I never thought in a blog about health and wellness I’d end up writing about the economy. But, I must say over the past several months, my entire attitude and health and wellness has really been affected by the economy and I can no longer deny the connection. So, rather than run away from it, I’ve decided to acknowledge it.
I have to start out by saying that I’m very lucky in that I have friends and family that won’t let me fall into a financial hole. If it wasn’t for them, I’d be in much worse shape than I am. I know there are lots of people out there who have lost everything; their homes, their jobs, their pride, their identity and I’m lucky enough to be still in the full-time working ranks and still have an incoming paycheck. But despite that, I’ve been affected on a financial level on some level and it’s required a level of belt-tightening that I’ve never before experienced. But more than just what I’ve had to do and how it’s affected my lifestyle ( which was never the high life to begin with) I’ve grown to become so affected by the ups and downs of all the economic measures reported by the media. Unemployment, interest rates, consumer confidence, national debt, personal credit card debt, defaulting mortgages, foreclosure numbers; these are all we seem to hear about. It’s important, I know, to get an idea of how these metrics are tracking but I’ve just gotten more sensitive to hearing about them.
I miss the days when we did not wake to the latest economic report. I miss when we could focus on productivity and not just surviving. I miss the days when the update from my friends didn’t start with, ” Did you hear who just got laid off?” I miss the days when I didn’t have to make the choices I have to make now, and although I was never that well- off before, I’m now making decisions that involve critical choices for the infrastructure of my life.
I suppose there are some good side effects of this economic time. Bringing behaviors into consciousness can give us the impetus to clean house and certainly there are some things I do without now that I realize I didn’t really need. I firmly believe that even as my personal situation changes, I won’t go back to those behaviors and replace things I’ve lost, because I realized in the long run, I didn’t really need them anyway. But I so look forward to the day that we’ll feel some relief. The length of time this is all taking is so long and at times, the weight of it is just too much to bear. But in these times, you hve to rely on what you know, what keeps you grounded and makes you feel safe and whole. For me, that’s exercise. And, when I make the time, meditation. I’ve come to depend more and more on meditation and positive visualization. I even went so far as to set a daily reminder on my phone that gives me a positive daily message.
I can remember several years ago, I read about the power of gratitude. It was a powerful article and as a result, I put a post-it note on the inside of my medicine cabinet that read, ” Be grateful.” It was a small reminder but it helped me think about what I have in my life for which I can be grateful. And in these times, that’s so important.
I miss the old economy but I have to believe in the power of the future, the power to make change, the power to be resilient, the power to be strong, the power to keep one’s head about them when all about them are losing their’s.