“SAVE for a rainy day” is a common expression. Well, it’s raining now, and the economy has not yet turned the corner. Everyone has to be prepared for more layoffs, warn government officials.

What good would worrying do? I believe everyone needs to be strong and optimistic and remember that this is a temporary situation. Like the 1997 and 2003 financial crises, this will also pass. Here are 10 tips on how to cope better during the recession.

1. Hard work

Hard work always brings success, though we may not see the results immediately. Take the example of harvesting rice. A good crop is the result of the steps the farmer took in the beginning of the planting cycle.

In other words, you reap what you sow. By working hard and adding value to your organisation, you lessen the chances of getting retrenched. And even if you are laid off, your diligence and a good testimonial from your former employer will help you find a job more quickly.

2. Thrift

Cut down on your spending and use your money wisely. Being thrifty now means having more money to spend in the future. Depending on your means, this could be as simple as taking one less holiday a year and one less trip to an expensive restaurant every month, or switching to cheaper house brands when you do your grocery shopping.

3. Focus

“Whatever we focus on, we move towards”, says motivational guru Anthony Robbins in his best-seller, Awaken The Giant Within. If you are looking for a job, focus on the task at hand and you will get that job. If you have a job, focus on what you need to do to keep it.

4. Learn

Instead of asking negative questions like, “Why did this happen?” or “Why me?”, you need to accept the fact that it has happened.

Learn from the current situation and do not repeat the same mistakes. For example, did you buy a home that was beyond your means? Did your lifestyle prevent you from saving money for “rainy days”? Find out how you can manage your money better, or make yourself more employable.

5. Exercise

This is something you can do for free, and the rewards are priceless. There is no need to visit expensive gyms. Just put on a pair of shoes and go for walk or climb the stairs at every opportunity. And keep your fitness programme going even when things get better.

6. Family and friends

One benefit of having more time on your hands now is that you can spend more time with those who mean a lot to you. Do a project with your child, have a movie night with your spouse, take your mother out for lunch, call your buddies for a chat. Investing in people you care about can bring immeasurable rewards.

7. Take up a hobby

Hobbies can help to reduce stress. Whether it is photography, baking or flower arranging, pick an activity you have always longed to do but never found the time for. You never know — your hobby may become a successful business.

8. Build up your savings

Economic cycles exist. Therefore, assuming that the economy recovers in 2010, the next recession could come as soon as 2015, depending on a variety of factors.

While you need to do things to recover from this recession, you also need to prepare for the next downturn. How do you grow your money wisely? Do as much research as possible and learn from the investment mistakes of the current downturn.

9. Network

You see daily examples of success through networking. All things being equal, the power of networking can open doors to opportunities that you did not know about. You need to harness this power. If you are looking for a job, having contacts really helps. If you are employed, having a network can help you advance in your career.

10.Count your blessings

Instead of focusing on what you have lost — a job, investments, or bonuses — focus on what you have. If you are healthy, have loving relationships with family and friends, a roof over your heads and are able to enjoy simple luxuries, count your blessings.

Stay positive and strive to be happy — you will come through the tough times happier and wiser.