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What is Recession Fatigue and How to Fight it?

What is Recession Fatigue and How to Fight it?

Recession fatigue is a situation of economic-helplessness wherein a person who has felt the burns of recession is not able to revive his economic activities again because of retrospection.
Foram Mehta
'Recession' is the word of the last decade. Economies and economic activities were shrinking, unemployment rates were rising, stock markets were crashing and the financial institutions were claiming bankruptcy; laymen were left in a state of shock.

What is Recession Fatigue?

It is something like a spiral malaise. It is a psychological state of trauma when a person constantly dreads losing his/her job as an effect of the economic recession. Psychologists have termed it as 'emotional contagion'. Recession fatigue is contagious. Which means that, if one person feels it, it is immediately transferred to others around that person.

Recession fatigue is a negativity in an economy. When recession attacks an economy all the economic factors are shaken. It begins with people losing their jobs, unstable stock markets, less expenditure that leads to diminution in production of goods; followed by fall in savings, investment, general demand to shrink in the economy. This is a temporary state when an economy is going through a turmoil; but it does recover.

With these disturbing movements in the economy everyone becomes skeptical and uncertain about their financial stand. To save themselves from the hands of recession, people stop spending on regular things like eating outside, watching movies, etc. Recession fatigue is more relevantly used for people who were still employed. People are scared of losing whatever they have.

Why Does It Spread?

"A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose yours."- Ronald Reagan.

Recession fatigue is contagious. A lot of the incrimination would go to the 24/7 news coverage by the media. When billions of people see negative things on TV, web and newspapers, it has similar effects on the viewers. To add to it, if one witnesses or hears about others losing their jobs he/she begin to fear it. In such a situation it is very rare to find someone who is optimistic.

Given below are the basic probable reasons why people felt the recession fatigue.

Lack of Savings
Imagine when you have no savings, no inherited wealth, you are already paying a huge EMI for your new Condo and you realize you might lose your job any day because of recession. How catastrophic would that feeling be? The saving rate in the U.S. is anyway low and when almost everything is on credit during a recession period, you are nearing bankruptcy. Developing countries have a higher saving rate, that is why developing economies didn't tremble as much. Therefore, having no financial back up is one of the major reasons why people felt financially fatigued.

Unreasonable/ Unrealistic Expectations on Returns
Investors seem to have had unrealistic expectation about how their stocks were going to react. When one is blindly believing that his investments are going to fetch him great returns, he will certainly break down when the opposite happens.

Therefore, lack of savings and unrealistic expectation from investments are the two major factors that led to recession fatigue.

Alleviating Recession Fatigue

Following are a few ways in which you curb recession fatigue lest recession blues affect your health severely.

Acknowledge It
The first step to fight against recession fatigue is by acknowledging the fact that people are going through it. This would involve talking to the employees openly about what the current situation is and tell them to not worry and that things will be better soon.

Bring the Confidence
It is very important that a leader should be optimistic himself. It's only a good leader that can actually keep the employees motivated in times of economic depression.

Maintain Transparency
Officials should keep their employees informed about what the current situation is. People freak out when they are skeptical about future events. Keep employees in the loop, be honest with them and let them know how they can take charge of their career at this stage. This will make it easier for them to accept the current scenario.

Bury the Past
It is very important for those who have suffered from the recession-crisis to move on. Starting all over again is an attitude that will help people from feeling fatigued. Companies will start employing again, you will get your salary and you will recover.

"Most, probably, of our decisions to do something positive, the full consequences of which will be drawn out over many days to come, can only be taken as the result of animal spirits - a spontaneous urge to action rather than inaction, and not as the outcome of a weighted average of quantitative benefits multiplied by quantitative probabilities." - J. M Keynes. What Keynes meant here is that, the way in which people in an economy think, that is how the economy will be embodied.

Seems like we have spent an eternity talking about recession. Everyone was distressed about their reduced salaries, losing jobs and unemployed getting no jobs at all. The 'R' word is something that we all are now sick of. Initially we were fretting, then we experienced the tornado and then we came out of it. When we retrospect, now that we all survived it, we don't have the fear anymore.