I know that a lot of you out there may have made a new years resolution, and that may involve your gambling activities.
If you did make a vow to yourself or others to give up gambling or cut back on your gambling activities this year, have a good read through of the following article for as we have now reach February you may just be finding it difficult to stick to that resolution.
Also, be aware that all casino sites and casino apps are going to offer you no shortages of tools that you can make use of to have a safe and responsible gaming session at their sites, and those tools which include time out settings and even deposit limits are there to help you help yourself gamble in a way that will allow you to stay safe and stick to your limits.
Here are some common signs that may indicate a gambling problem:
- Spending more time and money on gambling than intended
- Neglecting responsibilities and relationships because of gambling
- Feeling restless or irritable when trying to cut back or stop gambling
- Lying to friends and family about gambling habits
- Borrowing money to support gambling or to pay off gambling debts
- Risking important relationships, jobs, or opportunities due to gambling
- Gambling as a way to escape stress or emotions
- Continuing to gamble despite the negative consequences it causes.
If you are concerned that you may have a gambling problem, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional.
Here are some ways to help reduce or cut back gambling activities:
- Set a budget: Decide how much money you are willing to spend on gambling and stick to it.
- Limit the time you spend gambling: Set a time limit for yourself and make sure you stop playing when the time is up.
- Avoid chasing losses: If you have a losing streak, don’t try to win back your losses by gambling more.
- Don’t gamble under the influence of drugs or alcohol: Substance abuse can impair your judgment and lead to excessive gambling.
- Find alternative activities: Find new hobbies or interests to fill the time you would have spent gambling.
- Seek support: Consider talking to a friend, family member, or a professional counsellor about your gambling habits.
- Stay away from triggers: Avoid places or situations that trigger the urge to gamble, such as casinos or sporting events.
- Remove access to funds: Limit your access to funds for gambling by using tools such as blocking access to your bank accounts or credit cards.
- Take breaks: Regularly take breaks from gambling and take the time to reflect on your habits.
- Seek help: If you are unable to control your gambling on your own, seek help from a support group or treatment centre specializing in gambling addiction.
Remember, it’s important to seek help if gambling is affecting your life or causing financial, emotional, or relationship problems. There are many resources available to support those who are struggling with gambling addiction.
Here are some alternative hobbies to consider as alternatives to gambling:
- Exercise: Take up a sport, join a gym or go for a daily walk or run.
- Creative arts: Try painting, drawing, photography, or writing.
- Music: Learn a musical instrument or join a choir or band.
- Travel: Plan a trip or visit new places in your own city or nearby.
- Volunteering: Give back to your community by volunteering your time at a local organization.
- Gardening: Grow your own fruits, vegetables, or flowers.
- Cooking: Learn new recipes and experiment with different cuisines.
- Reading: Join a book club or start a reading challenge.
- Gaming: Play video games or board games with friends or family.
- Learning: Take a course or attend workshops in a subject that interests you.
- Nature: Go for a hike, take a scenic drive, or go camping.
- Crafts: Try knitting, crocheting, or other handiwork.
- Film or theatre: Watch a movie, attend a live performance, or make a movie of your own.
By finding new hobbies and interests, you can redirect your energy and focus away from gambling and towards activities that bring you joy and fulfilment.
Here are some steps to help you budget better:
- Assess your current finances: Write down all your income and expenses to get an idea of your financial situation.
- Set financial goals: Determine what you want to achieve with your budget, such as saving for a down payment on a house or paying off debt.
- Prioritize expenses: Decide what expenses are most important and allocate your money accordingly.
- Track spending: Keep track of your spending for a few weeks to get a better idea of where your money is going.
- Create a spending plan: Based on your tracking, create a budget that includes all your fixed expenses, such as rent or mortgage, and variable expenses, such as groceries or entertainment.
- Stay on track: Regularly review your budget and spending to make sure you are sticking to your plan.
- Adjust as needed: If you find that your spending is outpacing your budget, adjust your spending in non-essential categories or look for ways to increase your income.
- Save regularly: Make sure you set aside money for short-term and long-term savings goals.
- Be flexible: Don’t be too strict with yourself, allow for some flexibility in your budget for unexpected expenses or fun activities.
- Review and revise: Regularly review your budget and revise it as needed to keep it relevant to your changing financial situation.
By creating and following a budget, you can take control of your finances and make sure you are spending your money in a way that aligns with your goals and values.
If your gambling is getting out of control then always seek help and support from others, as once you do so you can then, with their help, put in place even more ways that will help you stop gambling and never put yourself in a position where you could end up gambling, always keep that in mind, help and support is always available to everyone.