Staying Positive When Times Are Bad


The recession has not gotten any better. Food prices are rising. Gas is up, up, and away. Weather is terrible and causing untold hardships and much hurt and pain for people and whole cities and regions. Unemployment is high. Jobs scarce. Money tight.

Every where we look we hear and see a lot of hurt and pain. It is hard to stay positive when we see or experience so much pain and hurt.

But times like this are exactly when we need to be positive most of all.

When events seem to overwhelm try some of the activities or strategies below to help you through.

Strategies to Help You Through Tough Times

Take it one day at a time. That is the Alcoholics Anonymous mantra. Many times we can do something for just one day. So just concentrate on getting through this day. Scarlett O’Hara may have had it right all along: “I’ll think about that tomorrow.”

Breathe deeply. And breathe correctly. Most of us breathe shallow. Belly breathing is best and helps lessen stress as it gets more oxygen to every cell in your body. Click the following link for directions for Belly Breathing from Rutgers University: Breathing for Relaxation. This link also spells out the very real benefits of belly breathing. Sounds too simple. But it really does work!! I know from personal expereince that it does. You can also find YouTube videos showing how to Belly Breathe.

Listen to music. Doesn’t make any difference what kind. What ever helps you relax. I like to listen to soft romantic music before I go to bed. Relaxes me. Puts me in the right frame of mind for falling asleep.

Laugh. Laugh. Laugh. Watch comedies on TV. Rent your favorite comedy movie. Play with your children. Play games with your kids too, from Clue to Monopoly or just playing cards. There have to be a few laughs when you play games with children.

Sing. Sing. Sing.  With music or without. It is so easy to get music through computers, i-pods and all sorts of electronics it should be no problem to get some music to sing along to. Listen to what ever makes you feel good and lifts your spirits. Join a church choir. Sing with your children too. Get some CDs at the library and sing those old songs you loved as a kid. And don’t worry if you can’t sing on key. I learned the following philosophy from a priest in high school. He said, “If God gave you a bad voice, give it right back to him…….and loudly.”

Keep a gratitude journal. Write down three things each day that you are grateful for.

Volunteer. There are plenty of organizations who need volunteer help. Just call around or look in a newspaper. Schools are always looking for volunteers.

Watch your self talk; that is the things you say to yourself internally. Many times we beat up on our self with our self talk. ( “I shouldn’t have said that.” “They must think I am so dumb.” “How could I have been so stupid.”) Just because we think it doesn’t make it so. Monitor what you say to yourself about your self in your mind. Keep those thoughts positive. I did an entire post on Self Talk last October. You can read it by clicking this link:  Running On Optimum.

Hug Someone. Hugs can make you feel better. Really. Who knew??? How cool is this?  Yes, just simple hugs can make stressful times more bearable. According to MSN News, “A simple hug or just holding the hand of your loved ones can reduce their pain during the times of distress, a new study has found. The University of California study found that hugging and touching are associated with many health giving properties that help reduce stress and pain.”  [Emphasis mine.]  You can read the entire article by clicking the following link: Simple Hugs.

I am giving each of you reading this right now a big *HUG* and wishes for abundant blessings.

Featured Recipe    No Cook Tomato Sauce for Spaghetti

Today’s recipe is perfect for these hot and humid days we have been having. The only thing requiring heat is the water to cook the spaghetti. It is quick and easy too. And very delicious. It is filling too. You will want to use fresh basil and not dried.

I make this recipe by eye. In fact, I don’t really have a recipe. The ingredients are basically what I use on Bruschetta but instead I put it on spaghetti. So the following recipe is best guesstimates.

I just used plain ole tomatoes today. But you can use any kind of tomatoes: Roma, cherry, different colors, heirloom. I get what ever moves me the day I am at the store. What ever looks good, what ever is in sale. How I feel. What the weather is like. My choice is all so scientific! LOL

This is what you will need for 3 people:

About 3-4 medium or larger tomatoes

About 3-4 tablespoons olive oil

About 1-2 cloves garlic

About ¼ onion

Fresh basil; maybe 5-6 large leaves; just eyeball it


Salt and pepper to taste

Here is what you do:

Wash the tomatoes. Cut them into fourths. Remove the seeds, or at least some of them. The seeds do not bother me. So if you are observant you will see some seeds in my tomato slices.

Then cut each fourth into slices; and the slices into a dice. Place the tomato pieces into a bowl.

Add the salt and pepper.

You will probably want to use a garlic press for the garlic unless you can mince it very, very, very, very, VERY fine.

Press the garlic cloves right over the tomatoes into the bowl.

Mince the onion very fine and add to the bowl as well.

Add the olive oil.

Mix together well.

Let the sauce sit on the counter for at least 30 minutes. Do not refrigerate. You want the tomatoes to release some of their juices to make a nice sauce. I usually let it sit for about an hour.

When you are ready to eat put up a pot of water to cook the spaghetti according to package directions.

While the spaghetti is cooking prepare the basil. Roll a few leaves together length wise and slice into slivers.

OK. Raise your hand if you thought I forgot the basil? I did not. I do not like to put the basil in the sauce when I put it together as it gets too soggy. So I wait till I serve the meal. I slice it and put it on top of the sauce after it has been spooned onto the spaghetti. Looks nice and fresh this way and the taste is clean, clear, and crisp just as basil should be. Plus it just looks prettier than wet soggy basil in the sauce.

When cooked, drain the spaghetti. You can use the spaghetti hot, you can let it cool down a little, or run cold water over to make it cold. Your choice. I generally let it cool down a very short while.

Then plate your spaghetti and spoon the sauce over. Top with some of the fresh and not soggy basil slices.

Serve with a salad and some Italian bread.

Mmmmmm delicious!!!

Bon Appetit!!!! 


About 3-4 tomatoes             $2.61

About 3-4 tbspns olive oil     $0.48

About 1-2 cloves garlic         $0.12

About ¼ onion                   $0.18

Fresh basil                         $0.77

Spaghetti                           $0.75

Salt and pepper

Total Cost = $4.91
Cost per person = $1.64

Quote of the Day

God doesn’t require us to succeed; he only requires that you try.

Mother Teresa 


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5 comments to Staying Positive When Times Are Bad

  • You really know what to write when Roberta. You have such a wonderful heart.

  • Beautiful post, Roberta! Every night before going to bed I ask myself: “what am I grateful for today?” [check out I am a firm believer that we attract what we think 🙂 love the freshness of this no-cook tomato sauce. YUM!

  • […] “Staying positive when times are bad” a must read by my dear friend Roberta. She also shares a no-cook tomato sauce, so fresh and delicious! […]

  • I love all of your suggestions. And you are so right, it’s when things seem the darkest that we need to look the hardest for the light. The belly breathing thing is something I do frequently–very helpful.

    I think, however, that just because you say something Does make it so. Self talk can be very destructive or very constructive. Our thoughts become reality, and if we say to ourselves “I suck at _____” enough, then it really is so. If we say, “I never have enough money,” than it really becomes so, and is reinforced every time we say it. So, it’s more critical than ever to have positive self talk: “I am great at ______,” “I am a competent and knowledgeable person,” “I live in a world of abundance.” That doesn’t mean that we can sit back and not do anything else to change our circumstances, but if we can change our “internal tapes,” it makes it that much easier to break the cycle of negativity.

    Thanks for writing this–food for thought, indeed. And the fresh sauce–lovely! 🙂

  • […] “Staying positive when times are bad” a must read by my dear friend Roberta. She also shares a no-cook tomato sauce, so fresh and delicious! […]