I like to play something that I call the bad scenario game. The idea is to imagine a scenario that you could plausibly find yourself in that would cause you some level of hardship and create a theoretical plan for how to deal with it. For example:
Say tomorrow I lost my job. What would I do in the short term (next couple of days), medium term (months) and long term.
- Immediately go to the bank and return my monthly mortgage payment to it's normal amount (I currently pay and extra 10% each month to pay it off faster)
- Take stock of everything I have laying around in various savings accounts
- Collect my last pay check and make sure that it will cover two months worth of expenses (which is pretty easy when you live of 50% of your income)
- Contact my disability insurance company and let them know that I lost my job (which means in two months time I would be able to start collecting disability benefits to the tune of $3,535.50 a month gross)
- Update resume
- Begin Master's program as planned
- Use disability payments to save the amount that would be required to support me between the end of November 2014 (when my disability payments run out) and April 2015 (when I would be finished my Master's degree
- Look for work as a Teachers Assistant and/or Research Assistant with my University
- Depending on my success for finding a TA/RA role, scope out possible RN jobs in the community that I would be physically able to handle
- Build portfolio of skills that would increase employability, which would likely include becoming involved in a number of different research and teaching areas
-Use Veteran's Affairs assistance and my priority hiring status to find a stable long term (physically undemanding) job
- Job search would likely extend beyond provincial borders, so I would prepare to transfer my qualifications from my current college to another one
The short and long of it is that there are a lot of things that I could do in the short and long term to recover from the crises. Some of these steps I have taken in the past when facing job lose some are unique to my current situation.
The point of the Bad Scenario Game is not to freak you out at all the things that could possibly go wrong in your life time. The point of the game is to prove to yourself that even when the worst happens (yes, bad things are going to happen in all of our lives) you have the capability of getting through it and being happy during the process.