1. The economy IS going to improve, sooner rather than later. I really have no doubt about this.
2. Don't stress about your 401K balance, and your investments. Do you know how much the stock market has returned, on average, if you average every year since the inception of the stock market (in the late 1800's) to now? 11%. There's nowhere else that you'll get those kind of returns. So, just quit looking at your 401K statements, and keep quietly making your contributions and wait it out. It will turn around. It ALWAYS does. (No sense joining Brian Williams and the other nightly news anchors as they recruit members into the "Chicken Little" club.)
3. Despite the looks on the faces of every national news anchor in the country, the sky is NOT falling. Armageddon has NOT arrived. The end of the world is NOT here. Turn off your TV. Read a book. DON'T watch the national news. (If you must watch TV, watch a Seinfeld re-run.... ) (Remember the motto of the national news: "If it doesn't bleed, it doesn't lead." They're really a bunch of Drama Queens...)
4. SOON we'll have a new president. Fresh starts = FRESH HOPE = FRESH OPTIMISM.