With the economy sinking like a brick in the ocean, the publishing industry is being hit as hard as any other. People can get most of their news, entertainment and just plain good reading material for free on the internet, so why pay?
A surprising contrast to this is in the area of health and fitness. While many magazines are closing their pages (and their doors) permanently, Runners World, Women's Health and Organic Gardening are experiencing growing circulations. What does this tell us?
I think it reveals a creative pursuit of self-preservation.We can't control the economy; loss of job, overdue bills, rising cost of healthcare and there's nothing very promising on the horizon. What we can control is our own bodies. The doom and gloom of economic indicators make us feel lousy and we're looking for something- anythingt hat makes us feel better.
Perhaps people are finding out from experience that what all those "experts" have been telling us for years is true. When we take care of ourselves we feel better. Running and other intense exercise gives us an endorphin and serotonin boost. Ahh, a natural high and antidepressant. Gardening can help us achieve a Zen-like peace. Eating well can strengthen our immune systems, give us more energy and help our minds be clearer.
It's all about control. Feeling better is within our grasp and doesn't cost much. Most of us can invest in a pair of good training shoes,a few baby petunias to plant and to buy healthy foods instead of Taco Bell. Apparently we can also afford to pay the subscription price for magazines to encourage and educate us on how to do those things better.
"When I hike up the mountain my mind is able to release the demands of the day," says Marilynn Beck. "I focus my attention on the beauty of nature and on how good my body feels in response to the effort." Beck embraces a lifestyle filled to capacity with the three tenets above. She hikes and does yoga, eats as much organic food as possible and surrounds herself with plants and flowers.
"Living life this way is how I show God that I appreciate and take care of the gifts He's given me," Beck continues. "Even when very difficult circumstances arise I don't have to let my emotions hit bottom. I step away and do something that keeps me healthy and positive for myself and people around me."
In tough times it's easy to bust out the Chunky Monkey ice cream, sit on the couch and have a pity party. But according to the subscription surge in healthy lifestyle magazines, many Americans are making a better choice.
If the stress of a rotten economy is impacting your life you can engage in this alternative to desperation and fear. Continue to be wise with conservative spending habits and if you're unemployed don't give up the steady pursuit of a new position. But incorporate one or more of the choices above as we survive this tough time in history together.
Are you pumping up or slouching down during these challenging days? Comment here.