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Dealing With Life-Altering Mega-Stress

By Judi Light Hopson Tribune News Service

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Judi Light Hopson, the author of the stress management book, "Cooling Stress Tips" shares some strategies to help people cope right now.

Tribune

Are you faced with gigantic issues such as reduced income, a family illness, or falling being in your mortgage payments?

If so, you are not alone. News agencies are reporting as many as 60 million people are skipping mortgage payments. Families are reporting increased health issues in their circles. And, the inability to foresee the future is affecting almost everyone.

Most of us can face daily stress or a few bumps in the road concerning our incomes. We can navigate family illnesses and sad times, such as divorce and death.

But how do we deal with several major issues hitting us all at once?

These strategies can help:

Face all of your biggest fears head on. For example, if you're worried you'll lose your home or your business, don't run from the truth. Instead, look at every single option you can think of. You'll find some control, if you search diligently.

-Break all of your problems down into manageable steps. Say to your family, "We will take specific actions, one by one, until we see some light at the end of the tunnel."

A realtor we'll call Andrea says she has three relatives who were facing foreclosure. A few weeks ago, Andrea helped them figure out steps to avoid worst-case scenarios.

"I advise all people to protect their home, above all," Andrea emphasizes.

"Two of my relatives have sold second cars they don't desperately need to catch up their mortgage payments. The third one, my aunt, actually worked out a way to swap her large home for a condominium. My cousin is moving into her home, paying her some cash difference, and helping her relocate to the condo."

Andrea advises talking with your mortgage lender in person. "Ask if they can give you a little leeway until you can get your money issues worked out," she emphasizes.

A business owner we'll call Jeffrey says he was on the verge of losing his computer repair business. Instead of panicking, Jeffrey sat down with his brother-in-law, Steve, to look at options.

"Steve helped me gain customers through our local university," says Jeffrey.

"Steve's two sons, who are students at the university, are doing curbside pickup for computers and other devices for me to repair, practicing sanitation measures at every step, and delivering them to me every other day.

"I charge a flat fee for repair work, not counting parts I might have to order, so most clients get their computers fixed for forty bucks. I do four repair jobs or upgrades per day, so I'm earning $200 per day working from home."

Staying flexible, until business returns to normal, will keep Jeffrey afloat.

A 50-something grandmother, whom we'll call Sandra, became the main guardian of three of her grandchildren this year. Sandra's daughter is fighting cancer and her son-in-law moved away, abandoning the family.

"I had to become the rock of our family," says Sandra. "I don't waste an ounce of energy worrying if I can do this. I have to do this."

Keeping her daughter's spirits up, parenting the kids, and not hating her son-in-law takes true grit.

"I tell the kids not to judge their dad too harshly," says Sandra. "Hate is a heavy emotion that will destroy you from the inside out. I tell the kids and my daughter to send out vibes of kindness only. Kindness will heal my daughter, and I know she'll get well and find love again."

This kind of attitude will ensure Sandra and her family will win their battles. ___ (Judi Light Hopson is author of the stress management book, "Cooling Stress Tips.") ___ Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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