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There’s Recess in Recession

By Debbie Mandel

During a workshop I was faced with someone throwing the gauntlet: “Okay sunshine girl what cheery bit of advice do you have about the recession?” I replied, “You know what they say what doesn’t kill you can make you stronger!” Here is the gist of the rest of the session: The recession can help you create recess in your life. Recess is often sneered at by academics as taking away much-needed time from learning, probably the first to be cut out of a child’s school day. However, research studies indicate that recess gives elementary school students an academic edge, boosts self-esteem and reduces stress. Children learn better after recess. Similarly, the recession can provide you with the benefits of rest and reflection. There is great productivity in rest: you come back better.

To the economy the benefits of the recession are:
  • Businesses which are weak and no longer serving a need die off.
  • Existing creative companies get a chance to grow with less competition.
  • New opportunities for implementing ideas which serve others are born
To people who are now jobless or have a reduced income, this is the time to see your work/ life with greater clarity, strengthen the weak links and come back stronger. Many of you feel burned out and have been going through the motions at work like robots. This is bad for your health, your spirit, your company and for the country. It’s time to slow down and collect your reserves to find a unique way to contribute.

Allow yourself to have fun. You are not wasting time when you have fun. You don’t have to be working to have any value. Blind adherence to conventional beliefs will suffocate your spontaneity and creativity. Make a fresh start.

Exercise your funny bone:
Wit is a creative process. When you use humor, you develop your mind to activate your imagination to put together the unexpected or insert a surprising comment in a familiar dialogue – this will transfer to other creative parts of your brain inspiring you to find a resilient solution. So, bring some play into your life even though it sounds counterintuitive to these sad times. The pendulum has to swing in order to attain balance. Can’t your heart sing today? Okay, so hum.
Debbie Mandel, MA is the author of Addicted to Stress: A Woman's 7 Step Program to Reclaim Joy and Spontaneity in Life, Changing Habits: The Caregivers' Total Workout and Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul, a stress-reduction specialist, motivational speaker, a personal trainer and mind/body lecturer. She is the host of the weekly Turn On Your Inner Light Show on WGBB AM1240 in New York City , produces a weekly wellness newsletter, and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. To learn more visit: