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COVID-19: 10 Ways To Manage Stress Due To Layoff

As of 18 April 2020, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has infected 2,251,768 people and caused 154,295 deaths worldwide. In India, the total confirmed cases have gone up to 14,378 and has claimed 480 lives.

To curb the spread of coronavirus disease the governments have imposed a lockdown in the countries and this has had a huge impact on the economy leading to a global recession.

The impact of COVID-19 on the economy has led to employee layoffs and job losses all around the world with small and big companies having no choice but to lay off employees due to massive economic disruptions.

Losing a job can be so stressful that it could lower your self-esteem, self-confidence sense, of security and lose professional identity. It is natural to feel angry, hurt or depressed for all that you have lost and feel anxious about what the future holds.

With time and correct coping methods, you can deal with these setbacks and ease your stress and anxiety. Read on to know the ways to manage the stress of job loss.


1. Control your emotions

You should give yourself time to understand why it happened and how you can get out of this very soon. If the layoff was unexpected, you may feel upset, shocked and disappointed about the situation. If it was expected you may feel confused and uncertain about the future. In this regard, you may go through a lot emotionally, so speak to your friends, family and co-workers you are close with as this will help calm you down and feel less anxious.


2. Don’t be ashamed

There is nothing to be ashamed of if you have lost your job, just remember that you will find another one as soon as the situation becomes normal. Keep in mind that the job loss is not a matter of personal failure but due to cutbacks in the company.

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3. Communicate openly with close ones

Keep your communications open with your spouse, partner and children, this will help you gain support from the most important people in your life. They will help you cope with the crisis situation and give you ideas on how to get through this difficult time.


4. Remember that the job loss is temporary

The job loss is not permanent and you know that you will come out of this and move forward in your career. Don't compare yourself with others and think positively by believing in yourself.


5. Avoid negative thoughts

Spend time with people who believe in you and your future and who will uplift you positively. Avoid talking to negative people as this can take a toll on your mental health leading to stress, anxiety and fear. Instead, speak to those who give you constructive ideas and advice.

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6. Face your fears

Reduce your anxiety and fear by thinking for a moment what you are most afraid of and begin to work on it to address the fear. Fearing much about the job loss will only pull you down. Talk to your family or friends about your fear so that you can come out of it.


7. Look after your health

To relieve stress, anxiety and fear sleep, exercise, relax and eat a well-balanced diet. Use your extra time to take up an extra-curricular activity that you couldn't do because of your work shift. Do the things that make you happy. Focus on having nutritious foods to keep you healthy and avoid consuming alcohol and other addictive substances as they will degrade your health. Try doing some exercises like weight training, walking, running, swimming or dancing to keep you physically active.


8. Write about your feelings

Take a notebook and write down everything you feel about being laid off, this can include the things you wish you had done or said to your former manager. Penning down your feelings will lower your stress a little bit.

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9. Don’t give up hope

Have hope that in the months to come when everything becomes normal outside employment will increase and you will get a chance to bounce back. Have hope that you will rise and shine again in your career and you will have better job prospects. Don't judge your own abilities.


10. Get professional help when needed

If you are feeling very sad, anxious and depressed, which is disrupting your normal life, seek the help of a mental health professional.

Common FAQs

Q. How do you survive a layoff or downsize?

A. You can survive a layoff by keeping these strategies in mind, which include keeping your resume updated, networking, investing in yourself, lining up your references and taking care of yourself.

Q. Is being laid off bad?

A. Layoffs happen all the time and losing a job can be bad, but only until you find the next one. So, don't take it as a personal failure. Don't let it destroy your confidence and self-esteem.

Q. How do layoffs affect employees?

A. The person who is laid off suffers the most, but the remaining employees suffer emotionally as well.

Story first published: Saturday, April 18, 2020, 21:00 [IST]