Economic upheaval continues to dominate news headlines and affect our work and home lives in perplexing ways. On any given day, it can seem as though the entire world is on the verge of collapse. Basic living expenses are increasingly outpacing salaries, and mounting pressures and responsibilities are putting fetters on our happiness and ability to genuinely believe that brighter days are ahead.

To be blunt, why wouldn’t we be cranky? Around this time last year, many of us were riding high on the “Great Recession is over” wave, cautiously optimistic that financial cards would start stacking up in our favor after several long years of cutbacks, hiring freezes, virtually insurmountable workloads, and fear, persistent fear—about losing everything.

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