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How can we ensure our mental wellbeing during these times of financial hardship?

The current financial crisis is stressful, especially when people can see no way out of their difficulties and are increasingly concerned about being able to afford basics such as food, housing and healthcare. People suffering from flooding and poverty, whose lives are already under stress, will be more susceptible to shocks in their lives. Vientiane Times asked members of the public how they are coping with the difficult situation.


Mr Am Panyasith, a resident of Vientiane: There are a lot of things I’m worried about, such as money, the future, and job security. There are some practical pressures that are driving some of this anxiety. These thoughts can make me stressed and sad, so I try to take a break from watching the news and reading posts on social media. It’s good to be informed, but constantly hearing about inflation, the rising price of fuel and other items can be upsetting. I think it’s best to disconnect from phones, television and computer screens for a while. And I try to do other things in order to relax. There are things we can do to ease our stress so that we don’t live in a permanent state of alarm.
Ms Missana, an employee from Xayaboury province: The financial crunch is being felt in many countries, not just in Laos, and we must adapt as best we can. I try to find things to make me happy so that I don’t worry too much. After work I tend to my vegetable patch, as I’m growing my own vegetables to help reduce costs. I encourage everyone in my family not to buy anything that’s unnecessary, so that we can lower our household expenses. If we can focus on positive thinking it can give every day some value and bring more happiness to our lives.
Ms Phonemany Lormany, a resident of Vientiane province: These days, people who are already impoverished have been additionally affected by the recent floods, causing even more worry and stress. I think we have to find ways to stay calm and ride out the current difficulties. If we are happy, we will be healthy and more likely to be able to work and earn more money. And if we are healthy, we will have more strength. I try to exercise by jogging and playing sports, as well as eating and drinking things that are nutritious.
Mr Samlan Thammavongsa, a government official in Vientiane: It’s important that we find ways to cope, which means accepting that this situation will not last and is something that we cannot control. It’s important to face up to your problems, be rational when making decisions and not let your emotions get the better of you. Turn crisis into opportunity by doing things differently and engaging in activities that are fun and make you happy. A surfeit of information can cause anxiety so we should all treat the news with caution and only take notice of the facts.


By Lamphone Pasanthong
(Latest Update August 30, 2023)

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