By Jess Burnett Founder of Mind Traction, Mum of 3 and Secondary School teacher
Depression. Unemployment. Anxiety. Divorce — it’s dark, isn’t it? This is the sad reality of experiences written into the history books under the banner of ‘economic recession’. And, it is safe to say that the world is scared right now.
Australia is the latest of a long line of countries to confirm that in 2020 they are entering a recession; it’s first in almost 30 years. Typically characterised by a significant rise in the unemployment rate, a recession is a period when an economy is contracting rather than expanding.
It is no surprise given what 2020 has served up so far, that the world is on the brink of the largest global recession experienced since World War II, and things aren’t looking to flash.
So what does this all mean?
Well, it means a lot of negative stuff for a lot of people. Specifically, it means minimal jobs and minimal money. I’m sorry to say that this is going to be the case for at least the next few years. In Australia, some predictions are indicating that we won’t see our economy as we know it until the end of 2025.
While that all sounds pretty doom-and-gloom, it doesn’t have to be so when it comes to raising our kids. I’m a glass-half-full kind of person and I like to see what we can make of the situation we’ve been dealt.
The truth is, we all face adversity and stresses from time to time and our success is determined by our ability to adapt and emerge stronger than ever before. This is exactly how we must look at the current economic circumstance.
Sure, for many of us we are going to need to make some pretty significant sacrifices in our lives, but if we can accept those, we can survive this season and arise ready to conquer the next.
So, let me share 3 truths with you about why this recession will be good for your kids.
- A recession is a time to ask for help.
There is going to come a time during this recession when you are going to need to ask for help. Whether it is financial help, emotional help, relationship help or physical health help, whatever it is, don’t be ashamed and don’t hide it from your kids. Let them see the strength and resilience in you for seeking out the support you need and not giving up.
Being able to seek assistance in challenging times is a vital skill required for growth, development and life-long learning. Ultimately, if you want your children to find success in life, then they need to be resilient and have the skills to ask for help. Now is the perfect time to reinforce that with your kids and let them see it in action.
There are no prizes at the end for doing it on your own.
- It is a time to learn self-care
Although it might sound like a popular buzzword at the moment, self-care is a legitimate practice for mental health and building resilience. So, you are going to need to be doing a lot of it over the next few years! Use the extra time you might find yourself having during the recession to prepare your kids for life beyond the nest and teach some self-care strategies.
Promote positive lifestyle factors then take it to the next level by implementing some mindfulness strategies into your home. Practising mindfulness allows time and opportunity to ruminate on positive aspects of life and to express gratitude. You will have a happier, calmer and more appreciative kid.
There is also a bucket load of research out there to show that positive lifestyle factors such as nutrition, sleep, hydration and exercise can drastically reduce the impacts of anxiety and depression.
- A recession can help you find your purpose
When you develop your purpose you improve your self-worth and you grow in resilience. Let your kids see you being proactive about accepting the situation and taking steps to find your life purpose. Make the necessary changes you need in your life to ensure you emerge stronger than ever. Your kids need to see you rise during tough times if you are going to expect them to overcome their own life challenges. They need to see your motivation and your drive to keep going. They need to see you setting new goals and taking regular small steps towards achieving those goals.
Having a clearly defined purpose in life and a reason to keep going each day is going to make getting through this recession far easier. Teaching your kids how to find their purpose and supporting them to live that purpose will set them up for success once this global turmoil is over.
Resilience is a life skill, essential for success. It is our ability to adapt and bounce back when things don’t go to plan. Building resilience takes time and intentionality. This is exactly why a recession is a perfect time to cultivate these skills in your kids. You are going to be in this recession for a while, so use the time productively and create something positive out of it.
Don’t view this recession as a paralysing event, rather see it as a challenge there to be overcome and an opportunity for growth. Seek the help you need, focus on the parts of your life which you can control and create yourself a compelling reason to get out of bed each day. Then teach your kids to do the same.
Having a resilient mindset has a significant impact on how we succeed. The adversity and stress that will undoubtedly arise throughout this global predicament is the best time to reflect, refocus and grow.
You will thank yourself later.