Set aside worry time

    If you worry all the time, it keeps sending cortisol into your bloodstream and screwing up your organs. It’s called stress.

    So if you are unemployed, or someone is sick, or you are freaking out, concentrate on your breathing for 5 minutes three times a day. Take full breaths—imagined your lungs filling from the bottom (your stomach should pooch out, not suck in).

    Step using credit cards if you can. (This is always so hard to do.)

    Cut the restaurants. Even fast food is over $20 for a family. It’s usually cold anyhow.

    Check out all those coupons you used to toss.

    Stop waste—set the thermostat higher.

    Try to keep your paws off your 401(k).

    If someone owes you money—now’s the time. If they are short, ask if they can make payments.

    But above all, don’t just fester every minute. Read the kids a story or even write them one on the computer, take a walk, try out a new cheapster recipe, If you can concentrate, this might even be a good time to improve your sex life.

    Worry 15 minutes a day. If panic starts to slip in, say “Detach, detach” and turn to some distraction.

    No—not vodka.

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