4 Ways To Save Your Mental Health After Losing a Job

Losing your job is not a fun feeling. Let’s just be brutally honest. It makes you start to question your worth and capabilities in so many ways. There are many feelings that arise after being involuntarily terminated from a position — anger, disappointment, anxiety and loneliness, especially during the times we are in due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. I do not think it is talked about enough — how losing a job can have detrimental affects on an individual’s mental health. This is not just the casual “oh, I am sad I lost my job” type of feeling. Considering how this year has been, so many people have lost their jobs in one of the most uncertain times for the whole country. Therefore, that just adds to the everyday stress of bringing money in, paying rent, paying bills, etc.

To anyone who may be struggling with unemployment, or maybe you recently got let go and are feeling all the negative emotions, I am writing this to let you know that you are not alone in that. Although it may feel like you’re losing direction and taking 100 steps back, that is a perspective you have attained based on a temporary circumstance. You will be OK, I promise. You are not a disappointment or a failure. Being terminated from your job does not speak against your work ethic or intelligence. It is so difficult to remember this sometimes, especially when you hear those words, “we are going to have to let you go from this position,” which can lead to a downward spiral in your mental health if you’re not careful.

So, here are four ways we can save our mental health after losing a job, especially during this unbelievable year.

1. Take three to four days to yourself.

After losing your job, the main priority (at least what we think is the main priority) is to move forward in searching for the next opportunity. If you are someone who can jump right back up and who needs no breaks, then hey, go for it! But I think a lot of us would need at least three to four days to recenter ourselves. That is exactly how I am; after losing my job at the beginning of this year, I felt this undeniable pressure to hop on to the next interview, next job application, etc. I did not really have time to myself and I truly think that is the reason why I did not stay at my second position for much longer. My mental health was taking a plunge.

A banner promoting The Mighty's new Navigating Coronavirus Together group on The Mighty mobile app. The banner reads, Want to connect with others who are managing their health during the pandemic? Join Navigating Coronavirus Together now. Click to join.

2. Find a creative outlet.

I truly believe blogging has saved my life in more ways than one. I may be quiet on here for a week to a month, but somehow I always end up just coming back. Blogging has been a creative outlet for me within the past four to five years because it has helped me make sense of my thoughts and put it into writing, where other people can read and relate as well. It is very rewarding. So, find your creative outlet — something you can do and keep doing despite losing a job.

3. Reflect on all the good and bad experiences you had.

Just a quick hint; when you actually reflect, some of the experiences you come up with may end up on your resumé. I know, for me, it was difficult to reflect on a past job experience where I was let go because then, it also forced me to keep myself accountable and take note of what I could improve on. This is not a step where you should beat yourself up. Instead, take note of the skills you can carry with you to your next opportunity while also dissecting and correcting the skills that you can improve on.

4. Slowly get back into a routine.

I have personally noticed that by the time I am back in a routine, my mind is in a better space. No, it does not mean that I am jumping out of bed and accomplishing everything on my list, but at least I am not beat down. I have a clearer mind to be able to start revising my resumé, updating my LinkedIn or making a list of the places I would like to start applying to.

I truly believe our minds can be a dangerous place if we do not take care of them. So, make caring for your mental health a priority before anything else. Yes, that may mean putting your applications to the side for a day or two, but I promise you will thank yourself in the long run.

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