How to Cope If You’ve Lost Your Job Amidst The Coronavirus Pandemic

Losing a job often equates to the grief of losing a loved one

There are a lot of questions going around about whether they will be given their salaries or not or will they be fired from their positions during this COVID-19 crisis.

Coronavirus has affected every sector, from jobs to schools-colleges education etc. With our current situation and the state of the global economy, there are much lower chances of landing a new job anytime soon.

Coronavirus has affected job market to a larger extent. It’s unclear when social distancing measures will end or what shape the economy will be in when you are able to return to work.

If you’re struggling to manage your mental health, however, it’s not a sign of weakness. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Talking to a therapist can help.

There are some things you can do to cope with the stress in a nice way if you’ve lost your job. Taking adequate care of your mental health by thinking positively and managing your distress will help you to cope with the stress level during this pandemic .

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Unemployment can lead to greater risk of stress

Here listed are some several reasons that why not having a job can have an affect on your psychological well-being :

  • Difficulty paying for basic necessities- Reduced income makes it difficult to purchase food and pay for housing. The associated stress makes it difficult to stay mentally healthy.
  • Reduced social interaction- Not at all having a job means reduced social interaction which will directly trigger your mood and mental health being.
  • Unhealthy coping skills may be more tempting- Some may respond to unemployment by cutting things that cost extra, while the others turn to unhealthy coping skills like drugs and alcohol, which can take a toll on health and well-being and can increase their stress level.
  • Lack of purpose- Not contributing to society and not bringing home any income to support the family can leave some people feeling as though their lives lack meaning and purpose.

    So there are two main things that you can do to manage your mental -

    a) health in this situation to take note of your unemployment status and

    b) secondly is addressing how you are feeling without a job.

How to deal with this problem

It's very important to take action for this problem when you are unemployed such as looking for resources that help you manage your financial strain and looking for employment opportunities. You can take action now to manage your finances and address your employment situation. These might include:

  • Apply for unemployment- Filing for unemployment may reduce your financial strain.
  • Look for new job opportunities- Searching for a good full time job will or actively searching for work can help you feel better. Here's where you should apply for jobs.
  • Create a budget- Creating a budget can help you gain a better sense of control over your financial situation. This will help you to have a better command of your financial position and will be of great relief.
  • Search for helpful resources- Whether you want to talk to a career counselor, or you’re looking for help with paying your electric bill, there may be resources available. Search for jobs on jobs and career portals.
  • Further your education- Taking classes for credit or signing up for an online course for your own enrichment could be helpful to your career and will enhance your knowledge in this crisis.
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  • Update your resume- Updating your resume (and asking for feedback from others) might increase your chances of landing a job if you start applying for new positions. Follow these resume writing tips to update your resume.

How to address with your emotional distress

There are many ways that you can address your emotional distress by:

  • Practicing good self-care - Getting adequate amount of sleep and eating a healthy diet is key to managing your distress. You have to take care of your body if you want your mind to function at an optimal level.
  • Maintain social interaction - While you may not be able to meet with your friends in person, it’s important to stay in contact. Positive social interaction can greatly improve your mental health and your state of mind .
  • Planning your day- Staying on a schedule can help you feel better. Create time to work on your job situation, time for leisure, and time to do things that help improve your mental health.
  • Induce in physical activities- Exercise is a key component to good mental health. During the pandemic, you may need to get a bit creative since most gyms are closed. So if you want to stay physically and mentally fit , then working out in your living room with an app or video can be a better alternative.
  • Reach for healthy coping skills- Writing in a journal, meditating, deep breathing, and yoga are just a few examples of healthy ways to relieve stress. Make sure you have plenty of healthy coping skills at your disposal, so that you can reach for something healthy .
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  • Eliminate unhealthy routine - You might be tempted to turn to things that give you some immediate relief like alcohol or food. But these things will cause more problems for you in the long term. So make unhealthy coping skills harder to access, and monitor your use. If you don’t want to accidentally create bigger problems or introduce new problems into your life, then it is advisable to not get prey to these habits .
  • Talk to a professional if you’re struggling- If you’re feeling depressed or anxious, or you’re having difficulty functioning, contact a mental health professional. Talk therapy or medication may help you feel better. Medical support will surely help you .
  • Pursuing hobbies or interests in leisure time- During this situation you can try to learn some new things and hobbies in your free time as this will help you to reduce the stress levels and stay happy in the long run.
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Resources that can help you

There are a lot of employment and financial opportunities that have become available during the coronavirus pandemic for individuals who have lost their jobs.

Whether you’re concerned about health insurance, or you’re having difficulty paying your utility bills just dial 211 which may be able to direct you to someone who will help in tackling this problem. They specialize in locating helpful resources, and it’s free of charge.

Some people may not want to acknowledge the depth of their loss of job. They may be inclined to say to themselves: ‘I shouldn’t be feeling this way when everybody at work has lost their job; it has nothing to do with me, so then why am I feeling this way?’

But when they understand the situation, they indeed are experiencing a loss, whether it was an eagerness , opportunity, hope, relationship, it often gives them this permission.

Moving on with what has happened

Accepting and moving on rather than thinking of what has happened will be better. Accepting you’ve been laid off will immensely help you as quickly as possible. Instead of ruminating too much about could have and should have, focus on creating an action plan for yourself.

Recognising this period may be one of the most difficult times in your career. Sometimes just realising something will be an uphill task is comforting when your life and career is not going as expected.

Update yourself with well awareness as this will likely be a marathon, not a sprint, so pace yourself.!

Written By :
Ashvin Bhaskar
Career Expert at CV Owl

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