During Stressful Times, Working Out is Even More Crucial

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Watching and hearing the news could make us all feel a tad more anxious, as more and more companies continue downsizing. When the media referred to Monday’s job cuts as "Bloody Monday," such negative connotations can leave us all with feelings of vulnerability and uncertainty. Or at least for me it did.

These are daunting times. The unknown is far scarier than the known. Not knowing if and when you may receive the notice from your employer may lead many of us to stress eating or total abandonment of their healthy lifestyle. But we must know that giving into these unhealthy ways will not change the events. While eating chocolate and chips may give us a temporary feel-good sense, it will not change our situation.

And while we can’t always keep the inevitable from occurring, the one thing we can control is our health via sound nutrition and exercise. Keeping our schedule as routine as possible is certainly a huge factor. Getting in some sound sleep, eating healthy meals, and of course getting in some good exercise, will all help relieve stress.

Also never underestimate the power of a good friend. Having social connections helps us to voice our concerns and many times allows us a means to vent our anger and our fears. Having others to talk with may also help deter feelings of depression that many times accompany the unknown. Whenever we can relieve stress, our minds and our bodies are better able to cope with life’s hardships.

SparkPeople has recognized the impact the job cuts have affected many of its members by establishing SparkTeams where people can come together and share their stories, concerns and fears. And dailySpark Blogger Tanya has written many timely articles to help us all save money at the grocery store.

For those members who have lost their jobs, I pray that there is hope on the horizon. For those, like my family who are sitting and waiting, I pray that we will be able to face this situation head on while maintaining our healthy living lifestyle and a positive attitude. One thing is for certain, we will always have our SparkPeople family to carry us through life’s adversities and you can’t beat that.

Have you been affected by a layoff and if so how are you coping? Has the recent job loss reports had an impact on your lifestyle--good or bad?

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BONDMANUS2002 6/27/2019
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KHALIA2 6/11/2019
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ANHELIC 6/5/2019
Thanks for the information Report
KHALIA2 5/2/2019
A very encouraging article! Report
I know how much my friends and family have meant to me as I face a significant health challenge
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Nine years since this article was written. I was one of those job casualties. For a couple of years I was basically jobless while taking any odds and ends work I could cobble together. Husband went through several progressively less well paid jobs. It was indeed a tough time. On the plus side, that basically jobless period made it possible to care for my MIL in her last days as well as for a friend in her terminal illness. I eventually landed a small but steady job that has since led me to a couple of better jobs. I'm working in a field I'd never expected to enjoy using skills I learned on the job. Husband worked his way back up from a low paying job. Yeah, it was rough, but we've ended up OK. I know that has not been true for many, and with things as they are now, who knows what the future hold. Enjoy each day while you have it. Report
Hope things are better now. Report
And we never thought we would see a depression like the one of the late 20's and the 30's. Sad stories I am reading here and I wonder if the situation is as bad or worse than the Great Depression. Report
I was laid off two weeks ago on a sunny friday at noon. It really sucked and i cried the whole way home (litterally while I was walking to the bus and people were staring). I was so ashamed I didn't know how to tell my boyfriend I had just lost my job. When he came home from work I told him and he comforted me and made me realize that my job doesn't define my life. a job is just a job. Now I work for myself and do contract programing and web design work and I've been really lucky with the jobs I have gotten so far. It made me realize that there are still lots of jobs out there in my industry and people don't want to pay a big design company $150.00 an hour to do work. I made more in a week than I did in two weeks, and I charge less than half of what big companies charge per hour.

Just because one door closes doesn't mean another one won't open. Having a lot of faith also helps :) Report
I have been reading through this thread and it has brought me to tears!
The air is stiffling with the degree of worry and depression brought on by the current state of the nation. The news is no help as it is purely depressing.
My husband and I are holding our breath daily hoping the work keeps coming in and we can keep our home.
We hide our concern from the kids as we do not want to upset them.
I hope that an upswing is sooner than later for all of us.
Thanks for this reminder, Nancy. My company had to cut salaries to keep people working and it is hard for all of us. I have not exercised for two days since learning the news...needed a little time to process. Now I feel that I need the exercise to let go of the tension in my neck. Have been waking up too early and if I do tomorrow - I'm doing some strength training...might as well get something out of this icky feeling! Best wishes and hugs to all who have shared their stories here - we'll make it; we're strong. Report
I was laid off on January 6th. Although I qualify for unemployment, I haven't received a check yet. My husband has been employed by a homebuilder here in Vegas for over 9 years and because of cut backs, lay offs and the poor economy, he is now making the same amount as he did when he started with the company. The only good thing about my losing my job is, just as LILHLFPINT said, I now have plenty of time to work out. I don't stress eat, but I have found myself having a few more cocktails than I normally do. This also contributges to my weight, but I'm trying vedry hard to be optomistic about the whole thing. Report
I was laid off in early December. My husband has a good job with the state so not likely to be laid-off. We are asking each other "Is this a need or a want?" (Lots of wants masquerade as needs.) Weirdly enough, we are being able to save a bit where we were not before. Report
I have allways used coupons but now if I don't have a coupon I don't buy it unless it is something we absolutly need. My job has made a lot of cut back so that we an keep our jobs. I have learned how to shop thrifty and cut back on a lot of unecessary spending. I stay on my daughter about turning lights off in rooms when we are not in them and taking 5 minute showers. It has help a lot. We have also found ways to entertain ourselves at home. (board games, small projects around the house, long talks, working out at home) Report
I'm always been FRUGAL and the type of person who "saved for a rainy day" and now that it is POURING outside, I'm not upset. I don't have a mortgage and I don't owe people, because I wasn't raised to buy on credit. I don't have a BIG SCREEN TV or Cable or a new car, etc. I have a computer because it is worth its use for my child's school work, etc. Report
I have a new administrator who is a tyrrant, there has been a massive Reduction in Force in the school district I work in and everyone's have been in jeapordy. I want to move back to CA but the situation is even worse there for educators. So I stay put in an unstable district with an impossible boss because the alternative is worse! And how does this affect my lifestyle? Most importantly, I am grateful for what I have: my health, friends, family and the fact I do still have a job. I handle the stress of it all by running and weight training. Everything is right in the world after a run. It brings clarity and peace. Report
My husband switched jobs just before the company went bankrupt. We could see the handwriting on the wall when they cancelled the Christmas party and company picnic.... His new job is great, but we are concerned about the economy (last hired, first fired? Let's hope not!) He is commuting to his new job, and I resigned from my teaching job effective in June...I am trying to get hired with the school distric where we want to move. I have a phone "screening interview" this week. I've never had one of those before...don't know what to expect. But I guess it is a good thing that they responded to my resume and want to "screen" me. My heart goes out to all who are suffering the "slings and arrows" of this unpredictable economy. We are definitely saving all we can, because tomorrow that could be us..... Report
I don't think my husband or I will lose our jobs, but people are spending less money so there has been less business at both of our jobs. My brother was let go from his job on 1/20. Luckily he got a good severance package, but he will still need to get a job. I am worried about when my husband switches jobs in April. I don't think many people will be spending money on additions, decks, etc. Depending on the kind of winter we have he might get some roofing jobs, but people will want them done in spring and not in the fall. I know things will work out somehow and we could be alot worse off so I am grateful for what we have. Report
I work for a homebuilder in Orlando, FL. We have gone from 375 employees to under 100 since the end of 2006 (8 layoffs and counting). We recently went through a reorganization that combined our division with the Tampa division. We are all taking on more work and more stress, while not getting raises for the past 2 years. My boss and close friend were let go during the reorganization. This last one really hit me hard. All the while, I keep hearing those dreaded words: "Just be thankful you have a job." I know that is supposed to be encouraging, but to me it just seems like an excuse for companies to do whatever they want and the employees should just take it because we need jobs. I have been here for almost 8 years, and used to love coming to work every day. Now I can't stand it. I am almost hoping to be on the next layoff list so I can take my severance package and run. Report
I ALWAYS eat more when I'm stressed, and it is usually really bad food. My stress comes from work and school (although they are related since I am a graduate teaching assistant). Report
Both my husband and I are lucky enough to still have our jobs. I am thankful everyday. Report
I have my own business, but I have seen business get slower. I am hopeful, that things will turn around soon. Report
Well, even the health care field is suffering. with the pt. census way down, axillary employees hours have been cut way back, but even the nurses are feeling this crunch, in that alot of us are not getting all our hours right now. We all take turns giving a day up and taking PTO. But then you end up eventually with no vacation time. It is the pits all over . BUT YES, we do need to get out and keep up our exercise, as it really does help allieviate depression!

God bless, and may we see things change for the better soon...though I am not optimistic.... Report
I live in Ohio and the jobs here are getting worse to come by ! Everybody is getting laid off or companys are closing there doors. I work for a lumber company and i deal with customers and other lumber companys buying products from us. We are a wholesaler and we have slowed down alot and really like for the economy to pick up. It is stressful for everyone and Just pray that things get better .. Report
I'm really encouraged and amazed by the inner strength and the optimistic spirit of all the comments in this thread! I believe this economic climate is making us realize that our purpose in life is not just to amass more things, but to love and help each other, and to have faith in God. Perhaps we will move away from the self-centered look out for number 1 attitude that has plagued us this past several decades. Report
I haven't been laid off, but hours were cut way back, and I've only been getting 4-8 hours per week. At least I still have a job, and my husband's job is secure since he is in the healthcare field. So, I'm very fortunate. Report
Just experienced nearly a week of no exercise, and impulse eating due to stress. Not job related, but due to the ice storm that hit the middle of the country this past week. Everything shut down, couldn't go to the gym -should have worked out at home but instead sat around wrapped up in blankets without power for 3 days (several people still don't have power - I was fortunate). I dont' know why after 3 very successful months of following a program of healthy eating and evercise, I found myself eating stuff like Cheetos, fried fish, mac n cheese, etc. Mostly whatever I could buy - since cooking at home was limited. I rarely eat at fast food restaurants and when I do, I get a salad. But this week, I was eating the cheeseburgers and fries! Why - I guess it was because my routine was tossed upside down and I was seeking comfort food. I did finally get busy, easier to stay warm when moving! I am looking forward to Monday morning - Monday is always a good day to "start a new". The gym is now open and after throwing out nearly every thing in my fridge, I picked up fresh veggies and fruits today and restocked. I am ready. Report
WOW! I live in New Zealand and I hadn't realised how bad it really is for people in the US and UK. Have read things in the newspaper but it's not the same to read about peoples lives and see their photo. Things are starting to tighten here but nothing like what I am reading about. Our banking system is solid, however high risk finance companies have had huge losses which impact on elderly and soon to retire people, as that was their savings gone. Our economy is reliant on exporting meat, dairy products, wool, fruit etc. We also import of course and the US dollar etc play a huge part, also the price of petrol. Presently I would estimate that my husband and I would spend near on $100 per week on petrol alone. But I am truly grateful for all that we have and am definitely not a materialistic person so I don't want for much. I am sure when the cycle repeats itself and things improve there would be so many lessons learnt, so often people look for the quick fixes, so much is disposable you just buy another one, interesting to read people returning to education, I am 42 and this will be my 3rd year at university, the path my life took made it available for me, sure I miss my own salary, my husband supports me and I intend to support him when I am qualified and he can spend time with our daughter as I am now. Best wishes to you all and I hear others using their extra time to increase or make exercise a priority, it will certainly stand you in good steed. Good luck everyone and just remember when things are tough, this time will pass, and you will all be the more resilient and creative to get through these times. Best wishes to you all
Sharon Report
Although I've dealt with financial stress for decades, this economy has caused instability in my husband's job that we never really considered possible - he's worked there for 35 years! His hours have been drastically cut, and for months we've been using our emergency fund to make ends meet. Biggest change for us, one I'd been trying to implement for health reasons, is we haven't gong out to eat for months, and hubby has drastically reduced his fast food purchases. Luckily, I'm a sale hound and we have a very large pantry, so instead of going to the grocery store (before, twice a week average - now, maybe twice a month), we dig into our reserves, the back of the cabinets and shelves, and eat what we have on hand. Report
It's true because I have been very stress the past month, and the execising has helped me a lot. Report
My company closed in September of 2007 putting 800 people out of work. I, too, only have a high school diploma. Most companies where I live are laying off right now putting thousands of workers out of a job, and there are very few jobs available. I am a single woman trying to make it on my own, and it is very stressful. My job loss has affected me both positive and negative ways. I have enrolled in school to get a degree in accounting....thank goodness for online schools these days! I have to go part time because that is all the funding for which I could qualify ...lol even being unemployed! But it is a start. On the negative side, I worry about paying my mortgage and keeping a roof over mine and my mom's head since she lives with me. All I can do is just keep applying and pray that the Lord will provide a job soon. I have great faith in God to provide what I need, and this could possibly be the answer to my prayer for a better job! Sometimes the Lord does work in mysterious ways. Report
My company closed their doors in Dec. of 07. I had worked there for 21+ years. I have been looking for employment ever since. It is not that easy for the over 50 employee. I had worked through the ranks up to Purchasing/Planninhg on a high school diploma. That is not good enough any more. That is really hurting me right now and going back to school or relocating is not an option. I just keep putting in applications in hopes that someone will look at my experience and not only my education. My husband came home last week and after several company lay-offs they have put him and the remainder of the employees on 35 hour weeks.
There will be better days! We just need to hang in there and support each other as we go. And the Spark Community is a great place for support. God Bless! Report
Coach... you are ALWAYS 'here' for us, so it really makes me angry to learn that you're 'in the same boat' with those of us that's jobless. I got a lot of support from SP people- some cried for me, prayed for me, ranted and raved with me... made me one of their SparkFriends... PLUS... I got help from articles like-
Other Resource: Bad Bosses Are Hard on the Heart from Health Day
which really helped me to see that, perhaps THAT boss was a very VERY bad boss!! You can find the article 'saved' on my SparkPage, along with YOUR article-
dailySpark Entry: 10 Lessons Learned in My 3-Year SparkPeople Journey

1. don't expect change overnight
2.thought changes quicker than body
3.let go of perfectionist's guilt
4.no scale determines my worth
5.detours aren't the end of my journey
6.healthy lifestyle is my lifelong endeavor
7.accept help (you're RIGHT, Nancy, SP is a 'mother lode' of PRICELESS people)
8.forgive my could’ves, would’ves, should’ves
9.find my passions- accept challenges
10. I'm where I'm at today & I'll give it all I've got

Nearly all of our savings are spent (used to sustain 'life' since November) but EXERCISE really helps to keep stress WAY down, and... money can always be saved again... also... have a few mid-week interviews coming up... sooo... all will 'balance' in the end!!

I will definitely KEEP you in my thoughts and prayers, Coach!!
Annie Report
My husband's work hours were cut in half so we have been economizing in every way. I'm not pessimistic though as it has been beneficial in that I'm not tempted to buy junk food or eat out. Every penny counts and I am spending it wisely. Report
I work part-time (only 10 hrs. per week)! My husband was laid off right before Christmas. We had just started saving so we can make it a few more months. We've gone from $250 a week on groceries to $120. I'm vegan and my husband is becoming moreso so it's helping with the cooking and the price of not buying meat. Our biggest problem is if he doesn't start work soon we will have to move from Illinois back to Massachusetts where our families are. We are also very fortunate to have a free gym at our apt. complex and have been using it more since we never go out. Report
With all of the lay-offs and people being low on funds and/or trying to save money people tend to do things themselves or go without hiring lawn care help and I think it will be a rough the years to come. I am trying to keep myself above water and hope the healthier I become the easier it will be to keep above it. Having free access to so much helpful, healthy articles is amazing and so many people wanting to help support each other really helps keep things in perspective for me. Report
In Feb 2008, I was laid off from what I thought was a secure job at a bank. I had worked at the bank in various jobs, in various departments, for 32 years. The department I was in found it cheaper to hire temp workers, so they laid off several full-time, tenured staff. I was 51 years old at the time, and having spent all of my adult life at one company, it was not easy to find another job.

It took me 8 months, but I did land another job and I felt truly blessed. It paid me more money than my last job at the bank, I got to work from home 2-3 days a week, and on the days when I did go into the office the work atmosphere was wonderful. Life was good -- for 6 weeks, anyway.

Turns out I arrived at the new company just in time for THEIR restructuring! 200 people were laid off in Nov 2008, and twice in one year I found myself escorted to the street and jobless.

I turned 52 last month, and am still jobless. My weight loss and exercise plans have totally tanked in the past year. I am at home, so is the food, and I keep snacking. I am actively seeking work, but the events of the last year have taken their toll and admittedly, my heart really isn't into it.

I would love to retire, and I find myself wishing my life away, counting the days and months until I reach age 60, when I can start collecting my bank and government pensions.

Still, in many respects, I'm lucky. I saved some money from my years of employment and did receive a severance package from the bank, so I can pay my bills while I continue to look for work. My heart goes out to young people with mortgages and small kids who are struggling. Report
Well, my husband and I sold the part time business we had owned for a decade because of health problems I was experiencing back in May 08. Then almost immediatly gas was up to $4.50 a gallon! I was thinking that since my husband has been with his job for about 22 yrs he would be safe from layoff but after reading some of the others comments I see that amount of time on the job is not really a reason to feel secure.
My mother got "fired" from her very good job about 2 yrs ago. She was months away from being able to retire and her boss was looking for any reason to get rid of her. So she has been living on unemployment, moved in with my sister and lost her house. So this and the plight of other close friends has been difficult to deal with. Also when you are doing OK financially in a very bad financial climate it can cause feelings of guilt. Report
The business my husband works for has given their employees a Christmas party with door prizes, a Christmas lunch out for each of their teams and a Christmas bonus every year, this year not one of these things was done. They've stopped an expansion they were working on and they've announced that there won't be raises this year. Now he doesn't seem to think we should be worried, but I'm pretty nervous. My employer was bought out this year and I have NO clue what's going to happen to my job and I won't know for another 6 months or so. We've got two in college and one still in high school. Yes, I can feel the stress, big time! Report
I work in a gym so my work is more demanding these days than ever. But I have to agree that during time like this, it's very important to find way to reduce your daily stress. Exercise definitely is one of the best ways. I also pay attention to what I eat and try to avoid watching too much news (especially nation and international news) because most of the time they make me depressed. Report
I work full time in the healthcare profession, my husband has worked for the same company for the last 21 years, and learned this past week that they are shutting down for the next two weeks. This comes again, after having other plant wide shutdowns due to the economy, and as long as he has been there he has never seen it this bad. Report
My husband was laid off from his UNION job on the 31st of December, and I have not really been coping. More like hiding on the computer. I get up, do my routine and jump online until something like 1 AM the next day. Get about 5 hours sleep and do it again.

There is a possiblility of him getting called back in Mid-March, but it is not definate. As a matter of fact, due to this situation, I have had to go without necessary medicaiton and that was not good. I just got one back on Wednesday.

Cobra is a joke for the three of us too. It is so expensive. How are you expected to pay that, plus your other bills in a month. It is ridiculous.

I am currently researching other resources to get assistance for me at least. My son has healthy start and that is a life saver.

So, for the layoff situation, I personally am not coping that well. Gair goes and talks to friends all the time and leaves me here on the computer. Story of my life.....lol. I am throwing myself into my workout too.

Sorry about venting about the insurance, but is TRULY is RIDICULOUS!!!!!!!!

Have a good day,
no, the company i work for actually recently hired some more ppl. i'm fortunate to be in a field which is not affected by the crisis. I also freelance from time to time so there's always work available ; fortunately our family hasn't been affected by the crisis in any way so by now our lives have not been influenced too much by the crisis; the prices are spiking though so I need to find new ways to buy cheap healthy food Report
As always, your insights are amazing! Thank you again for sharing and I wish you and your family (and others in the same position) the best.

Exercise and maintaining a healthy routine are ABSOLUTELY essential to sanity in these times. Sometimes that is not enough to have good health, but even in those cases it sure helps. No matter what comes along, there are a lot of little things we can all do to help others and support others...and ourselves as well. Maybe we can just try to take care of the little things (like our heallthy attitudes and the welfare of others) and the big things will therefore take care of themselves.

The proverbial sword of Damocles has been hanging over our heads for a long time. I am a stay at home mom and care for my infant nephew. It brings in a few dollars a month. S/O works full time for a company who has down-sized every year since I was pregnant with our six year old. That's a lot of years to hold your breath and wonder if this Bloody Monday it will be us on the chopping block.

Our saving grace has been Spark. I use what I learn here to keep my family moving forward; to not let fear, anger, uncertainty, and depression rule us.

Thanks for writing this great article. Report
Wow, what a topic. Can I relate. First off I was a single mom head of household no support for the entire time I and going into. I worked for a fortune 500 for 13 years then went to another for 8.5 only to be laid off after funding was cut for my contract this past March 08. Unemployed until Sept 08.

Relocated mind you to a new city for this new job and I was downsized 4 months later. I was in shock. I took the job that I did 20 years ago becasue I needed work pronto all knowing I was finally going to push for a business that I had been wanting to build since 92. My offical scheduled day was Feb 1st and I expect it to explode. I have been working hard to get things set up for two months because I knew what is going to happen with all the job cuts but I expected to do both for at least a few months or longer..Workaholic here~~

I always wanted to be able to work at home, for myself with like minded people but never had the confidence to take the plunge. Well, I did and I am so happy I cant stand it.

This down time has given me time to find myself and really know who I am again or the new me that I am designing. The changes are happening so fast I cant keep up with the changes. SPARKPEOPLE has been a bit contributor my getting myself together.Just not in weight or exercise but this place really makes me think about all goals and what I want to become.

I believe what you have going on outside is a result of what is going on inside, make sense? I have made some great friends who I now work with, my self confidence is awesome and I can truely say I love me and my new life. Now I am finally getting the hang of all the different parts of SparkPeople and using it to the max. I actually spent time today at the store shopping to make recipes and talked and talked to everyone..I think I will have two new Sparkbuddies and met new friends to boot. I had a blast.

So..that said. Being here is such a huge accomplishment to designing the new you. When you are happy inside people cant help but just love you and being around you..it is contagious then good things start to happen and you wonder "Why didn't I do this a long time ago". Everything happens for a reason and there is somone "up there" who knows better than we do. Sometimes I think well...I asked, begged and pleaded to you for help but you could have given a little notice.

So pat yourself on the back and look at all the wonderful blessings that are right in front of you, you are doing great. Keeping this entire palce in my prayers.

Love Diana Report
I, or my husband (he's not likely to either) haven't been laid-off, yet perhaps, but my husband and I are still feeling the pinch. The budget is tight and we only buy/spend what we have budgeted for. We have started fortnightly food shopping, which has turned out to be much cheaper, but the fresh fruit tends not to last.
At my part-time job we have the treat of our hours being cut back, I only do 3 hours 5 times a week so it's a big thing, along with a policy of on over-time being implemented.
It can be hard and stressful at times, but it shows what really matters in life - health and happiness. Report
I was forced out of my job of 23+ years my Bose was getting rid of employees that made any kind of money it cut into his bonuses to keep on people that made any kind of money.. it has been almost a year for me .. I was never so happy after i got over the shock of not having a job.. my husband is retired military.. i get unemployment and that is keeping us going.. we still may have to sell are house.. down sizing is happening.. It is hard with 3 kid in school.. But these companies do not care what they could be doing to people.. It is so sad ...I still miss the people that i worked with all the years that i did.. I was a great employee i would always go in to work if i was needed.. work all Th hours that he need me to.. to have him start with his saying that i was not doing a good job.. I may take a new job soon but for now i am happy to be at home.. I had to work all the time when my kids were baby's and i missed out on a lot of the thing when my kids were baby's.I am just glad that my parents took care of them for me.It is hard to take a job when i make more on unemployment then most job that i could get.. I want to get my health back and feel good about my self before i try for a new job.. Report