It seems like the economy is getting better. However in California the unemployment rate still hovers around 12%, I think. That means a lot of people, at least in California, are still suffering and under a ton of stress. This is really hard on not only individuals but couple and families.
The individual may suffer from loss of self-esteem, depression, and even hopelessness. The key for the individual is to keep on going. That means do whatever it takes. Action toward a goal is good for people. Do temp work, dog sit, work on household projects or do volunteer work. Whatever it takes. Accomplishing a goal gives one a sense of purpose and meaning.
A couple may start to fight or feel disconnected. They can easily start to blame each other and isolate rather than come together. So rather than problem solving and working toward a solution, they stay and feel stuck as if the are in mud or quick sand. The key here is not to blame each other or anyone else, regardless. Make the problem something outside of the individual or the couple. Ask, "What is the problem and how can we work together to solve it? Do we need to make any hard decisions together to get by?" By doing this couples can work together more effectively. They can regain their sense of being a team.
Children are affected as well. They need a sense of safety. They want to know that everything will be all right and that mom and dad are taking charge. It is important to let them in on the process but not to overwhelm them with too much detail. Kids naturally want to help and even fix the problem. Let them know mom and dad are working on solving the probably and that regardless of the situation if they stick together as a family they can and will get through anything.
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Evelyn Schmechtig Cochran