April 1st, 2009

To help cope with what appears to be a long-term economic downturn, people can follow these simple guidelines to reduce stress and sadness:

  • Focus on positive aspects of your life. Look to family and friends to support you.
  • Exercise, maintain a healthy diet and a normal sleep schedule – physical and mental health are connected.
  • Plan for the future as much as you can. The more action you can take, the more in control you’ll be and the less stressed you’ll feel.
  • Try to take a long view. Realize that it may be bad yesterday, it may be bad today, but that things over time will get better.
  • Volunteer and look for ways to answer needs in the community. Helping others will take your mind off your own worries and give you a sense of accomplishment.
  • Take charge of your immediate environment. If you’re troubled by media coverage and conversations about the worsening economy, change channels, turn the page, or excuse yourself from the conversation.

If sadness and anxiety begin to adversely affect normal functioning – relationships, work, sleep, appetite and sex – professional help may be needed. Contact the David Lawrence Center for more information at 239-455-8500.

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