How to Stay Upbeat During Hard Times

The economy is in bad shape and every week I hear about more and more people who are laid off - many of whom are my friends.  So how do you avoid being dragged down into a slump when things look so bleak?  Here are a few tips to keep a healthy and upbeat attitude even when finances are tight and even if you're out of a job.

  • Stay social.  Now is the time to make the most of your social groups or to join up if you don't belong to one.  Don't go through hard times alone.  None of us is alone in this.  Get together and laugh or cry and pick each other up.  Don't let financial stress isolate you.  Skip the pricey coffee shop and have friends over to your place.  You could even create a rotating dinner night and take turns cooking for each other one night a week.
  • Stay active.  Keep up with your exercise routine or start one if you don't already have one.  Exercise helps boost both mood and energy levels and can help you stay motivated rather than sinking into a slump.  If you are job hunting, be sure to take time away from the search to nurture and care for yourself.
  • Be creative.  Be flexible.  And think outside the box.  Come up with ideas for free activities when you get bored.  See how far you can stretch your grocery budget.  Consider all your talents and interests from a new perspective.  Don't take a defeatist attitude.  If you're currently out of a job consider any kind of work you can handle short-term.  This doesn't have to be forever - just for the time being.  Future employers will be impressed by your innovation and flexibility.
  • Take a risk.  If you've always been too afraid to go after your dream job, maybe now is the time to take a chance and see what happens?  As long as you keep realistic expectations (no get-rich-quick schemes) and make wise financial decisions this could be a great time to start something new.
  • Skip happy hour.  It may include the word "happy" in the title, but remember that alcohol is a depressant.  If you're feeling even a little down on yourself you may feel a whole lot worse after a couple of drinks and may head toward a real depression.  Skip the booze and do something that will truly lift your spirits - call up a good friend, pick up your favorite book, give yourself a break and chance to relax.
  • Volunteer.  Even if you're having trouble finding a job there is always plenty of work that needs to be done.  Take a little time out of your week to volunteer and you'll boost your own sense of morale by helping others in need.

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Stephenie K
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Posted on Jan 13, 2010
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Posted on Jan 11, 2010