Watching the news every night I am reminded of the many losses people are facing as our economy continues to struggle. This past year a family in Heathrow, Florida was found dead from a murder-suicide. Investigators believe it was financial woes that pushed the father to his breaking point to kill himself and the rest of his family.
We are seeing more job loss, bankruptcy, divorce, suicide, and homicide as the economy plummets. How do people survive this crisis? How do we help others or ourselves when there is a need to begin again, following a tragedy, major loss or failure? After discussing this informally with a few friends who have been released from local jobs I have learned all recognize the need to grieve. Each has struggled with anger, discouragement, disappointment, sadness and anxiety. These people know that things may get worse before they get better. They recognize that life will never be like it was before. But they’re finding ways to recover and rebound. Here are a few:
- Embrace the feelings. Admit the pain. Give yourself permission to grieve.
- Don’t rush the process. Few people bounce back. Recovery and renewal are more like steady growth with periodic setbacks.
- Keep in contact with others who are supportive but who can gently and sensitively push you forward.
- Don’t dwell on injustice, revenge, or on things beyond your influence or control. Fantasies about getting even only hurt the fantasy-maker and slow the recovery process.
- Get exercise, even when you don’t feel like it. Exercise can help your body and brain resist illness, think more clearly, fight depression, and have a more positive attitude.
- Keep learning. This is something that we can control. It has been suggested that “use it or lose it” applies to every part of your body, mind, and social life.
- Prioritize what is most important. Go to family, friends and spirituality for support rather than alcohol, drugs and anything else that might be unhealthy.
- Let yourself dream about what can be. Keeping visions alive can help us all grow beyond the past and move forward to a positive future.