These Uncertain Times

During this unprecedented period in our lifetimes, with all the 24/7 news and “talking heads”, anxiety about our futures can easily enter into daily thought patterns.

One of the ways to alleviate anxiety is to work on the things each of us can control and make every effort to eliminate thoughts related to things we cannot control. Easier said than done? YOU BET! However, working to “compartmentalize” our thoughts is a good exercise for everyone to practice for their own well-being.

One thing is for sure; reacting with panic won’t help anything. Indeed, panic negatively impacts our emotional and physical well-being. Panic never solves any problems – it only makes them worse.

The Great Recession from 2007 – 2009 was a tough time for all of us. Companies going bankrupt, industry bailouts by the government and all the residual effects that accompanied the Great Recession were hard for everyone to endure. However, we got through those tough times; maybe with some bumps and bruises, but we made it.

The difference with current times – the COVID-19 pandemic – is that the financial community (banks, etc.) are healthy and much more prepared for the shock our economy is experiencing right now. Our economy was in high gear prior to the pandemic outbreak; and, over time, the economy will return to a better place; again, not without some scars.

Personally, two of my family members, and possibly a third, have contracted COVID-19, and after about five days, were fully recovered.

If you are stuck at home as a result of a “shelter-in-place” order, try to avoid watching the news. As for me, back during the Great Recession, I picked up the habit of reading books. Having never been a reader before, I was told that you cannot read and worry at the same time. So, I took this advice to heart and began reading books – on World War I, a war in which my grandfather was wounded and gassed, subsequently healed and returned to his machine-gun company as a decorated soldier. Then, I began reading on World War II, Churchill, Roosevelt and related subjects. This reading habit continues today and has been the most enjoyable hobby.

Others of us have various enjoyable habits – running, walking, fishing, biking, hunting, golf, gardening, tennis, etc. All of these can be undertaken while still maintaining social distancing recommendations and sanitary practices.

So, try to take your mind off the negative, turn off the television and give your mind a break. You will be better off.

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