Weathering the stress of today’s financial tornado

The current economy and budget cuts are putting financial pressure and stress on many families. Here are a few things to consider in dealing with the different circumstances.
How well you manage, and how well you come through this financial storm, depends upon many things – your experience in emergencies, your preparedness, and the choices you make.
A good approach is to consider what might be the best way to protect yourself, your family and friends.Under stress, we don’t necessarily think clearly, make good judgments, or manage emotions well.This is because the normal stress response is designed for short, critical emergencies, “fight-or-flight” situations. Over extended periods, the same stress chemicals inside of us begin to work against us rather than for us.
In general, higher stress results in poorer recollection, focus, concentration, memory, emotional management and behavior.
Online, self-guided help
To help faculty and staff better manage stress, WSU’s Human Resource Services has created a stress management website, at, which can be accessed with a WSU network ID and password. The site offers a self-guided program that offers methods of “turning down” stress levels and handling challenges, including diaphragmatic breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, imagery andalternative, positive self-talk.
Clearly, these steps will not prevent or take away all stress.However, it may improve your ability to manage those situations.
Take your time using these techniques.Don’t worry if they don’t have an immediate effect.Trust that there is strong science and research that has demonstrated the effectiveness of these techniques.Learn them, learn about yourself.Check in with yourself much more frequently than you may do now –thoughts, feelings, bodily tension and behaviors.Recognize when it’s time to use these skills.
On the outside:
Once you can focus better, you’ll be able to begin taking action.First learn what your options are.
People who are losing a job, experiencing job changes, or contending with related changes, should explore and utilize whatever resources are available. At WSU, resources and actions might include:
  • consulting with Human Resource Services
  • consulting with Employee Assistance Program
  • filing for unemployment
  • obtaining job search and resume writing help
  • defining new job expectations
  • communicating with other about these topics
  • supporting others impacted by the changes
Additional Resources
A column on this topic, titled HR Essentials, will be offered monthly online and promoted in WSU Announcements and on the HRS website. For a full-length version of this article, click here.
To find additional resources and useful information visit the HRS website at, call 509-335-4521 or e-mail

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