Get a Life

By Judith Welles

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Get a Life!: Feeling down? Get up.

Many of us are feeling stressed right now.

At the end of an administration, we’re in a wait-and-see mode in the office. In the economy, we are also waiting to see how the government rescue plan unfolds.

More than eight in 10 Americans blame the economy for much of the stress in their lives, according to a national study by the American Psychological Association.

Whether you are feeling knocked- down by the stock market or are experiencing a slowdown in your office, a deep sense of unease is understandable.

The first thing to remember, say psychologists, is to breathe deeply. It might sound silly, but breathing when you feel stressed can help.

And breathing fresh air by taking a walk is even better. To get even more benefit, take a break and go on a brisk walk. It will help clear your head. It will help you focus.

Symptoms of stress include irritability, problems sleeping, changes in appetite, headaches, stomach aches, intestinal problems, nervousness, excessive worry, and feeling sad and depressed.

To help deal with the economic and emotional distress, the American Psychological Association offers these tips:

  • Pay attention to what’s happening around you, but refrain from getting caught up in doom-and-gloom hype.

  • Take time to pull back from the situation, and delay immediate action.

  • Reach out to family, friends and trusted advisers. Research shows that receiving support from others is effective in managing stress.

And, if you are reading this, you have not yet retired, and even if retirement is just around the corner, you won’t be using all of your Thrift Savings Plan at one time. Recovery might take a little time, but time is on your side.

Judy Welles

Posted by Judith Welles on Oct 14, 2008 at 12:13 PM


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