5 Keys to Recession Proof Your Anxiety
The steady drumbeat of bleak economic news is testing everyone's anxiety levels. When you?re stressed, most people fall into some bad habits that can lead to more bad things, like weight gain and arguments with your spouse. Here are the five areas where you may be feeling anxiety and some tips on how to reduce the stress.
The steady drumbeat of bleak economic news is testing everyone's anxiety levels. Financial worries are one of the leading causes of stress with 16 million Americans treated for depression during their lifetime, according to the National Institutes of Health. When you?re stressed, most people fall into some bad habits that can lead to more bad things, like weight gain and arguments with your spouse.
Here are the five areas where you may be feeling anxiety and some tips from WeSeed.com on how to reduce the stress:
The Home front ? Your spouse may have lost his/her job or may be worried that you might. Convene a special Crisis Meeting to create a contingency plan for the ?what-if?. Maybe you need to rent out a room? Cut back on expenses or raise insurance deductibles? Come up with specific actions and who?s going to do what. Also, be sure you continue to demonstrate your love and appreciation to loved ones without spending money (simple notes, a candlelight dinner with a toast to them, a CD of their favorite songs). Avoid adding to the aggravation with your own issues that are not really that important. Stay focused on what matters to keep the home free of stress.
The Kid front ? The kids might not be used to changes you?re making or you may be facing decisions around their college. First, involve the kids. Use this as an opportunity to prepare them for the real world and set an example of how to take charge of your money. With college, recruit the grandparents. Chances are, most will be in a better position than parents to contribute to school and, at the same time, they can reduce their taxable estate and see their contribution be used for a meaningful purpose. Grandparents: some of you are among the lucky few who have pensions but, despite a steady and healthy income, are reigning back. Now is the time to help your adult children and grandchildren.
The Job front ? Many worry about their jobs; Take charge of your job. Now is not the time to hide, but to showcase yourself. Demonstrate your value to the company?s bottom line and if you?re not in a position that creates or saves money, offer to take on a job (even if it?s extra duties) of a position that does. Most importantly, position yourself for the next big thing. If you?re a banker, move into workouts. If you?re in manufacturing, become the ?savings chief? or move where the jobs are. One ex-executive is going through training with gang kids in L.A. to learn about solar panels and he?ll start a business hiring his ?classmates?
The Money front ? Studies show that never has there been a 20 year period in history when you would?ve lost money, though that may change. Selling now guarantees you lock in losses. 1. Use this as an opportunity to build a proper portfolio if you haven?t. Did you have 90% of your portfolio in stocks? 2. Review the funds you hold and use this to fully understand yourself, what you own rather than counting on an ?expert? ? you?ll build confidence and feel better. Bonds offer more security but buying individual bonds locks you in for 20 years (can get 4% triple tax-free equivalent to about 6% taxable). 3. As for 401(k), if it?s your only savings, consider a balanced approach: part stocks, part bonds. Review what you have with your spouse, make decisions for your own time horizon and you?ll sleep better at night.
The Body front ? More people are turning to comfort food to, well, comfort all this anxiety. Don?t let it get to you ? more weight gain means even more stress. Instead, commit to a daily exercise for at least 30 minutes. If you?re likely to ignore it at the end of the day, do it at the beginning and feel great knowing you started the day off right. Make one day a walk with a friend or spouse. And reduce the number of meals out ? you?ll spend less and eat better. For tasty but low-cal treat, get diet Swiss chocolate (25 calories a pack, the lowest out there) and combine it with a half a chocolate bar or a frozen low-cal ice cream dessert at 100 calories.
Don't let the recession get you down. While these tips may not solve all your problems, by at least taking some action you'll start feeling better about yourself and the future.