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  • Writer's pictureInterval Health

Anxiety and Job Loss



Losing your job can be scary and overwhelming, especially when you don’t have any backups in place. Most people don’t expect to lose their jobs, so the suddenness of it can also cause instant anxiety.


Of course, after the initial shock wears off, your fears can settle in even deeper. You might start to wonder how you will pay your bills or how long it will take to find work. You might even start to think about your future and how losing a job could impact your family long-term.


Tip number one? Take a deep breath. 


It’s normal to have some anxiety after losing your job and the farther into your career you get, the more likely you are to experience job loss. But it does not need to control you, paralyze you, or keep you from getting back out there. Let’s cover a few effective ways you can cope and how you can move forward.


Give Yourself Time to Grieve

You might think the best way to get over this anxiety is to push your feelings down and start looking for new jobs right away. But it’s important to give yourself time to process this loss. Ideally, you’ll be able to find another job again soon. But, if you don’t work through the mental exhaustion that losing a job can cause, you might carry your anxiety with you into a new workplace.


Grief can occur whenever you experience a loss. When you give yourself time to go through the emotions of sadness, frustration, and even fear, you’re more likely to eventually find a way to accept what happens so you can move forward with a clearer mind. 


Practice Self-Care

Anxiety can quickly try to control your thoughts and behaviors. Fight back by taking care of yourself. Self-care doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, and it doesn’t even have to take up a lot of your time. 


Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, maintaining a healthy diet, and staying physically active. Try journaling or meditation to keep your mind focused and relaed. Whenever you start to hear anxious thoughts whispering in your ear, fight back against them with positive affirmations or distract yourself with a healthier coping mechanism.


Self-care should also include developing a daily routine. Even if you don’t have a job to go to every day right now, stick to a schedule. It will keep you from letting your thoughts wander too often and will help to motivate you. 


When you feel your best, mentally and physically, you’re less likely to let anxiety take over, and you’ll be more confident in the job search. 


Don’t Focus On Rejection

No matter the reason for your job loss, it’s easy to look at it as a form of rejection. Anxiety will take hold of that idea and use it to make you think you aren’t good enough or that you didn’t deserve the job you had. 


Try to avoid focusing on the idea of rejection. Instead, take a look at your skills and strengths. Which ones are most marketable? The more you focus on those key areas, the easier it will be to assemble a strong resume while boosting your confidence.


Lean On Your Support System

Don’t go through the loss of a job on your own. Talk to those closest to you about how you’re feeling, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your loved ones want to see you succeed, and opening up about your anxiety can make a big difference in how you feel. 


If you’re really struggling with this loss and the anxiety that comes with it, don’t hesitate to reach out for professional help. Therapy can help you better understand your fears. You’ll also learn healthy coping techniques to help you step into the next chapter of your life.



 

Jennifer Perera is a mom of two boys, a spouse and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She is also Certified as a Perinatal Mental Health Professional by Postpartum Support International. She has a private practice in Springfield, New Jersey and also sees clients throughout New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Illinois via telehealth. Her passion is helping new moms and dads find their joy again in parenthood through individual and couples counseling. She also runs workshops for new parents, teaching them techniques and strategies to help them have a stronger relationship - built to thrive during the parenthood years. Jennifer specializes in working with parents during the prenatal and postpartum periods and those coping with grief or loss issues surrounding pregnancy.


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