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Staying Well As We Change

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Dr. Ernest Levister, Jr.
As a nation, we’ve watched the financial news with alarm and seen friends and neighbors lose their homes and jobs. Now that the economy appears to be pulling out of a tailspin, it’s important to stay focused on what’s ahead for us as we weather the consequences of changing for the better.

So how do you stay well and grounded in such uncertain times? There’s lot of advice on the Internet about how to make changes, but most of them have to do with improving the quality of your life in times that are otherwise normal. Even so, there are some grains of truth that could apply now.

An article in Prevention Magazine suggests taking the time to really listen to yourself – to reflect, journal or meditate.

Try yoga or deep breathing. Create some space in which you can listen to what your “inner advisor” knows to be the best course. At the same time, don’t keep a stiff upper lip. Talk to your friends about what’s on your mind.

An article at Women Today advises fighting the urge to deny that you have problems.

Take stock of your resources. Expect that you’re going to be stressed and try to recognize your stress reactions and those of your partner.

If you haven’t lost your job but your workplace has changed as a result of downsizing try to look for glimmers of opportunity rather than seeing everything as a crisis. Attitude makes a big difference. And if you feel that you have no control over how things go at work, look for ways in which you can provide input, at a meeting perhaps or by joining a committee.

So the challenge is to face change without losing hope.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said that, “If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all.”

Despite the clash of negative consequences that comes with a deep recession, President Barack Obama often speaks of hope.

Last January, Obama said, “Hope is the bedrock of this nation; the belief that our destiny will not be written for us, but by us.” Words to remember as we continue to move forward.

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