April 21, 2024

Suffering From ‘Recession Depression?’ Try Volunteering!

Non Profit Consulting and Training - Wendy Biro-Pollard 060

Downsizing. Difficult. Depression. Dread. These are a lot of “D” words. But “D” words seem appropriate — even reflective — of the grade many of us might give our financial and mental states right now.

Corporate downsizing and increased unemployment can take a heavy toll on everyone. And the impact is more than economic. Difficult economic times also produce increased incidence of depression as well as a dread of dealing with personal finances.

Tough, even scary, news about our country’s worsening financial condition continues to bombard us from television and radio broadcasts, printed pages and the Internet. To compound the problem, many Americans without jobs have too much time to dwell on their misfortunes and seemingly bleak futures. A downward mental spiral can lead to a range of feelings from a general uneasiness to serious depression.

Clinical psychologist Mary Gresham says, “This is a scary time even for those who are not in an immediate crisis,” on the American Psychological Association’s Web site.

“Many people,” Gresham adds, “mistakenly believe that money stress can only be reduced by money itself … the more you think about money and how not to lose more of it, the more anxious you will become and the less likely you’ll be able to solve problems.”

This certainly seems to be sensible advice, but it provokes an obvious question: How do you stop thinking about money problems? And that query prompts a simple response: Think about something else.

Thinking about something else may be accomplished best by thinking about someone else.  Focusing on how you can make even a tiny effort to help another human being will immediately present a new perspective. Volunteering offers all kinds of benefits, some of them particularly important as we struggle to maintain our financial composure.

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