There’s no two ways about it – Calgary is in trouble. With nearly 70,000 layoffs in Alberta throughout 2015 (and more to come), the drop in the price of oil, the weakening of the Loonie and recent changes in government, emotions are running very high in our city.
Whether you work in the Oil and Gas sector or not, it seems that everyone is feeling the trickle-down effect during these exceptionally challenging times. It’s tough in retail, food and beverage, the automotive industry and basically any luxury service. Everywhere you look, businesses are suffering and families are struggling to make ends meet. This downturn truly affects our spirit as Calgarians. When others are down, it’s easy for us to jump on the sad train. With the negative projections and all the doom and gloom, how do we get through this?
I’ve posed this question to Calgarians on social media. Here are a few of our combined suggestions:
- Be more patient and understanding (not everything is going to go the way we want it to. People are doing their best)
- Be kind! Remember that everyone is fighting this battle. Many are watching their business unravel or awaiting news about job cuts at their company. Kindness will be the biggest gift we can give one another.
- Volunteer. Lend your talents to others.
- Write to your MLA or MP and share your story with them. They take these letters seriously.
- Compliment others. Remind them about what they’re doing right!
- De-clutter your home and donate items you no longer use.
- Turn your basement or spare bedroom into affordable accommodation (win/win!)
- Support small, local businesses. Avoid the big conglomerates who will survive despite this downturn.
- Provide referrals and word of mouth for businesses who have provided you with great service!
- Donate to the food bank. Every little bit helps.
- Remember that our furry friends also need help. Donate blankets, pet food and old crates to local animal rescue organizations.
- Smile and say “hello” to those you pass on the street (that one’s from my Mom!)
- Offer words of encouragement to business owners. Tell them what you like about their business.
- Spread positivity!
- Remember what “first world problems” are!
- Remind ourselves daily of what we’re grateful for.
Something that we all have in common is concern for our loved ones and our beautiful city. Calgarians are resilient and we will get through this. Please take what you can from this list and show the world what Calgarians are made of! And, if nothing else, please just be kind.
If you have any other ideas please share them in the comments below.