How To Reduce the Stress of the Current Economic Crisis

Massive layoffs that seem likely to increase, the credit crunch, mortgage meltdown, soaring gasoline, heating oil and food costs, plunging stocks that threaten to wipe out savings, retirement plans and funds set aside for college tuition, have combined to create what one prominent authority called a “financial tsunami.” While the stress of the current economic disaster affects each of us and our families in different ways, six tips on how to lessen its harmful effects that can be helpful to many, include:

1. Review your current financial situation and develop ways to reduce or manage fixed future expenses more efficiently, and encourage family members to make suggestions.

2. Don’t dwell on past mistakes that can’t be corrected and avoid making new ones by consulting your accountant or financial advisor for recommendations before making decisions.

3. Limit round the clock news coverage of the negative state of the economy and water cooler and coffee break gossip of doomful predictions that may never come to fruition.

4. Beware of quick fix scams that promise to erase your debt or mortgage problems and talk directly to your credit card company, bank, or other creditors about finding ways to satisfy your obligations that provide mutual advantages. Banks don’t want the expense of maintaining unoccupied homes that are not likely to be sold and may be willing to make surprising concessions.

5. Remember that America has always recovered from similar financial disasters and that every cloud has its silver lining. The government is implementing a massive bailout program to alleviate some of the most pressing problems. Keep abreast of how your family or company can take advantage of this by seeking aid from appropriate agencies involved in such efforts.

6. Protect your physical and mental health by getting adequate sleep, regular exercise and periodic rest breaks. Social support is a powerful stress buster and family dinners, a walk in the park or visiting a museum together can prevent preoccupation with financial problems and provides numerous other benefits.