How to stay sane during crazy times - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

How to stay sane during crazy times

SPOKANE, Wash. - Millions of Americans are unemployed, and millions more fear they will be next.

Tough as it is either way, experts say keeping your job or replacing it relies, first of all, on your emotional health.

Going to work used to be stressful. Now, having nowhere to go is worse.

"I thought it was a sure thing, that you always need accountants, but it didn't turn out that way," said single mom Jenna Eyeburger.

Jobless for four months, Eyeburger resorted to extreme measures.

"I've donated plasma, I've donated eggs, I've been an egg donor," said Eyeburger.

"We had to start dipping into our retirement account and savings," said Cheryl Green.

Green and her husband both lost their jobs late last year.

He finally found lower paying work.

She still hasn't.

"I'm in and out of bouts of sadness," said Green.

"So what started as anxiety for most people has become more and more panic, in some cases almost terror," said psychologist Dr. Nancy Molitor.

Molitor sees it in her unemployed clients every day and in her employed clients,

"If they have a job, they're having difficulty concentrating on the job. Anticipatory anxiety is interfering with their ability do deliver the goods, to stay focused, to keep their concentration," said Molitor.

So jobless or not, she says: be vigilant for worried thoughts.

"Be mindful that it's happening, to stop yourself as quickly as you can. Literally what's helpful is take a deep breath," Molitor said.

However you divert that cascade of fear, the next step is to stop thinking about yesterday, or tomorrow and focus on what's in front of you.

Pessimistic colleagues? You're the opposite.

Be the first to stay that extra hour or two and now more than ever, have a plan b.

Stress busting exercise is part of Mike Kelahan's plan b.

His job vanished six months ago.

"For nearly 30 years, I had a career in the real estate business," said Kelahan.

He still has a great attitude.

"Sometimes you're the bug and sometimes you're the windshield," Kelahan said.

Which makes him both hopeful and persistent in his job hunt.

"I have a schedule, I have tasks. I have a to-do list and a certain amount of time at the computer," said Kelahan.

Cheryl, meanwhile, has picked up her needle again, volunteering to make tablecloths for her son's school in between sending out resumes.

Jenna's become the troop leader for her daughter's girl scouts.

A daily routine, volunteering, and networking.
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