Job Loss and Tips for Self Care
If you or someone you love has recently lost a job, now more than ever, it’s important to take care of yourself. That means looking after your emotional and physical needs and making stress management a top priority.
Turn to People You Trust for Support
Share what you’re going through with the people you love and trust. Your natural reaction may be to withdraw out of embarrassment and shame or to resist asking for help out of pride. But avoid the tendency to isolate. You will only feel worse. The support you receive may pleasantly surprise you. Simple words of encouragement can be a huge boost in this difficult time.
Maintain Balance in Your Life
Don’t let your job loss or search consume you. Make time for fun, rest, and relaxation—whatever revitalizes you. Your job search will be more effective if you are mentally, emotionally, and physically at your best.
Exercise can be a great way to reduce stress and worry while you’re sorting out what to do next or looking for work. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise each day to boost your mood and energy. Sleep has a huge influence on your mood and physical health. Make sure you’re getting about 8 hours of sleep every night. It will also help you keep your stress levels under control. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga are also strong antidotes to stress.
If you are looking for a new job, staying positive can help you stay focused and upbeat. Keeping a regular daily routine can be very helpful, since you no longer have a job to report to every day. In addition, to avoid getting overwhelmed, break big your larger goals into small, manageable steps. Instead of trying to do everything at once, set priorities. Make a list of your positives. Make a list of all the things you like about yourself, including skills, personality traits, accomplishments, and successes. Write down projects you’re proud of, situations where you excelled, and things you’re good at. Revisit this list often to remind yourself of your strengths.
Involve Your Family
Tell your family what’s going on and involve them in major decisions. Keeping your job loss or your unemployment a secret will only make the situation worse. Working together as a family will help you thrive, even if this is a difficult time. Let your family know about your job search plans and how you’re spending your time, update them on any promising developments, and let them know what they can do to support you while you’re unemployed. Be sure to set aside regular family fun time where you can enjoy each other's company, let off steam, and forget about your job loss. This will help the whole family stay positive.
Helping Children Cope with a Parent’s Unemployment
Children can be affected by a parent's unemployment. It is important for them to know what has happened and how it will affect the family. Children have a way of imagining the worst, so the facts can be far less devastating than what they imagine. Make sure your children know it's not anybody's fault. Children may think that you did something wrong to lose your job or they may feel that somehow they are responsible or financially burdensome. They need reassurance, regardless of their age.
Stay Connected Through Networking
The vast majority of job openings are never advertised; they’re filled by word of mouth. That’s why networking is the best way to find a job. Unfortunately, many job seekers are hesitant to take advantage of networking because they’re afraid of being seen as pushy or annoying. But networking isn’t about aggressively promoting yourself—it’s about building relationships. As you look for a new job, these relationships can provide much-needed feedback, advice, and support.
For more information or to discuss concerns about job loss please contact Partners Employee Assistance Program at 1-866-724-4EAP.
In case of emergency, please call 911 or your local hospital emergency service.
This content was last modified on: 03/20/2017