2 min read

Healing After a Lay-off

Healing After a Lay-off

Getting laid off, SUUUCKS! There is no sugarcoating this complex reality. Losing a job can be challenging and emotionally draining. For those not from privileged backgrounds or wealthy families, this can feel like a life-threatening emergency - even with a severance! It's important to remember that everyone's response is unique, and people may experience a combination of these reactions over time. Having been here a time or two myself, I've found a few ways to keep from losing my mind during these times.

Losing a job can trigger various emotions, from shock and sadness to anger and anxiety. Feeling these emotions and giving yourself time to process them is okay. Believe it or not, you are literally grieving. As we allow ourselves to mourn the loss of a loved one, we should allow ourselves time to grieve this loss as well. Something I'd like to point out about this loss is that it is not healthy or of any value to blame yourself. Losing a job can do a number on your self-worth and self-esteem, don't fall for this. It is not your fault.

I recommend sticking to a daily routine as much as possible. Having structure in your day can provide stability during uncertain times. Even if that routine looks absolutely nothing like your work routine... I encourage you that it looks different from your work routine! For example, walking every morning after getting up with no expectation on when you'll finish this walk, how far you'll go, where you'll walk, what time of day it is, etc.

Talk to friends, family, or a support group about your feelings. Breakthrough the barrier of SHAME that will threaten to crush you. Sharing your experience can help you feel less isolated and provide a fresh perspective. Do this without any expectation that anyone in this group will or should find you a job. While it's important to start looking for a new job, remember to take breaks. Engage in activities you enjoy, such as hobbies, exercise, or reading, to relax and recharge.

Limit news and social media consumption. The constant bombardment of news and social media can add to your stress. Take breaks from these platforms to avoid unnecessary negativity. Turn off notifications, and check timelines at reasonable cadences and with a purpose. Don't bask in the pity or glory of others. Get off the app! Instead, prioritize sleep and nutrition. Sleeping and eating nutritious foods are crucial for physical and mental well-being. Aim for a balanced diet and a consistent sleep schedule. Regular exercise can boost your mood and reduce stress. Even simple activities like walking or yoga can make a difference. Unfortunately, we often neglect these areas when we are "gainfully" employed. I've gained much more than a paycheck during my busiest years.

If you find it challenging to cope with your emotions or experience prolonged sadness or hopelessness, consider seeking support from a mental health professional. Remember that being laid off doesn't define your worth or abilities. Take this opportunity to rediscover your strengths and interests and explore new possibilities. With time and resilience, you can bounce back and find a new path that aligns with your goals and aspirations.