Recession anxiety has become a fact of life. One American Psychological Association poll showed that 80% of surveyed Americans are significantly stressed by the economy. As a result, more people are seeing therapists, which, while beneficial, still costs about $80/hour.
Before running to the pharmacy for more Xanax, try these 5 easy ways to reduce recession anxiety:
Step on the treadmill, play a game of Wii Tennis, take a walk downtown. Even 20 minutes of movement can make a world of difference in your outlook.
2. Take a news-free day.
At least one day a week, avoid radio news reports, stock tickers, broadcast news, iPhone news updates, and all other forms of real-life reportage. Weekends are a good time to do this. Though news is necessary, its returns are marginal if taken in large doses, and downright poisonous when consumed all the time.
3. List 10 things you’re thankful for.
Whenever you find yourself overwhelmed with anxiety, mentally rattle off ten things that you’re thankful for, on the spot. This exercise brings you back into real-time. You’ll notice little details, like health, a warm bed, and enough food, and suddenly life won’t seem so dire.
4. Escape for a while.
Watch a movie. Read a novel. Go see a game. Escapist pasttimes, also popular during the Great Depression, help steer your mind away from its constant reaction to the bad economy.
5. Write down contingency plans.
If it looks like you need to downgrade your home, do you know where else you can move? If your hedge fund collapsed, do you have a more stable alternative in mind? Having a Plan B takes the black hole effect out of anxiety. Instead of standing on the brink of a void, you’re standing on the horizon of a concrete change. The latter is much easier to deal with.