Sunday, March 29, 2009

Self Care in Tough Economic Times

Wall street has raped our economy and now we face the worst recession in decades. The nation pulls together behind our new President to try to keep the recession from becoming a depression. In the process, tens of thousand lose their jobs, their medical coverage, their retirement savings, their homes and their self respect. What do we do if this happens to us?

In the face of serious personal challenges we recognize that we are going to go through a process of grieving. A significant part of our self esteem is tied up in our ability to provide safety and support for ourselves and our families. The five stage grieving process involves steps that integrate the loss we have experienced into our persona. How we take care of ourselves during that process can be the difference between those of us who come out of the challenges whole, and those who don't.

We cannot change the fact that the economy is in the toilet or that we may have lost our job. We can only change how we respond to this dismal situation. Because many of us have families that rely upon us to provide, we may need support at this grave time from other bread winners who are in similar situations. Having a place to go for support cannot be overemphasized when disaster strikes. Although we may continue to look for work and may receive some interim assistance from families, churches, charities or the government, we still must face the internal struggle that accompany such a severe loss. Our self esteem has suffered a blow that cannot be minimized.

At times such as these it is imperative that we use our tools, acquire new tools to help us through these difficult economic times, and ask for help. There is no shame in allowing others to aid us in an emergency. There are support groups forming through employment services, unions, churches and the like. We know in our hearts that we would certainly do the same for another if the situation were reversed. We must keep this in mind as we weather the economic storm.

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