, Gloucester, MA


September 20, 2013

How to combat stress in recessionary times

Despite some indications that the country is pulling out of the recession — corporations are making billions of dollars from their overseas operations — there are discouraging signs that our economic troubles are not yet over.

All around the region, people are still coping with loss of jobs, factory and facility closings, low minimum wage rates; a still slowly recovering housing market; cutbacks in government spending as a result of the sequestration; and worries over personal finances such as the high costs of a college education and meeting mortgage payments. All this, plus increasing anxiety and uncertainty about the impact of the explosive situation in the Middle East on our economy. As they go about their daily routine, individuals must deal with the personal, practical, and emotional issues that come with a difficult economy. Some are handling the stress successfully while others are not doing well at all.

Gloria Nouri, former director of Behavior Modification and Stress Management for the New Jersey Department of Corrections, says the overwhelming majority of people don’t simply adapt to rough financial times and go on. Most individuals are showing at least some signs of stress as a result of today’s recessionary times.

“Sometimes they drive too fast; sometimes they argue more; sometimes they become more withdrawn and worried,” Nouri explains. “Occasionally, they take chances that lead to legal or ethical trouble.”

Many personal relationships are being stressed by the poor economy, Nouri believes. “Roommates are being told, ‘I’m sorry, but you will have to leave, You’re not paying your share, and I can’t afford to pay it anymore.’ Other family situations are being completely changed by the return of older children who can’t support themselves, or by the addition of elderly or sick relatives who need continual care that isn’t affordable elsewhere.”

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