Being laid off has it's advantages like more time with family, crossing off items on the to do list, no longer putting off that exercising because you are too tired. But one definite disadvantage to being laid off is that depression lurks around the corner to sneak up on you if you are diligent to keep watch.

I was doing really well keeping myself positive, working out and keeping myself busy with things to do, but my mind decided to dwell on the negative, nothing being accomplished part of it all. The first week of January, after the holidays had all wound down and I was done preparing, I got socked with some deep, don't-wanna-get-out-of-bed depression.

The house was starting to look pretty bad and when it starts to effect other people around me, I knew I had to try to snap myself out of it.  I wasn't in the mood to tromp over to the gym to get my adrenal gland going. Instead I decided to clean the house.

A recent study by Colorado University found: While controlling for age, race/ethnicity, and education level, Colorado adults who reported no leisure time physical activity were more than twice as likely to have been classified as having serious psychological distress compared to those who reported leisure time physical activity.
How does this relate to frugal living? Simple. It's not uncommon to find yourself in a personal finance depression where you don't see that things are changing. Sometimes taking a clean sweep of your finances can get you through the valley and moving back up the hill again.
Flickr/CC - Melissa Ann Barrett
  • Break It Up - When I started cleaning the house again, I broke it down into sections instead of taking it all in, that was too overwhelming. Financially when you look at the bigger picture it can be too much, break it down, look at what you are doing really well and take a moment to pat yourself on the back. Look at the areas that need improvements and take them on in small chunks.
  • Clean As You Go - Washing the dishes right away after dinner is better than letting them build up for a two hour deep clean later on. Apply that same idea, if you see you are making a mistake and spending money on frivolous items, take the temptation away, leave the cash or debit card at home. Keep the mistakes small and adjust as quick as you can.
  • Don't Procrastinate - It's easy to put off balancing the check book or updating the budget. But like putting off cleaning the bathroom, over time it will start to look very ugly. Try to remind yourself what the consequences will be if you delay the inevitable.
  • Keep Cleaning Supplies Handy - If you know where to find all solutions to your dirt and grime, it will make it easier to grab them and clean up. Likewise, keeping your budget, money and other resources in a central location will cut down on time and being easily distracted when you shouldn't be.
  • Grab Help - It's not hard to yell at other family members to help clean things up and make the cleaning go faster. The same goes with finance, grab help from the family and friends. Nothing is so sacred to not ask for help or resources when you feel yourself sinking.
If you have tried all that, remember, it may not be all that bad and most people improve within a few weeks, with and without outside help. You don’t have to resign yourself to a messy house while you deal with depression — by getting your home and your financial house in order, you will also rid yourself of a source of stress.


  1. Anonymous // Wednesday, January 26, 2011 8:23:00 AM  

    The best cure for depression is volunteer work. Go help someone out. Do you know an old woman who needs someone to shop for her or a ride to the doctor? Or babysit a friends children. Help a friend clean and organize there home. Or cook a meal for them. The possiblities are endless. It keeps your mind off your problems and makes you fell MUCH better. I know because i have been out of work for 17 months, and it has made a big difference.

  2. Anonymous // Wednesday, January 26, 2011 8:24:00 AM  

    Hold on Dawn! It can be a tough time especially right after the holidays. You are on the right path and I appreciate the reminder to start moving again as I have been overwhelmed lately with my lack of prospects. Sending you good thoughts!

  3. Dawn // Wednesday, January 26, 2011 7:23:00 PM  

    Thanks for the extra addition!

    Good thoughts sent back to you

  4. krantcents // Thursday, January 27, 2011 7:08:00 PM  

    Whether it is the stress of your personal finances, work or personal life, physical activity helps you become clearer in your thinking. I look for things that give me a feeling of accomplishments. If I feel good or feeling positive, I can tackle the hard stuff. I generally break it down into smaller tasks to give me that feeling of accomplishment.