Is The News Getting You Down? It Helps To Know We’re In It Together

Given the state of the economy, does reading the news stress you out? Probably.The news is stressful because times are hard. But its more complicated than that.Most of us keep a close eye on the news because we are anxious for signs of change. Hence, we get more stressed.Those of us who have been here before such as the big early 1980s recession already know that signs of progress are murky in the beginning of an economic recovery.The economy is multi-faceted, and there are usually contradictory trends taking place simultaneously.Today, for instance, we learn that U.S. banks posted their steepest decline in lending since 1942, which doesnt bode well for the economy.Last week, we learned U.S. manufacturing activity has been gathering strength, and major factories are gearing up to rehire workers, a positive economic indicator.The stock market is moving up and down. One day corporate reports show great gains. Another day its losses.Looking more closely at foodservice, the reports are anything but uniform.Commercial foodservice continues to suffer as consumers remain cautious spenders. Whether thats good or bad news for vending and onsite foodservice is a discussion unto itself; it depends on how the individual operator responds.What can we do?As a news editor, I feel some obligation to address the stress that these disparaging and disparate reports cause our readers.One way to deal with the stress is to recognize what we can and cannot do, and make sure we pay proper attention to the former.I find it helpful to make it a point to check in with friends and colleagues. On days when Im feeling down, they share a bit of good news that improves my mood.They, in turn, call me when theyre feeling down. I often find the reasons they are stressed are overblown, and I encourage them to put things into perspective. Doing this makes it easier for me to do the same thing.Being organized also helps.Setting goals with an action plan that organizes our time and making sure we stick to that plan are important.And as part of that plan, reach out to friends and colleagues.

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