Economic studies have looked into whether bad times are good for our health or not. Some positive benefits of economic down turn include less eating out and more meals prepared at home, increased time with family, and reduced work stress because production is down (kind of a glass is half full/half empty scenario). More details are in a recent NY Times article.
Times are stressful and money is tight. But instead of curling up in a fetal position and worrying, try taking control of the things over which you actually have control: Eating healthier, staying active, lowering stress with low cost, brain stimulating activities you can do at home with friends and family. Here are some suggestions:
- cut food costs by preparing foods at home instead of eating on the run
- plan potlucks with friends
- use the outdoors, things around your home and your own body weight as your gym.
- host wine tasting at home with friends
- take up a new or old hobby, preferably one that is low cost like quilting versus deep sea diving.
- save money and the environment: walk, bike, or do mass transit to get from point A to point B
- be a tourist in your own town
- grow your own food
- share bulk items with friends so you don't end up with a surplus that goes bad before you use it
- use your library!
Let me know what you're doing to cut costs and what you plan to keep in your budget.