Recession Depression Quiz
Does your stomach churn when you read the latest news?
Did you have trouble sleeping last night?
Are you obsessively checking your news sources throughout the day?
Are you angrier or more fearful than normal?
* If your answer is yes to any of these questions, you are experiencing the emotional effects of the recession.
Many people have been laid off from their jobs, lost a substantial percentage of their assets and countless families have lost the opportunity to own homes.
Even if you're one of the lucky ones, and your home, job and bank account are intact; you may still be feeling emotional trauma, fear or anxiety. The emotional trauma and paralyzing fear we experience may leave us unable to make wise decisions, block us from seeing things clearly, or hold us back as we try to move forward.
The threat of recession, and the hardships that usually accompany one, can put us in our own psychological recession, an emotional state in which we feel extremely vulnerable to economic hardship, leading to a grim view of the present, and an even more depressing view of the future. This gloomy mindset causes anxiety, depression, and a sense of being powerless. When we're anxious and depressed, our fear and despair replaces any optimism and faith that we had.
Use these tips to break out of this cycle and survive through the rough times:
Stress is based on feeling out of control. Taking a small positive action demonstrates that you are in charge and will lower your stress level. You don't have to solve the entire situation today - just take one small step toward making it better. One step you can take is to speak up. Let your local and state representatives know how you want your tax dollars spent. Here is a link for you to find and email your congressional representatives.
I did it last night. It takes under five minutes, and sure feels good. Please share this link, and ask your friends to speak up as well. Remember, this is your money and your government.
Be realistic about your fears surrounding your job security. If you still have your job, how likely is it really that you'll be laid off? Remain grounded so that the fear over losing your job doesn't become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Being chronically fearful leaves one too exhausted to be creative and innovative. Since we expect the worst to happen, we see no reason to continue to give our jobs are all, and we become less productive, which in turn could actually place our job in jeopardy. It's important to stay focused and productive.
Set Limits for Your Media Intake
Fear sells, mayhem boosts ratings, and the media thrives on bad news. Nothing increases viewers like a good disaster. Don't buy into the fear and anxiety. If you find your pulse quickening when you watch television or read The Huffington Post, don't do it before you go to bed. Studies show that you will sleep better with less news intake late at night. Focus your mind on what is upbeat and positive.
We all have reasons to be thankful. Even if your world has been turned upside down by a recession, find something, no matter how small, and focus on your gratitude for that. Feelings of gratitude have been shown to lift a mood, and completely change an outlook.
Take Care of Yourself
Now, more than ever, you need to take care of your mind, body, and soul. Take some down-time to refresh and renew you.
Breathe. Take in a deep breath. Let it out. Now, breathe in infinite good. Exhale self-doubt. Do this three times so you feel more open.
Ask. Ask for support. Don't let shame stop you. You'll be surprised how much others want to help you through life's challenge.
Rest Up. Allow yourself to get the sleep you need. Your body needs more rest when you are dealing with large amounts of stress.
Be Kind. Gentleness never hurt anyone. Be tender with yourself. Forgive yourself. Remind yourself that you are more precious than any possession.
Mind Your Mind. Don't allow yourself to dwell in gloom. Push the pause button and redirect yourself. Call a friend, go for a walk or tell a joke.
Thank Yourself. Thank yourself for making a positive step, big or small.
Ask Eli a question at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.elidavidson.com to send her what you are doing to turn around your challenge, fear, and effects of the recession?
Eli Davidson is a nationally recognized executive coach and motivational speaker.
Her book, Funky to Fabulous: Surefire Success Stories for The Savvy, Sassy and Swamped, (Oak Grove Publishing) has won three national book awards.