How to Cope With Unemployment

The loss of a job can be a very traumatic experience for most people. It can have a negative impact on your physical, mental and emotional health. It brings financial insecurity, wears away your sense of identity and can lead to a breakdown in family relationships.

It is important to remember that you must take care of yourself after you lose your employment. Here are some ways that you can cope with the loss and get yourself prepared for the future.

Acknowledge Your Grief

The initial response to losing your job may be to go directly out and start hunting for a new one. This is not always the best plan, however. If it will not create a great financial strain, take the time to mourn the loss of the job and focus on reducing your stress. Reevaluate your priorities for the future. You might feel pressure to form a plan for the rest of your life but it is important to take time to step back and sift through your emotions first.

Go Through the Stages

Losing a job can trigger similar emotional stages to those associated with divorce and death. Those are shock, denial, sadness, guilt, anger and acceptance. You can experience some or all of these emotional stages, and not necessarily in order. You need to take the time to work through each stage.

Let Go of Anger and Resentment

Keeping hold of anger and resentment will eat away at your happiness and stop you from moving forward. Just because you allow yourself to let go of the anger doesn’t mean you are disregarding what happened. It is allowing you to regain your control. Staying in a negative mindset will sap your energy and creativity and stop you from concentrating on your future.

Create a Realistic Budget

During times of strained financial resources, it is important to trim the excess from your budget. Assess your actual income and expenses. Decide where you can cut corners and consider getting a part-time position to help cover your necessary bills (rent, utilities, insurance, etc.).

Get Into a Routine

Set up a daily routine that you can stick to and make sure you are taking care of yourself. Get some exercise each day, get enough sleep and eat a balanced diet. Find ways to keep your mind stimulated, like reading and socializing. Avoid drinking and gambling to excess. Reward yourself for the progress you make. Get up and get dressed each day to stay motivated.

Don’t Isolate Yourself

It is common for people who lose their jobs to shut themselves away from others, but this can keep you from moving forward. Get out of the house. Visit friends and family. Join groups of people with similar interests. Reach out to others for support.

Spend Time Volunteering

Volunteering is a great way to get out into the community and help others. You will be able to network, gain new skills and stay active.

Increase Your Skills

This could be an ideal time to build on the skills you have and even branch out to learn new skills. Maybe you can look into another career field that you had not considered before. Research subjects online or sign up for local seminars. If you can afford the cost, sign up for classes at the local college.

Find Free Activities

Almost every town has activities that you and your family can enjoy for no cost. Look for free museum days, public events and lectures. Go to public parks or the library. Becoming more involved in your town is a great way to build connections and stay motivated.

This phase is not going to last forever. It is important to stay motivated while you are coping with the loss of your job. Keeping a positive attitude will help you to focus on your future and work to overcome obstacles in life.

Are you coping with the loss of your job? What steps are you taking to stay motivated? What advice would you give to someone else in your position?

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