Studies show that many people faced with home loss and housing uncertainty can take a tremendous hit to their health. If you’re going through difficult times, and worried you too may lose your home, what can you do to try to buffer or reclaim your health?
Here are some tips for ways to counteract some of the toll that constant stress (and the insomnia, distraction and desperation that go with it) can take on your health:
1) Make yourself a priority. In the frenzy of doing all you can to stay afloat, it can be easy to forget to take your pills, or to miss a doctor’s appointment, or even to start grabbing the cheapest, fastest food you can find – probably after you’ve skipped a meal. When you’re juggling too much, that’s when it’s most important to keep your health a priority. If you’re forgetting pills for a condition you already have, get help – use reminders, a pill box, enlist family and friends. Even when it feels like there’s no time – maybe even particularly when it feels like there’s no time – make nurturing yourself first on your to-do list. Eat thoughtfully before you get too hungry. Stock up on healthy alternatives and keep a list of those options handy, to avoid the pressure to choose something fast and unhealthy when you’re starved. Take the time to exercise. You can leave a ton of stress behind (dump it right into your sweaty tennis shoes after your power-walk). Think of exercise as your way of dosing yourself with health – and never skip a dose.
2) Recognize self-destructive tendencies for what they probably are – depression and despair. Bad things happen to good people. When economic crises happen, many of us can struggle with a sense of shame and blame. Those feelings can mutate into self-destructive tendencies – ranging from making poor food choices, or wasting days and weeks on the Internet, all the way to even making poor sexual choices. If you’re feeling hopeless or out of control, get help. There are crisis hotlines in many cities. Tell your doctor what you’re going through. Identify those moments when you’re feeling vulnerable and make a plan for what to do when you find yourself in that situation again.