7 Tips to Overcome and Avoid Depression Due to a Job Loss

Published on: November 25, 2020 

During these difficult times when the Covid-19 pandemic is resulting in layoffs by businesses large and small, many of us are facing sudden job losses.

Loss of a job, especially involuntarily, is a common cause of depression. However, there are strategies you can take to regain your mental health. Here are some tips for overcoming the initial depression of a job loss and moving forward in a constructive manner.

1. Give yourself time to grieve, and get help, if needed.

Losing a job that you rely on for monthly expenses and career growth is a huge loss that needs to be grieved. You may not feel like immediately applying for other jobs, and that’s okay. Allow yourself time to adjust to your new reality. However, if you find yourself sinking further into a well of depression, reach out for help. Studies show that for some, the loss of a job and financial strain can lead to serious depression and anxiety issues without early mental health intervention. Seeking help for feelings of grief and depression during this initial period of uncertainty and financial distress may prevent more significant symptoms of depression and anxiety months down the road.

2. Design a new daily routine.

Routines are important for mental health. They help us cope with change, create healthy habits, and even reduce stress levels. When your life is organized and set in a routine, you know exactly what to expect. To establish a healthy daily routine, think about small, enjoyable things you can do every day, such as enjoying a cup of coffee while watching TV, reading a favorite book, or going for a bike ride. Also, include activities that allow you to connect with others. And set realistic goals to support your work life. For example, you could commit to spending at least 2 hours a day searching and applying for jobs online. You could set another goal to spend time learning a new skill to increase your employment opportunities.

3. Discover, explore and learn new skills or hobbies.

Developing a new hobby or passion can be a great stress reliever because it gives our brains something constructive to think about besides the same old worries. This could be a good time to focus your energies on developing your personal interests and passions into a source of meaningful work and long-term profit. How about launching your own start-up business? Find encouragement and inspiration from others who are doing just that and finding success.

4. Stay connected with others.

Now more than ever, it’s important to stay connected with others. A sense of social connection is a fundamental human need that impacts not only our mental health but physical health, too. People who feel more connected to others have lower rates of depression and anxiety. They also have higher self-esteem. Consider reconnecting to friends you haven’t seen for a while, even since childhood, to reignite relationships.

5. Avoid getting depressed over rejection.

Be realistic and kind to yourself. Understand that during the pandemic, job hunting is more competitive than ever. Companies can afford to be extremely selective among the many job applications for a single opening, so understand that rejection is going to be part of the process. Try to understand why you may not have been the right fit for the job or why your interview didn’t get you the position. Think about how you can improve in the next interview. To avoid the sting of repeated rejections, prepare your mind that you may not be selected this time, but you are still going to give it your 100 percent. This strategy will boost your self-confidence and keep you moving forward until you are successful.

6. Take care of your physical and mental health.

How you care for your physical health impacts your mental health and vice versa. Get at least 30 minutes of daily exercise, eat a healthy diet, and keep your brain stimulated every day. Try a new sport. Sign up for a yoga class. Explore new travel destinations. Subscribe to David Attenborough’s documentaries, or watch Comedy Central for a daily dose of laughter. 

7. Focus on what you can control and take action.

Losing a job will give anyone a sense of loss of control over their life. Instead of letting anxiety rule your thoughts, focus on what you can control. Analyze your finances and adjust your budget. Strategize ways to reduce your expenses. Apply your mind to following a regular schedule and setting personal goals that will keep you stable and moving forward. 

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