Thursday, November 13, 2008

We’re All In This Together: Lynette Gives Roxy a Lesson on the Importance of Friendship in Troubled Times

I was surfing around the blogosphere yesterday and came across a thoughtful post on Lofty Matters about "Increasing Anxiety and Depression in Economic Recession." Lofty Matters shared the headlines from the American Psychological Association's online surveys about recent high levels of stress, along with a few of the economic statistics triggering these spikes in anxiety and depression. None of the information was surprising, but the post also offered sound advice and the following coping strategies to help with increasing and widespread anxiety in the midst of the current economic situation gripping the world:

  • Develop a "pause but not panic" approach to decision-making. We often want to react immediately to bad news but this can often make a problem worse.
  • Eliminate negative habits like gambling, substance abuse or overeating. Instead, engage in activities like exercise, meditation and hobbies. Roxy would add that people who recognize the warning signs of addictive behavior should seek out support through a local 12-step program such as Alcoholics Anonymous. While I have never attended a meeting, I have seen the results of these programs in action and have become a believer in the power of support groups.
  • Consider counseling if symptoms persist. You may find useful tools for sorting through emotions and options.
  • View these challenges as opportunities for growth. Look for ways to improve your professional skills, consider volunteering for work projects, and re-evaluate your planned career path. Roxy will be writing more about this concept in a future post based on the oldest self-help book in the world…Napoleon Hill's 1937 best seller, Think and Grow Rich.

All of this is a lead-in to a phone call I received from my good friend Lynette yesterday. Our families have been friends since the summer of 2004, when we met at a Westmont Montessori new family orientation, and we've stuck together through good times and bad. Lynette was calling to say that I had been on her mind, and to invite me over for lunch. She picked up my favorite Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks and a panini at Amazon Café in Chester, NJ. When I arrived, Lynette reminded me that it was the first anniversary of her mother's passing away last November, and I quickly found myself in tears at the kitchen table as Lynette began to talk optimistically about her mother's belief in the importance of friendship. While Lynette's mom was one of those fortunate people who made and kept dear friends all her life, including a kindergarten friend who attended her funeral, friendship doesn't come as easy or last as long for all of us. I do my best to keep in touch with my friends from high school and college, but distance and busy calendars often get in the way. My lunch with Lynette was a reminder of the importance of friendship in troubled times. I don't pretend to be smart enough to have the answers to our troubled economy, but I do know that the love and support our friends can go a long way to calm our stress.

I'm hoping this post will inspire each of you to make a phone call and reach out to a friend. Whether you're reaching out to lend your support or to ask for it, I guarantee that both you and your friend will be uplifted by making the effort. Pardon the High School Musical lyric, but we're all in this together.

Thanks, Lynette!


Rambler said...

I couldn't agree more! I love where you went with what I started with. Friends and family need to be the rocks that get each of us through these troubled times. Glad you have some rock-solid support in your life.

Mariuca said...

Hi Roxy! I agree with you, busy calendars & distance makes it hard to keep in touch with old friends, but I will make more of an effort after reading ur post. :):):)

Mariuca said...

I'm finally here today Roxy, starting my EC round really late eh? Also I think BE is down! And just when I was gonna join a BOTB he he! Let me know later if it's back up, and I'll surely start a 3-digit battle lol! ;)

Mariuca said...

Oh and Mariuca is here today YAY! :)

James Thomas said...


Great advice...

Anxiety and stress are closely connected these days... I've seen some pretty anxious people lately with all of the holiday, economic, election and wartime stress floating about...

For anyone who is interested, I've got some videos on stress issues up on my blog.. you can see my smiling face talking about my favorite subject: Stress Management!

All the best,

James T.

Kittie said...

A father alcoholic..;your post touches me