If you are not asking yourself this question you are doing yourself a mental disservice. Hey folks, as much as we loved the good old days, I mean six months ago, the day is gone. We are all in some form of transition; how you view your particular transition is paramount to the time it will take you to get through the tunnel.
One way to bail out your mind right now is to ask “what is the worst that could happen?”, If the answer is not going to jail or death, for you or someone close, you are off to a good start. The rest is a piece of cake. Worried about being homeless on the street? You could move down South where it is warm, but the truth is that the social programs are much better in the Northern States. Before they pull the plug on your electric, do some quick internet research on social programs available by state. With your last paycheck stock up on candles and either matches or those nifty butane lighters. Get a few of those garment shrink wrap bags and put your best suit (or dress) in there and suck out the air good. It may be awhile before you need it but when you do, let the air in and you will look better than your alley neighbor as you look for work once someone starts hiring again. Pack some playing cards and a harmonica to pass the hours. If you have a guitar, bring it with you, it will be a good source of revenue.
Do not worry too much about food, if anything peanut butter and crackers, but there should be plenty of government sponsored food shelters around. All the donations you made to the United Way, the Red Cross and the Salvation Army should really pay off now. If we can feed Somalia, they should be able to take care of 90 million or so of us (number based on 25-30% unemployment, as was seen in the great depression), so no worries with food. Water? Not so sure, just another reason to stay up North or at least in a state with lots of fresh water lakes. Health care will now be free to you so no worries there. Worried about your Car? Mass transit is due for a big time comeback, again no worries. Better yet, sell everything, house, car, gym membership now and buy a used Winnebago and a dirt bike, like in the movie Independence Day. Now you are surviving in style.
“So, that’s the worst that could happen? You mean all my credit card debt is gone? Sounds like a deal to me!” OK, Extreme? Yes. Out of the question? No. I am not wishing this on anyone, or advocating this strategy, yet; after all 70% of us will still have a job doing something. What I am trying to get you past is the paralyzing fear, or the agony of impending doom, or the suicidal or homicidal thoughts that so many of us may be feeling at some level. Many a hair is turning gray, many are losing sleep, many are losing weight, many dormant damaging genes are being awakened, and too many damaging arguments with spouses and kids are leaving irreparable mental scars.
Like cornered animals, our instincts are kicking in, are minds are in melt down, moving down the Maslow triangle like a diver on fast descent; plummeting from our goals of self actualization to our safety needs and descending perhaps even further to the basal physiological needs as a life under the viaduct would bring. But we will survive if we let ourselves. As Diogenes once said “No man is hurt but by himself”. Even in a life temporarily with no money, on the streets, you will survive physically. So if that’s the worst, anything above that is success mentally.
Realize that it is not the end, and the sun will come up tomorrow. If you look at things in this light it will take your mind out of the paralyzing vapor lock and allow more constructive enabling thoughts to emerge. It will allow you to re-evaluate where you are and what you are going to do the rest of today, and tomorrow. Just like you did when you graduated from High School, just like when you lost your last job, you will pick yourself up, re-evaluate your strengths, and you will seek out and find the next step in your journey, moving forward with confidence. Also remember that few saw this coming and most of all that you are not the one at fault. Pick yourself up and resolve to make tomorrow better than today, one step at a time. You’re OK.