The coronavirus pandemic has increasingly led to companies serving employees the pink slip to stay afloat. A job loss or job cut puts added financial stress on families that are already battling a lot of uncertainty. Deekshaa Athwani, clinical psychologist, Fortis Hospital, Mulund addresses this burning issue and also gives you a few tips to help you cope better.
Served with a pink slip during the pandemic?
Losing a job is one of the most stressful experiences. Unemployment often takes a toll on mental health. There are ways to take care of your well-being along with identifying your next step. Losing a job may leave you feeling rejected, embarrassed and vulnerable. You may find yourself questioning what you did wrong or how you could have prevented it? It is common for people to experience symptoms of anxiety and depression during this phase of unemployment. There’s also an overwhelming sense of loss. This covers a loss of identity, normalcy and structure, a lack of opportunity and a loss of access to resources, financially and otherwise.
What you can do to address this grief
Although it feels overwhelming to deal with loss, try to be patient and grieve what you lost. Work towards building back your self-esteem.
- Recognise the factors outside of your control that may have played a role in the loss of your job.
- Focus on your future. Affirm your professional identity through volunteer work, taking classes to update your skills. Use this time to pursue your hobbies and strengthen your relationships.
- Be open to new roles and career paths.
- Expand your network. Flexibility and adaptability may guide your way forward.
- Stick to a daily schedule. That includes both job seeking and fun activities. Find what makes you feel good and set some time aside for it every day.
- Remember to take care of yourself. Spending time with nature can help relieve stress while exercise can uplift your mood and also reduce symptoms of depression.
- Connect with friends and family and ask for help if you need it.
- Lastly, remember rejection from potential employers is not necessarily a reflection of you, but it is a part of the process.
- Avoid blaming yourself. Avoid relying on substance use during this time of transition. Focus more on problem-solving, being pro-active and lean on professional networks.
If you begin to feel unusually down, hopeless or depressed, consider reaching out to a mental health professional.