Losing a job is one of the most stressful things that can happen to someone. In fact, it is ranked among the top-10 most stressful life events.
Job loss brings many emotions including sadness, fear, anxiety, anger, and embarrassment. Many times you will cycle through these emotions.
For example, if you just lost your income and you get a bill in the mail, you may feel anxious; this then becomes fear, and then embarrassment, which turns to anger and leaves you sad.
These feelings are normal. There is no right way to feel when faced with a job loss and no timeline for feeling better. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help boost your mood when you’re feeling stuck in a low spot.
Take a break. But not for too long. A short break will leave you feeling rested and ready to start your job search.
Get up and move. Physical activity is a great way to reduce stress and avoid depression. Use your new found freedom to take a walk, go for a hike or try a yoga class. Have a dog? Take them with you. Pets can reduce stress and depression, too.
Make a schedule. After your short break, try to settle into a routine. Set your alarm as if you were going to work. Schedule time for physical activity, relaxation and of course, working to find a new job.
Connect with your network. Did you put off spending time with a friend or family member because life was too busy while you were working? Make time to sit down with them now. You will feel better after spending time with people you love. You can also let them know you are looking for a new job and ask if they have any ideas.
Volunteer. This is a great way to stay active and positive. People who regularly volunteer are less likely to become depressed. Who knows? Your volunteer work might turn into a paying job!
If you or a loved one are having trouble coping with the stress and emotions of losing a job, you are not alone.
Unemployed Americans are more than twice as likely to be depressed. Depression is a common condition that can be treated and there is help. Ottawa Community Mental Health provides mental health and substance abuse services to residents of Ottawa County. Learn more on their website: miottawa.org/Health/CMH/.
— Employment Expertise is provided by West Michigan Works! Learn more about how they can help: visit westmiworks.org or your local Service Center.