I get e-mails all the time about people who are starting to go bonkers since they have lost their jobs. One of the hardest things about dealing with lay offs – and it happens to all of us, trust me- is how to deal with the down time. And by how to deal with the down time I mean how to stay sane.
If the bills are piling up, start organizing them into what is a higher priority than the other one. That will make it easier to also start cutting back on spending for things that you don’t need or won’t use.
If you are running low on medicine that you need, make sure that you get it. Your health has to stay intact so you can make it through the Depression we are in and out to better times.
Expect the bad times to last for about five years. If you are out of work now, start looking at what job do you want to do to make a living. Take advantage of the down time to start retraining yourself for something that is marketable. The so-called green industries are thriving and despite Caterpillar stock dropping like a rock (boo hiss) there is a lot of infrastructure work that is needed in this country and we need more engineers.
Keep your brain sharp by doing crosswords, puzzles, brain teasers and memory games like Concentration. Ever play the game of Concentration? It is easy. Get a deck of cards, shuffle it and place them on the table in a tableau ( a table) layout so the cards look like a board. With at least one friend, take turns turning over two cards trying to make matching cards. If you get a Jack with oe card and a Two with the other number, that isn’t a match. Two sixes are a match. You get to keep the cards that you matched. Winner of the game is the person who can get the most sets. It is a great game for matching things and keeping yourself sane by keeping your memory skills sharp.
Practice your writing skills on a computer.
Keep your mind sharp by playing chess with the computer on increasing levels of difficulty.
Exercise, exercise and exercise. Keep your body moving and healthy to keep your brain young and agile. You can do it.
Watch your expenses and try to watch your diet. By avoiding too many snacks you can save money and keep yourself alive longer by watching your weight.
There may be relief coming now with the stimulus bill being signed. Medical benefits may be covered a little longer and better with the government paying for part of the missing COBRA benefits. That will lower the payments for those of us who are unemployed to something little easier to pay.
For those of us who are under-employed there will be a little extra money in each paycheck. Our Federal taxes will have less money taken out.
And no shock here, the State of California STILL hasn’t balanced the budget. Sheesh. We have people waiting for their refunds here! Come on gang, get with it. Californians, get ready to vote them all out of office if they don’t get with the program. People are losing their homes and are hungry here!
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Kim Isaac Greenblatt
How To Stay Sane While Unemployed