Learn How To Cope With Job Loss And Deal With Unemployment Stress

Job loss can be shattering. These strategies can assist in managing the stress associated with unemployment and restoring your confidence. Even though losing a job can feel like an overwhelming stressor, there are lots of deeds you can do to manage the situation, keep your spirits up, and rediscover your purpose in life.

By Brad Nakase, Attorney

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The stress of a job loss

One of the most distressing things that may happen in anyone’s life is losing their job, whether it be through a layoff, downsizing, being asked to retire untimely, or noticeably declining contract work. Stress related to job loss can have a negative impact on relationships, mood, and general emotional and mental well-being in addition to the apparent financial hardship it might cause.

There’s often more to our employment than merely earning a living. They affect our perceptions of ourselves in addition to those of others. Even if you didn’t enjoy your work, it probably offered you a social connection and gave your life direction, structure, and significance. It can be upsetting, infuriating, or depressing to find yourself suddenly unemployed. You may be experiencing identity crises, mourning the losses in your life, or fearing what lies ahead.

Depending on what caused your job loss, you may believe that your employer deceived you, that you have no control over your life, or that you are to blame for a perceived flaw or error in yourself. If you have a legal questions concerning your job loss, please contact our employment attorney. It can feel like there is too much tension and worry. However, despite how dire things appear to be at the moment, hope exists. You may go on with your professional life, reduce your stress and worry, and accept these setbacks with appropriate coping mechanisms.

If the state of the economy has caused your job loss

Because of the worldwide pandemic, economic unpredictability, or other uncontrollable circumstances, a large number of workers have lost their employment or other means of income. Even if there’s no one to blame for these circumstances, that may not bring much solace when you are worried about your basic food costs and paying your expenses.

The uncertainty surrounding the recovery of the economy and the timing of job opportunities can easily overwhelm one. Realize that you are not the only one in this; a lot of us are currently dealing with similar fears. You should take additional measures to assist you in managing unpredictable events and an unclear future along with the following some basic strategies/tips for handling the stress of your job loss.

First tip for reducing stress from losing your job: Give yourself permission to grieve

A normal reaction to loss is grief, and losing one’s work is no exception. Being unemployed results in several significant losses, few of which could be as strenuous to deal with as losing regular income:

  • Having a sense of control over your existence.
  • Your identity as a professional.
  • How confident and how well you think of yourself.
  • A customary daily schedule.
  • A deliberate action.
  • One’s professional network and friendships.
  • The security that your family feels.

Accepting your emotions

There are good and bad ways to grieve your job loss, even though everyone experiences grief in various ways. Relying on comfort foods like junk food binges or excessive drinking might be effortless. But in the long run, these will just make you feel worse because they only offer temporary comfort. However, you can deal with the job loss and move on by accepting your emotions and disputing your negative beliefs.

  • Allow yourself some time to get used to the new situation. It may take some time to grieve a job loss and get used to being unemployed. Be kind to yourself and do not try to suppress your emotions. Even the worst, most awful feelings will go away if you give yourself permission to accept what you are feeling.
  • Write down your emotions. Discuss all of your feelings over your layoff or unemployment, including anything you feel you had or hadn’t communicated to your previous employer. If you felt that your layoff was handled insensitively, this is very healing.
  • Embrace the truth. Recognizing the difficulties associated with job loss is crucial, but it’s just as important to resist giving in to depression. Accept the circumstances around your job loss rather than obsessing over the injustice of it, how badly it was managed, how it could have been avoided, or how much smoother things in life would be if it hadn’t occurred. The sooner you take action, the faster you’ll be able to move on to the next chapter of your life.
  • Refrain from criticizing oneself. Being unemployed makes it simple to begin blaming or criticizing yourself. It’s crucial, nevertheless, to refrain from condemning yourself. While searching for new work, you’ll need to maintain your self-confidence. Face every unfavorable idea that crosses your mind. If you find yourself believing that you are a failure, record proof to the contrary in your diary/journal: “I was laid off because of the lockdown situation, not due to any incompetence at my job.”
  • Consider your loss of employment as a brief setback. The majority of accomplished individuals have gone through significant career setbacks, but they overcame them by getting back up, using what they learned from the exposure, and attempting again. It’s possible for you to follow suit.
  • Seek out any positive aspects. If you can learn from your job loss, the emotions brought on by losing your work are simpler to swallow. At a time when you’re feeling so down, that can be really challenging, but consider whether there is anything positive you can take away from the entire experience. You may have had time to reevaluate your priorities for your job and life goals as a result of being unemployed. It might have strengthened you. You might find something worthwhile if you search.

Tip 2: Reach out to people to stay resilient

During this trying period, it’s normal for you to isolate yourself from family and friends out of embarrassment or shame. When you are experiencing the strain of losing your work and being unemployed, however, remember the value of other people. The natural remedy for high tension is social interaction. Speaking with an active listener face-to-face is the best way to reduce your anxiety.

  • All you need is someone who can listen intently to you without getting sidetracked or becoming judgmental. It is not necessary for the listener to be able to provide solutions.
  • Not only can it significantly improve your mood, but interacting with others can give you a sense of control over your circumstances and one never knows what kind of chances might present themselves.
  • Although it may be in your best interest to keep your requests for assistance confidential due to feelings of pride, being upfront with others won’t make you their responsibility. Actually, the majority of individuals will be honored that you believe enough in them to share your personal things, and this will only improve your bond.

Making new connections after losing your job

Numerous individuals also lose the social connections and friendships they had formed at work when they leave their jobs. Expanding your social network beyond work is a never-ending task. Finding a new career and managing the stress of losing your current one can benefit greatly from it.

Make fresh connections. Attending a class or enrolling in a group like a sports team, supper club, or reading club might help you meet new people who share your interests.

Sign up for an employment club. Support, encouragement, and employment leads can be much appreciated by other job aspirants. It can be energizing and motivating to be around people going through similar struggles when you’re looking for work.

Make connections to find a job. Jobs that are filled through networking are almost always filled without any advertising. Even if you consider yourself to be socially awkward or don’t have many connections, networking doesn’t have to be scary or tough, especially when it comes to searching for a job.

Engage in local community affairs. Consider supporting your local place of worship, volunteering in the community, going to events, or getting involved in politics.

Tip 3: Seek assistance from your family and relatives

Don’t try to handle your troubles by yourself; unemployment impacts the entire family. Remaining silent about your job loss will simply exacerbate the circumstances. Even in these trying times, you can thrive with the support of your family.

Communicate with your family honestly. Even if you are proud of being strong and independent, now is the moment to rely on the family/friends who care about you, whether it’s to reduce stress or deal with the pain of losing your job. Let them know how they can help you and stay updated on your employment search.

Attend to their worries. In addition to their own security and future, your family is concerned about you. Allow them to share their worries and solicit advice on how to proceed with your job search.

Allocate time for enjoyable family activities. Allocate time for family enjoyment, where you may relax, have fun, and temporarily forget your job loss problems. This will keep everyone in the family happy.

Supporting kids as they adjust to a parent losing their job

The job loss of a parent can have a significant impact on children. They should be aware of what has transpired and how it can impact the family. Try not to overwhelm them with excessive financial or emotional information, though.

Maintain a line of communication with your kids. Since they compose their own thoughts, kids often imagine the worst, therefore the reality may not be as horrible as they think.

Remind your kids that nobody is to blame. Little ones might not comprehend the concept of job loss and may assume that you are to blame for it right away. Alternatively, they might think of themselves as financially burdened or responsible in some other way. Irrespective of their age, they require confidence in these regards.

Young people must believe that they are making a difference. They want to be of assistance, and giving them the opportunity to do so by giving up a portion of their allowance, postponing big purchases, or finding after-school work will help them feel like teammates.

Tip 4: Look for alternative ways to define who you are

A large number of us define and mold our identities through our work. Ultimately, one of the initial inquiries made by strangers is, “Where do you work?” We feel like we lose ourselves with job loss. It’s crucial to keep in mind, though, that being jobless need not define your identity. It all depends on you to define who you are, not the status of the company/economy or the choice of your employer to fire you.

Take part in things that make you happy and give your life meaning. You may reconfirm that these things—rather than your job status—define you as a person by pursuing important interests, pursuits, and connections. Select an item that holds significance for you, as everyone finds happiness and meaning in various ways.

Take up a long-forgotten pastime or attempt a new one that uplifts your soul. It’s time to join a sports club, enroll in a hobby class, or learn something new, like a foreign language or a skill connected to your line of work if you’ve put work above leisure activities. When finances are limited, seek out affordable activities to participate in.

Use creativity to express oneself. Create a blog, write memoirs, and learn to paint or snap pictures.

Take a moment off to enjoy nature. Take a relaxing walk, train your dog, work in your garden, go camping or fishing. Another excellent way to decompress is to spend time outside.

Volunteer. One of the best ways to keep your life meaningful and purposeful is to lend a helping hand to others or support a purpose that you believe in. Networking opportunities, social support, and professional experience can all be obtained through volunteering.

Tip 5: Move around to reduce stress

It’s critical to set aside time for exercise now if previous obligations at work keep you from doing so. Stress can be effectively combated by exercise. Exercise releases potent endorphins to lift your spirits in addition to loosening up stiff muscles and reducing tension throughout the body. Enhancing your physical appearance and losing weight might also help you feel more confident.

  • At least 30 minutes of exercise should be done each day, if possible, divided up into shorter 10-minute sessions. Your mood can improve for two hours with a ten-minute walk.
  • Engaging in limb-to-limb movement during rhythmic exercise is a very efficacious method for improving mood, boosting vitality, improving concentration, and promoting physical and mental relaxation. Try weightlifting, swimming, dancing, walking, running, or martial arts.
  • If you want to reduce tension as much as possible, try focusing on your body and how you feel when you move—for example, what it’s like to feel the breeze against your skin or hear your feet touching the ground.

Tip 6: Eat healthily to maintain focus

After you’ve lost your job and are struggling to manage a basic lifestyle, it may feel like the last thing on your mind to worry about is your diet. However, your energy and optimism levels can be greatly impacted by the foods you ingest in your body.

Reduce the amount of sugar and processed carbohydrates. Sugary and comfort foods like white bread, pasta, potatoes, and French fries may be on your mind, but these items quickly cause your mood and energy levels to plummet.

Eat fewer things that might make you feel depressed, like caffeine, foods with artificial preservatives, or foods high in hormones.

To improve your mood, increase your intake of Omega-3 fatty acids. The best possible sources include walnuts, seaweed, flaxseed, and fatty fish (herring, salmon, anchovies, mackerel, and sardines).

Stay away from nicotine. While smoking could appear soothing during stressful times, nicotine is a strong stimulant that raises anxiety and stress levels rather than lowers them.

Keep your alcohol intake in check. When the effects of alcohol wear off, excessive consumption might result in even more anxiety.

Tip 7: Look after yourself

Your well-being may suffer and you may become more susceptible to mental health issues as a result of the tension of losing your work and being unemployed. Taking care of oneself is more crucial than ever.

Ensure that your life is balanced. Refrain from letting your job hunt dominate you. Schedule leisure, rest, and enjoyment—whatever makes you feel good. Being in peak physical, mental, and emotional health will help your job hunt go more smoothly.

Make sure you get enough rest. Sleep has a major impact on your energy levels and happiness. Ensure to sleep for seven or eight hours each night. In your journey of job search, it will support you in managing your levels of stress and staying focused.

Use calming strategies. Stress can be effectively reduced by practicing relaxation practices including yoga, meditation, and deep breathing. They also increase your sense of happiness and tranquility and educate you on how to maintain composure under pressure, which includes job meetings.

Tip 8: Maintain your optimism to stay energized

The following advice might keep you motivated and focused if finding work is taking more time than you had planned.

Have a consistent daily schedule. Motivation can quickly evaporate when you don’t have a workplace to go to every day. Approach your quest for a job as though it were a job, with an every day “start” and “end” time, as well as set periods for networking and exercise. You’ll be more productive if you stick to a timetable.

Plan your job search. Divide large objectives into smaller, more doable tasks to prevent being overwhelmed. Make a list of priorities and avoid trying to execute everything at the same time. Take time to reconsider your objectives if you are not finding success in your job hunt.

Make a list of your positives. Jot down everything you appreciate about yourself, such as your abilities, character attributes, and achievements. Jot down your best projects, your best moments, and the abilities you’ve gained. To get reminded of your abilities, go through this list regularly.

Concentrate on the things under your control. You have no control over whether or not a prospective employer chooses to recruit you, or how fast they return your call. Consider what you can manage during your time, such as picking up new skills, creating a strong CV and cover letter, and scheduling meetings with your contacts, instead of wasting your limited time worrying about circumstances that are beyond your control.

Maintaining focus is important. It will be simpler for you to carry out your good intentions and take back control of your employment hunt if you can learn to regulate unsettling thoughts, tension, and challenging emotions.

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