Losing your job is stressful at the best of times. But losing it during the current pandemic is enough to send stress levels soaring even higher. Now it is more important than ever to look after your mental health.
The loss of certainty and lack of money coming in weekly causes so much fear. There is no end in sight amid global upheaval which adds even greater uncertainty to your life. At a time where COVID-19 has put millions of people out of work, the world can seem very bleak. How are you ever going to get another job must be running through your mind.
This world virus outbreak puts stress on the economy. The shutdown of the economy and self-isolation brings feelings of helplessness, fear, anxiety and panic. Any financial hardship you face and sense of loss is real. You are shut off from all you know and love. From your life.
Looking for another job is almost impossible right now. While it is going to be super tough, you need to find ways to stay positive. And make sure you apply for all the government help available.
As hard as unemployment is, losing your job can be a good thing. Take care of yourself physically and mentally so you can come out the other side and do well. Here are some things you can do to take care of your wellbeing.
Recognise how you feel and move on
Your emotions will be all over the place. Stop. Recognise how you feel. Acknowledge your feelings and move on. Yes, it is very hard to lose a job unexpectedly especially when it is not your fault. During a pandemic it can feel even worse and totally unfair. You can feel you have lost total control.
Recognise how you feel is normal and that many others are going through exactly the same thing. While this will not bring the money in, it can motivate you to move on and make a plan for your future. Giving in to negative emotions is not going to help you even though it is hard to stay positive.
Stay connected with those who matter most
While you cannot spend physical time with friends and family, there are still ways to connect. Pick up the phone or Skype each other regularly for mutual support.
Isolation can be depressing as your mind goes in circles with negative thoughts. So it is important to occupy your mind with other thoughts. Talking with those you trust is beneficial and can help lift each other’s depression and feelings of isolation.
It is hard only having limited contact with the outside world. Those who matter most to you will need you as much as you need them. It is also important to interact socially and meet new people. This is where social media can be useful. Find interest groups on platforms like Facebook where you can chat with people with common interests.
Create a strict budget
Losing your job means you need to create a strict budget to help you survive. While you can apply for government assistance and early release of part of your super, how long the pandemic continues is anyone’s guess.
You need to adjust your spending habits to stay on top of household commitments and payments. Talk to your bank about your mortgage and to utility companies about payment plans while getting back on your feet.
Try not to worry about the lack of money too much for it can be a vicious cycle that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. You need to reduce the stress surrounding money for it will not help.
Do not be hard on yourself
The loss of employment at the moment is totally outside of your control. You have not failed. It has nothing to do with you so do not beat yourself up.
The following will help you not be too hard on yourself:
- Being unemployed may only be temporary. You could still have a job when it is safe for businesses to reopen. So keep things in perspective. Sure it is going to be tough. And if your job disappears once it is safe to return to work then you will need to start looking for another job.
- Do not allow your mind to play tricks on you. In times of stress it is all too easy to lose perspective. To reach the wrong conclusions about your situation. Remember, this is not your fault. The cause is a pandemic that is out of your control.
- Remind yourself your job does not define you. While you may love your job and it is important to give you financial means, you are so much more than a job. What you do to make money does not define who you are.
Take up studying online
Now is a good time to go back to study to add to your employable skills to make yourself more marketable. While this can be tough financially, it is worth looking into. And if you can afford to, go for it. This can boost your self-esteem and give you a positive distraction from everything going on around you. It also gives you something to work towards and look forward to.
Is there something you have always wanted to learn? Or maybe you want to change careers. Or take a short course that will benefit you and your search for a new job after COVID-19.
Think of it as investment in your future. And now is a good time to think more about it while you have time.
Create a routine
Creating a daily routine can be good for your mental health. Try to divide each day into three—morning, afternoon and night. It is also a good idea to eat meals, and get up and go to bed around the same time each day. This creates a routine. And add other activities around these times.
It is important to do something you enjoy every day. Watch a good movie, cook your favourite food or make a phone call to your best friend or a family member. Also add one activity that gives you a sense of achievement. This could be updating your resume or working in the garden.
This is good for your mental health as it gives you positive things to focus on instead of ongoing negativity and feeling depressed.
Exercise every day
Exercising daily wards off feelings of depression and anxiety. It makes you feel good. Improving your fitness levels can only be good for you and you have the time. Spending too much time being sedentary makes you feel sluggish and less inclined to look at your life with a positive outlook. Yes. It is difficult to be positive during a pandemic but worrying about it all the time only makes everything worse.
While you cannot go to the gym, you can still exercise while observing social distancing rules. Identify places you can exercise. A local park or go for a walk around the neighbourhood. Devise an exercise routine in your lounge room using YouTube videos or online exercise tutorials. There are many benefits of daily exercise.
Clear the stress from your mind
Social media and the television is currently overloading us with news of the coronavirus. It can become relentless. This makes it hard to switch off from the negativity happening in the world especially when you have lost your job.
Turn off the television or at least stop watching the news and scroll past the never-ending posts about COVID-19 clogging up your social media newsfeed. Occupy your mind with something that makes you feel better rather than what brings you down. Only get updates from the government. That way you know the information you receive is accurate.
Now is a good time to start practicing mindfulness. This is the process of consciously quietening your mind and living in the moment without judgement. Read my blog Must knows for practising mindfulness techniques for depression and anxiety to find out how mindfulness works. It gives you simple techniques you can use to get started. Also download my free mindfulness audio to help you relax.
You can bounce back stronger
By staying positive after losing your job, you can bounce back stronger. It is a good opportunity to change your life and find new ways to survive. This helps you build resilience.
The fear of ending up homeless or in hopeless debt are real. But if you let them take over your life, you can bring your worst fears to life. Building resilience through the tough times can stop the worst from happening. Find new ways to help you survive. But if you spend all your time dwelling on the worst, then that is what is most likely to happen to you. It is vital to take care of your mental health. And surrounding yourself with constant negativity is not going to help.
Re-evaluate your priorities
Think of social isolation as time out to re-evaluate your priorities. Maybe your focus has not been on the right things. Have you been focused on working too hard or not working enough? Or you could have been neglecting your family and friends. Or have you been living beyond your means?
During this forced time out sit down and re-evaluate your life and what truly matters to you. Look for ways to find better balance in everything you do.
This is a good opportunity for a new start. Yes, I know it is hard. But use it to your advantage to make the changes you want or need and could not find a way to before all this started.
Losing your job can be a good thing
Losing your job can be a good thing as it allows you to let go of what should have been. Resisting what cannot be only causes more pain. You know it is because of COVID-19 that you are not working so do not create other illusions such as it being your fault. Now is a good time to look deep inside yourself for inspiration. Listen to your intuition. Some of your best ideas will come when you have to slow down. It is gives you the chance to tune into what you truly want out of life.
Decide what you want out of life
Decide what you want out of life while in self-isolation. What do you really want from a job? Maybe it is not about more money. Do you really want to work full-time? Do you want to go back to the same type of job or do you want to change direction? Is work more about job satisfaction and its rewards?
While unemployed, it is the perfect opportunity to work out what you really want to do with your life and how to achieve it. Maybe you want to be self-employed, work as a freelancer or study something new.
We are still here to help
The COVID-19 pandemic affects so many lives and causes stress of the unknown and what the future holds. If you are struggling, consider reaching out to us. When you are not coping, contact us to find out how we can help get your life back on track. But, if you reach crisis point, call us immediately. We are here to support you through a crisis and can help you quickly deal with things better.
We can still work with you over the phone or via Skype and we are reopening our Spas. Book in today for my Emotional Empowerment Program. I have an introductory offer for just $79 so you can start taking back control of your life. We can support and help you cope with mental health challenges that are the result of COVID-19. With our help, you can see life in a new light and soon look forward to a future filled with happiness and joy.
Let me help stop the effects of mental health issues
My Emotional Empowerment Program has helped many people like you deal with stress, anxiety and depression for more than a decade. We can help you move through and deal with stress, depression and anxiety which can be the root cause of mental health issues.
I can help you replace these with happiness, peace and contentment in weeks not years so you can see a positive future. Listen to what Jasmine has to say about my program after only a few sessions.