REAL TALK: HOW TO HANDLE UNEMPLOYMENT ANXIETY AND MASTER HEALTHY COPING HABITS
It seems that almost every week there’s a new wave of complications to manage in the wake of the coronavirus disruption. We’ve all been put to the test and felt the impact of this change in different ways. For a lot of people, it’s required the ability to face challenges that they never could have imagined just a few short weeks ago. Perhaps one of the worst knock-on effects of this disease is the effect it has had on unemployment and what it’s done to our livelihood.
With the growing unemployment rate, a lot of people have started to feel helpless and hopeless. At WellBe we want to let you know that everything is going to be okay. In the midst of these ongoing anxieties, we’ll give you the tools to help you to maintain a strong mindset and focus on your health. Using this coping guide, you’ll be able to take the necessary steps to come to terms with job loss and figure out your next best move.
6 ways to deal with unemployment
First, keep in mind that this is a chance for you to adapt and overcome this adversity rather simply choosing to throw in the towel. Below we’ll give you the best advice for how to deal with the disappointment of job loss, as well as some handy techniques for maintaining your inner peace and keeping your mental energy strong during this more-than-difficult time.
1. Be mindful and manage your anxiety
Loaded words like “pandemic”, “lockdown”, “unemployment” and “crisis” are a new constant in our everyday lives. These topics are discussed on the news, on the radio, and seem to be the overhanging topic of conversation in most of our daily interactions. As these negative connotations increasingly become a constant presence in our environment, there is much more room for negativity, hopelessness and anxiety to sink in. Especially now, with the added pressure of losing what once seemed like a totally secure job, this type of constant negativity could really hamper your mental health.
Of course, you’re allowed to feel apprehension and greater amounts of stress (that’s only expected), but it’s important not to allow feelings of negativity to become the new norm. Intentionally making the effort to create a healthy, stress-free space and manage your internal anxieties every day is vital. This will also help you achieve a better headspace to make the important decisions about your future and asses the next steps you need to take.
Making a conscious effort to find the good in everyday’s is also an important habit to form. We know that it’s not easy but that’s why we give you access to our helpful, regularly-updated blog. Be sure to check out this handy blog about finding positivity during a pandemic. Soon you’ll be able to look towards the future with a sense of possibility and new opportunity instead of apprehension.
2. Address the ego element
Aside from just the financial burden of job loss, a lot of the anxiety also comes from what we’ve called the ‘ego crisis’. For most people, a high portion of their self-esteem is linked to their own ideas of what defines success and achievement. That means that, for a lot of us, if we’re not breaking our backs to work 80 hour weeks, we’ve failed – but that’s simply not true! Now is the time to really introspect and think about what will give you purpose over the next few weeks. What are your main sources of happiness and in what areas of your life can you find peace and comfort? Is it work? Maybe not. Instead, it could be something that’s usually overlooked – your health, your family and your friends.
Another great way to fight the ego-trap is to also take the time to appreciate your own qualities that you may have never stopped to acknowledge before. That could be your amazing sense of adventure, a strong work ethic or even something as simple as your sense of humour. Acknowledging those things can help you practice self-love and give you better tools to maintain your mental health. If you need a little more guidance, check out this blog for ideal activities that will help you maintain a positive self image.
3. Keep Perspective
Guilt and anxiety are common feelings most people experience when they first lose their job. It’s easy to blame yourself or think that you did something wrong, but it’s time to give that unemployment guilt the axe. Putting the blame on yourself will only make the situation that much harder to deal with.
Please remember that it’s okay to share this struggle with others. It may seem as if the world is collapsing around you, but it’s important to remember that you’re not alone in this. Lean on your friends and family for support. Let them know any troubling feelings or frustrations you are experiencing. Most importantly, keep in mind that none of this is your fault. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, it is predicted that over 1.6 million jobs will be lost in the country in 2020. That number alone provides some perspective as to how far-reaching the consequences of this pandemic are. That’s why you have to keep your head straight and remind yourself that this will not last forever and that a set-back does not mean a game-over.
4. Direct your energy towards healthy living
If you love exercise, put your energy and focus towards developing that passion. Devote some time everyday to trying new routines and find new ways to push yourself. First establish a realistic fitness plan and adapt your training and exercise routine from there. Another helpful tip is to try to use this time to tackle those hard-to-break unhealthy eating habits. Take the plunge – completely clean out those cupboards and chuck away all the harmful sugary foods and snacks. Try to prepare a meal plan to keep yourself on track every day and mix things up by checking out some new, healthy recipes. If you want to try your hand in the kitchen, give this lemon garlic baked salmon recipe a go.
It’s also a great idea to take at least 30 minutes a day to spend on you-time and try to self-reflect. Find a peaceful place and read a book. Being alone in a quiet space is a great way to get in touch with your body and yourself. If something like meditation has never appealed to you, check out these 8 mindful alternatives to meditation.
5. Rethink your goals
This is a chance to reassess your life, your goals and where you’d like to go from here. Be sure not to confuse uncertainty with negativity. Maybe you have a secret knack for management and some killer people skills but human resources is never something you’ve considered before because you were so entrenched in your old job?
There are countless fields and new opportunities, and now you have the ability to actually devote time and energy to learning new skills in a way you never could before. Take some time to figure out your passions. Take a short course or higher certificate online to build on your expertise and work towards a new career pathway. Through sites such as Shaw Academy, Alison and edX, online learning is more accessible and cheaper than it’s ever better before.
6. Spice up your CV
Especially if you have been working full-time for the same company over the last few years, it may have been a while since you dusted off your CV and gave it a revamp. Update your resume with any new valuable skills and experience you’ve picked up over this time. If you’ve created your own business, even better.
Put the knowledge you’ve harnessed to good use. Identify any transferable skills and make yourself as marketable as possible. It could be time to apply your expertise to a different field and try something new. Remember, try to be patient if you don’t get any immediate responses. You’ve got experience and that’s the golden ticket. Everything else just takes time.
WellBe’s got your back
At WellBe it is our personal mission to ensure that our customers receive the care and support we know they deserve. When everything else is going waywards, we know there’s one thing you can control – your health and your wellbeing. Your health is invaluable so now is the time to make lasting changes, one habit at a time.
If you need that extra motivational push, check out our Instagram page – comment, ask questions, let us know how you’re feeling and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. If you’d like some more information about our health hacks, wellness advice and fitness tips, feel free to contact us. We’ve here to share honest knowledge and personal experience about health and forming better habits for life.