Here's how to stay productive and empowered during a recession.

COVID-19 has done a number on the global economy in more ways than one. Industries of all types have felt the sting of shutdowns, new government regulations, and customers who can no longer patronize their businesses. With millions of Americans out of work and more hiring freezes than you can shake a stick at, it makes a lot of us ask, "Now what?"

While it's practical to tighten your belt in terms of spending and eschew large expenses, for the time being, there's no need to go into full-on famine mode. This economic lull is an ideal time to take a step back and figure out what you really want out of your career and life.

market crash

1. Create an Exercise Routine

Work out your frustrations by working up a regular sweat. Not only will you feel better afterward, but you'll also help keep yourself out of the doctor's office. Exercise is also a mood-booster to keep you feeling like you can accomplish anything.

2. Give School Another Go

Now is the perfect time to go back to school to either increase your knowledge in your current industry or change up your career path. The students in your cohort likely chose to go back to school for the same reason and you'll benefit from the expansion of your professional network. Who knows, your classmate's company might be hiring!

3. Deep-Dive Into Your Existing Skillset 

Along with hitting the books, expanding your know-how in your current role will pay off in more ways than one. Download podcasts, watch YouTube videos, read articles, or reach out to other industry professionals to see how your role could benefit from new business methods or the latest software.

4. Pay Off Debts

Get your own economic relief going by paying off as much outstanding debt as possible. Just thinking about looming high-interest rate debt is enough to make anyone feel powerless, so see where you can eliminate any debt and take more control over your finances.

5. Practice Gratitude

It may seem silly, but actively thinking about things that bring you joy and comfort will, in turn, give you a sense of peace and a will to keep going. Keep your chin up, look around and be thankful, and give the world the best you have. Recessions may be long, but they won't last forever.

Have any other tips for staying in fighting spirit during a recession? Let us know in the comments!