Mastering crises: In times of need, “think about the positive things”

We asked our readers: How do you master crises? Many different proposals were received, here is a small selection.

Think about it before you go shopping: What do I really need?

The full effects of the crisis are not yet noticeable to me, but a first approach is: not to decide whether I buy in the supermarket or at the discounter, but what I really need to live. I don’t make the decision in the shop, but at home without influencing advertising.

Norbert Falkenhain, 72, Gelsenkirchen

Volunteer work makes you happier than shopping sprees




As a pensioner and born in 1950 (…) I experienced the coal crisis with mine closures, the energy crisis with car-free Sundays, but my family and I were not directly affected.


Personal crisis situations I experienced very well in the short term through self-inflicted excessive consumer behavior. My wife, whom I had just met, came to my rescue here, and she steered a strict austerity course with me: going out less, going to the disco less, buying fewer textiles, no more installment loans, save first, then buy. The personal desire for more, further, higher is no longer an issue. Sports club and helping to get involved in society on a voluntary basis makes you happier than shopping sprees.

Wolfgang Kramer, 72, Essen

The biggest problem: dealing with injustice

(…) Delivery problems, cold weather, etc. – I can deal with that well, I can be creative, I’m not too spoiled. Then comes the crisis of injustice. Everyone, in large companies, above all the public service, has many more rights and privileges than, for example, B. the workers in small trade, handicrafts etc. (…) I’m slowly getting jealous and angry. This is my biggest crisis to deal with. I can save a bit against the emptiness in my wallet, but without my boss it really doesn’t work.

If many around me get 3000 euros, I get the next crisis. My bottom line is, crises that I can pull myself out of have the potential to show me how strong and social I am. I find the gifts from the state the worst, that’s where the crisis starts for me, because I find them very unfair. I’m not so afraid of cold etc. I always think of Lesvos and the Ukrainians and I already feel privileged to live here.

Bettina Adolphy, 61, Bochum

No long journeys, turn off the lights, leave the car

How did you master crises? “Good question.” Save and save, if possible. No long journeys and only shopping for the most important things, turning off unnecessary lights, leaving the car at home, etc. We’re going to have a big crisis anyway, because winter and Christmas are just around the corner.

Rainer Lindemann, 67, Mülheim an der Ruhr

I can only advise everyone: First take a deep breath

(…) Of course there have been one or two crises to overcome in my life, but the current situation with the previous Corona crisis and the lockdown have brought me to the brink of despair personally. If you, like me, as a freelance trade fair representative, are banned from working overnight, it’s like a total crash on the freeway (…); but I can only advise everyone: first take a deep breath and concentrate on the still positive things in life. (…It makes) no sense (…) to rush into anything out of panic.

(…) Long walks in nature and deep breathing have always helped me so far, and so I wish everyone a lot of strength and positive energy to get through this turbulent time.

Uwe Lehmann, 64, Essen

Let’s put on ski sweaters and long underwear

I have been monitoring my expenses and income for years, and I can tell immediately how much money I still need for the month. So I immediately calculated what the explosion in energy prices would mean for our household as soon as the details became known. If there are new deductions or exorbitantly high bills at the end of the year, I already know what to expect.

My wife and I are fit for our age, if possible we walk a lot, the car stays in the garage. The environment and my wallet say thank you. In any case, we will set our living room temperature to 18 degrees. Then we’ll put on a ski sweater and long underwear.

(…) It is the comparison with the growing number of weaker people that signals to us that we have absolutely no reason to complain. At that age, you no longer have bigger dreams – travel, purchases, etc. Reasonable health, social contacts and an intact family, that’s what counts.

Pensioner, 79, Essen

There is a dire need to rethink the way we liveI’m still very happy with what I have. (…) Since I was born in 1942, I experienced and had to endure far worse times. In order to slow down climate change and the destruction of our nature, it is sorely necessary to rethink our way of life.

Joachim Malessa, 80, Dortmund
Faith and love are my most important alliesI have learned that true inner happiness and bliss is fed solely by God and a community with Him and not by any amount of money and great houses. (…) Even as a severely disabled early retiree, I live in a beautiful, good oasis in these desert times together with my wife Christina and with God, who also distracts me a lot on the inside. Faith and love are my most important friends and allies (…). They still guarantee me a good life with success and meaning.

Ulrich Hübner-Fueser; 54, Bottrop

Take advantage of special offers, cook for yourself, wash by hand

Not everything has become more expensive! On the contrary. Some are even cheaper than ten years ago! (…)

You just have to go through the world with open eyes and take advantage of special offers! Everyone gets the brochures at home. I don’t need strawberries or exotic foods in winter. Buying what the season offers is cheaper and healthier and also protects the climate!

Giving up meat would also be cheap and healthy. Cook it yourself, eg stew for two days.

We have to get off our high horse and not think that everything has to be available at all times. What about warring countries and developing countries? They really have reason to complain. There are food banks, thrift stores and furniture yards where you can get good, used stuff!

Save electricity by only turning on the heating when it’s really cold. Dress warmly beforehand and get on the couch with the blanket on. Instead of turning on the lights, use battery-powered fairy lights. Stop using the tumble dryer and hang it up instead. Rinse by hand (…). I think you can do a lot if you live more consciously. Then you can get by with less.

V. Bartas, 66, Bochum

Enjoy every day, look for solutions to problems

I have had to deal with two cancers in my life so far. The first illness hit me like a blow. But then I decided very quickly not to give my emotions the upper hand, not to brood over my thoughts for long, to approach the “problem” objectively and to quickly make a decision for treatment. In this way, I also managed to keep the grief in my personal environment within bounds. These experiences helped me with my second cancer.

Since then, I’ve lived even more according to the motto: Enjoy every day, don’t let problems and worries overwhelm you, but look for possible solutions – if necessary with the support of other people. This is my daily self-motivation for everything that is good for me and the drive for new experiences and insights.

With this attitude I also succeed in helping other people in dealing with problems.

Dieter Worse, 68, Gelsenkirchen

We would like to thank all readers for their letters – even if we were not able to publish all the ideas submitted and sometimes had to shorten the printed mails considerably.


More articles from this category can be found here: Rhine and Ruhr


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