Losing your job amid a pandemic can cause unprecedented upheaval. The burden of financial constraint and loss of purpose due to unemployment is already stressful in itself. But going through it in the middle of a time like this brings a much different level of turmoil we wouldn’t have probably thought of in a lifetime.
Such a dramatic shift in your personal and professional life can make you feel like the world is coming to an end and it’s drowning you incessantly. If you’ve recently been furloughed or laid off, things may seem terribly bleak right now.
You may feel a wide range of emotions like guilt, anger, and pain or for some reason, you may feel numb and withdrawn. Even just the thought of hoping again seems like a far off feat. Your current situation may appear pointless and, honestly, I would probably feel the same if I am on your shoes.
But it’s not the end yet. This will pass and you’ll soon thank yourself for not giving up. In the meantime, you have to take care of your well-being especially your mental health.
What you’re going through is a serious matter and coming to terms with these setbacks or moving on could be a long way to go. But it has to start somewhere and it has to start with you.
With that said, I have a list of the things that could probably help you cope in a trying time like this.
How to Cope with Losing Your Job During a Pandemic
Give yourself some time and space to grieve
Losing your job can be devastating especially if you love what you’re doing and you view it more than just a way to make a living. The loss of your usual lifestyle can make you feel like your identity has gone astray, leaving you with an emotional rollercoaster to deal with.
Add it up with the uncertainty and danger of the pandemic today, the surge of confusion, pain, and even anger can be too much to handle. It’s crucial that you acknowledge this and give yourself some time to process things. Try not to get things bottled up and understand that what you’re feeling is valid.
So, by all means, let it out! Cry if you must or find a healthy outlet to express what you feel. If you allow yourself to mourn, you’ll be able to heal better and move on to your next step in life once you’re ready.
Be gentle with yourself as you try to accept the current reality
It’s also equally important that you avoid beating yourself up and wallowing over your job loss. You have to understand that while you may think that you’ve been laid off due to some mistakes or shortcomings, we are living in an extraordinary time.
This means that there’s a high possibility that your unemployment has little or nothing to do with your job performance. Some things, just like the current pandemic, are just out of your control. Be gentle with yourself and try to tone down the deafening voices inside your head that blame you for everything and call you a failure.
Watch out on how you talk to yourself and be reminded that what you’re going through right now is temporary. It’s a bumpy road but everything will smooth out soon. You are still in control of your life.
If you’re worried about struggling financially, perhaps you can find areas in your life that you can cut back to lower the expenses. It’s not going to be easy but you’ll make it through. Accept that this is your reality for now.
Structure your day and stick to a routine
When you no longer need to wake up early and go to the office every day, it’s easy to lose motivation and be tempted to just stay in bed. You must structure your day and follow a schedule as it can give you a sense of direction.
Start by sticking to simple routines like setting wake up and sleep times as well as shower and meal schedules. You can also incorporate your job search or other regular activities like an exercise in your routine.
Developing and constantly adhering to healthy habits can help you be more efficient and productive even while out of work. It can also boost your mood and make you feel accomplished.
Don’t let job search consume you
While you may feel like getting a new job is your top priority, it’s also important that you don’t push yourself too hard. Try to maintain balance in your life instead of obsessing on finding a job all day. I understand that you’re anxious but binging on job search is just not the way to go.
You have to make time for other activities and rest. Trust me, you’ll be more effective in your future job when you’re more present in your life today.
Get moving and eat well
I can’t stress enough how the physical activities affect our emotions and mood greatly. There’s even a pile of studies that can back it up! It’s more than just losing weight and improving your body (which, by the way, can boost your confidence). It’s also a powerful antidote to stress as it triggers the release of endorphins in your body.
You can even maximize its advantages and try doing activities that include focus like yoga. This can help you be more in tune with your body and how it moves.
Exercising also goes hand in hand with your diet. The last thing you want right now is to get sick and so, you must be mindful of what you put in your body. Try to opt for healthier alternatives. You can even go a bit further and try to grow your own food if possible.
And if you’re a drinker, consider limiting your alcohol consumption. It may seem like a great temporary escape, but too much can cause you more problems. So, drink in moderation!
See the unanticipated time off as an opportunity
Perhaps one of the best ways to build resilience at such a low point in your life is to find any silver lining. While having this uncertain pause can be disheartening, try to find any lesson from this experience. Take this loss as an opportunity to reflect and be better.
Clear your mind and ask yourself what it really is that you want in life. You can also utilize this time to do the things you’ve always wanted to do but didn’t have the time to do so.
Find hobbies that can keep you busy and maybe try to learn a thing or two. Make use of this time so that you can come out of this mess stronger and much more ready to take the world.
Try to reach out to your friends and loved ones for support
You may think that the best way to handle this situation is to just withdraw from your friends and family for whatever reasons. However, communicating with other people and telling them how you feel can greatly help you face these trying times better.
Taking the load off and talking to someone you trust can give you an outlet to your thoughts and emotions. Remember, you don’t have to go through this alone. Reach out to others and get some support.
It’s also important when you need professional help. There are a lot of available online support groups and mental health advocates who are more than happy to help you brace through this tough period.
And there you have it. I hope this list helps you cope with your situation and help you feel a bit better. Should finding work take you longer than anticipated, remember to keep your head up and just continue your daily goals.
Believe in yourself, stay focused, keep on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. You’ll soon find the job perfect for you. You are capable of doing anything as long as you put your heart on it.
Good luck and I’m rooting for your success!