful of where you use them.
Here are some easy ways to start being more mindful of the money you spend:
- Only Use Cash – Get rid of credit cards and don’t take out any new loans, no matter how tempting both may be. By only utilizing the cash you have in your account, you won’t run into debt.
- Focus On Your Savings – If you end up with a job that pays more or if you’re working toward a promotion at your current one, don’t try to upgrade your living situation right away. Instead, move the extra money to your savings account–and if you haven’t made a savings account, you’ll want to do that right away. That way you’re prepared for the next financial issue you may be facing.
- Don’t Take More Loans – This may seem like common sense, but once you file for bankruptcy, you may be getting more loan offers–especially ones that target people fresh off of bankruptcy. Don’t be tempted to apply for these; more debt won’t help your situation.
- Don’t Go Through It Alone – As you start working your way back to financial stability, enlist a professional or even a friend who’s good with money to help you get back on your feet. Ask them to keep you accountable with your spending, and consult with them when it comes to big purchases.
Don’t Be Afraid To Jump Back In To Life
A bankruptcy can severely disrupt your life, and it can feel like you don’t deserve to enjoy anything at all, at least until your debts are paid off. But looking at your situation with that point of view will ultimately be to your detriment. You will have to find a new normal to navigate, but ultimately you shouldn’t punish yourself any more than you already have.
By taking time to acknowledge your situation and the emotions that come with it, you’ll be able to work your way back to normalcy. Be kind to yourself, find plenty of support, and you’ll be able to weather this storm and move on with your life.