4 Ways to De-Stress from Student Loan Debt

Right before I turned 30, I was depressed and didn’t know it. Luckily, a really good friend noticed a change in me and suggested that I seek help via my employer’s wellness program. After reaching out to them, I found out that I was eligible for counseling visits under my health insurance program. I spoke with a counselor and began to deal with my reality of having more than $135K in student loan debt. This was life changing for me.

Recently, I came across an article stating that student loans are associated with poorer psychological health for both college students and college graduates. Scientists are now linking student loans with a decrease in mental health. For some, student loan debt is necessary, but there are ways to manage the stress that could come with it.

Accept it. Denying, ignoring or hoping your student loan debt will magically disappear is not a good look. It’s hard, but you have to accept that you have this debt and create a plan to manage it. Acceptance is key.

Create a plan. It’s important that you create a plan to tackle your student loan debt. The first thing I did was look for areas to cut back. This could be as simple as drinking the free coffee at your workplace instead of the local cafe. More so, when you begin to make strides to pay off your student loan debt, it is imperative to understand where your money is going and identify ways to reduce your spending. You may have to move in with your parents or get a roommate like I did, but you’ll be preparing for the days when you no longer have student loan debt to worry about.

Take care of yourself. Work that stress off with exercise and make sure you are getting a sufficient amount of sleep. A healthy diet is important as well. Avoid junk food and fast food. Prepare healthy meals for yourself to save money and feel better.

Surround yourself with the right people. Make sure your friends and family know that you’re looking to payoff your student loan debt. If you are not around people that support your financial goals and agenda to reduce debt then this will inhibit progress. If those close to you don’t support your goals of becoming debt free, then you need to find a new tribe.

It’s important to understand that your student loan debt is not going to disappear overnight. But, don’t beat yourself up about it either. You will have to make sacrifices to pay it off. That’s okay. I currently have two jobs and have had to forfeit trips with friends because I am actively working to pay off my student loan debt.

Stay positive and keep chipping away at your student loan debt. Stress is not good and it won’t help you on this journey.

Ashlee Nicole