Losing a job is like a train that hits you straight, making you lose your balance. Life becomes more challenging, and facing the dilemma could knock you off your financial status. For many, it isn’t only a loss of their finances; it’s also their identity as an individual, where job loss depression might distort one’s ability to think and make crucial life decisions.
Recently, over 20 million people lost their jobs to the pandemic in the US. The global statistics may differ several folds. Job loss may trigger feelings of depression and sadness; these must be treated before the situation spirals out of control.
As reported by a 2014 Gallup poll, depression prevails among unemployed individuals. The longer the unemployment period, the higher the psychological burden. When people lose jobs, they become limited in their prospects and engagement with their social circle and environment; hence depression takes its toll on their lives.
However, losing a job can be traumatic, but that doesn’t have the power to belittle your ambitions. My EasyFi brings you a leeway to find your way out of a depressive job loss loop. Here’s an extensive guide to helping yourself make a better life.
Recognizing Job Loss Depression
As mentioned before, job loss and depression are highly related. An instant job loss can be traumatic. The next thing you know, you’re immersed in a sea of emotions with mental blockage. Though the numbness could make you feel nothing, the effects of depression after a job loss are long-lasting, but treatable when recognized in the first place.
Some symptoms of job loss stress, after left untreated, can exhibit in the following manner:
- Lack of self-worth
- Loss of focus
- Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
- Social isolation
- Change in appetite
- Suicidal thoughts and behaviors
In severe conditions, some may become delusional or may hallucinate.
If you feel like you’re suffering from the depressive episodes from job loss, self-assessment followed by expert diagnosis provides the proof of the job loss depression. A detection test and evaluation from a healthcare professional could give a better view of the intervention methods.
How To Respond To Job Loss Depression In The First Place
Once you’ve realized that you’re suffering from lay-off depression, you might feel the ice beginning to break. Just know that anyone could be laid off. At some point in your life, you’d either have to lose your job or retire, which is why experts suggest you should keep six months’ salary if and when you get wind of job loss.
So, while you’re going through the tough period in your life, here are a few things you may observe to rise above the stressful condition and tackle through it.
Allow Yourself To Feel It
Stepping out of a situation like job loss depression demands you to put in a lot of effort into how you feel. Pay attention to how you’re feeling at the moment. Name your emotions and think through them. Allow yourself to explore and experience what you’re feeling now.
Whether you feel like you’re losing control of your life, your identity, your self-esteem, relationships, or any other significant factor, give yourself and these emotional turbulences to sink in.
Face Your Feeling Instead Of Neglecting Them
Everyone experiences grief differently through healthy and unhealthy ways. Some people might take on alcohol to forget or numb the depression and related thoughts, but instead of providing relief, it might hurt the purpose. Rather than getting drunk, it’s advisable to face your feelings and affirmatively acknowledging them.
Experts suggest you should give yourself time and recognize what you feel. Be forgiving to yourself and assure yourself that this time too, shall pass.
Reach Out For Emotional Help
During times like these, it’s easy to become a hermit and withdraw from your human connections, which include your family and friends. Even when the stress of job loss makes you hide under your skin, you must still reach out to someone who can listen to you – also if it’s a professional.
If you fear judgment or just want someone to vent to, you can talk to someone who doesn’t necessarily have to offer you solutions. Even if you trust them with your problems, chances are they’re going to appreciate for allowing yourself to express.
Cut Extra Spending
When someone loses a job, they would probably resort to their savings until they find another primary source of earning. While these times could be severe, relying on the saved up stash requires necessary measures if it had to last for long. In case you’d continue to spend extravagantly, all the saved up amount will drain quickly and the job loss depression will only worsen.
As soon as the calamity strikes, measure your expenses and cut out the ones that are unnecessary during the survival mode. Switch expensive entertainment ideas to the ones that don’t cost much like hiking, brewing coffee at home, and preparing meals at home, etc.
Go On A Budget Mode
In connection with the point above, your savings must be stretched to a point where your necessities are fulfilled easily and that no extra expense is entertained. The best way to come up with a stress-less plan is to start having a budget.
A budget will allow you to see how you can accentuate your expenses and spend wisely. For instance, you can create a budget for extreme times like job loss, where you are highly alert on spending. This step will help you cope with stress when you’ve got control of your money.
Seek New Opportunities
If you’ve lost your job, it might seem like you’re losing your identity. Several people affected with depression after a job loss feel the same way. But while you’re grieving, take your time. After that, you’re set to define yourself, where you’re ready to explore new opportunities.
Know that you’re allowed to pursue life’s pleasure and regain the sense of who you are. Try activities that you enjoy or try your luck at things that bring purpose to your life. Express yourself through your passion and spend time in nature or with people who love and support you.
Ask Connections For Referrals
While you’re exploring ways to bring a fresh perspective to your identity, you can still push your way through the stress by asking your friends, acquaintances, professional and social media connections to help you scour a job for you. You may ask them to refer you to any opening respective to your experience and qualifications.
Also, keep looking out for job postings yourself. Here’s a tip: create a professional profile on LinkedIn, where you can find jobs and connect with professionals who could help you find a position. You can also post and pitch your CV to boost your career prospects.
Let Family And Friends Support You
The unemployment of an individual affects the entire family. So when you’re going through a rough patch, don’t think it’s going to change you alone. You don’t have to bottle the job loss depression all inside as it will only mess you up from the inside. In times like these, it’s the family’s love and support that counts.
It might not seem like the right decision at all, but taking the family in confidence and allowing them to understand your situation will help you get their support. Sharing it with them will make them feel included in your life. You can also update them about your job searches, so they have your back and provide suggestions to help you out.
Sell Out Clutter In Your House
Clutter is the accumulation of things you don’t need or don’t use anymore. Having such items in your house makes it look like its unkempt or suffocating. Like those items, having the stress in your head is also the clutter, which fills up space in your head, leaving no room for better ideas.
To move out the mental clutter, we suggest you clear out space in your house of the items that serve you no purpose. If you have to give it away, why not sell it for a fair price? You can hold a garage sale or sell the items online to earn some cash.
Seek Out Inspiration To Remain Positive
Remaining positive in such a situation is hard, but you can make your way through it. Know that whatever you’re going through is temporary and will pass soon once you get your dose of positivity on. Don’t blame yourself for what happened; it’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of emotions.
You may seek support via national helplines or find inspiration online. We all experience situations like these in our ways, but spreading positivity and embracing can help us see what’s essential for us.