You have been hearing about all this for weeks.
Spotify lays off 10,000 employees.
Google lets go of 12,000 employees.
Microsoft terminates contracts of 10,000 employees.
When such headlines are splashed across the Internet and news, it is easy to start a frenzy in all workplaces. With a recession about to hit, it is normal to get concerned about losing your job.
Layoffs and mental health are deeply connected. Losing a job can take a brutal toll on people’s sense of self. Even though the reasons are supposed to be economical and are not supposed to do anything with you, people tend to start questioning their value as a working professional and suffer from low self-esteem.
Therefore, layoff anxiety is not a joke. Imagine getting up on a normal working day, reaching your workplace, starting your work one moment, and finding out you are out of your job the very next second. Situations like these can turn your world upside down.
In such uncertain times, your mental health becomes the greatest victim. To help you manage this difficult time, let us dive deeper into the connection between layoffs and mental health and figure out ways to survive layoff anxiety with your mental well-being intact.
How are layoffs and mental health connected?
Losing your job can be one of the most challenging experiences of your life. And when giants like Google, Meta, and Amazon start laying off employees through cold emails, it creates a chain of fear that makes you believe it can happen to anyone. A recent survey by Randstad showed that about 50% of the workforce is worried about their financial and job security.
Layoffs and employees’ mental health are related because living in prolonged periods of anxiousness and uncertainty (like that of Layoffs) can begin affecting a person’s mental state. A certain set of factors associated with layoffs make them particularly tough on people’s mental health. These include:
- loss of income,
- daily structure,
- social support, and,
- self-esteem and identity.
Now that you know about the connection between layoffs and employee mental health, let us look at some practical tips for surviving layoffs.
Tips to surviving layoff anxiety
1. Accept your loss and allow yourself to grieve properly.
Grieving is the natural and first step to coping with any form of loss, including your job. It is common to go through the typical cycle of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Job loss can be a lot to take when it happens, so it is okay to take some time to acknowledge and accept your loss properly.
You might also feel the instant pressure to start your new job hunt and get back to business as soon as possible, but it is important that you give yourself the required space and time to cope with your loss properly.
2. Try to regain control of your emotions.
Layoffs are out of your control. This lack of control, in turn, makes you feel a lack of safety. When you hear the news, you feel like you are pushed into a negative state of being. You are angry and defeated. This is why it is essential to take back control of your life. The first step in doing that is regaining control of your emotions.
It is entirely normal to feel an intense range of emotions – anger, rejection, sadness, frustration, and much more. The key factor is understanding that feeling these emotions is part of being human. Therefore, acknowledge your emotions. Say them out loud, paint them, or write them down. Let them wash over you. Remember that the only way to move on from this is through them. Once you move on from this state, you will have a clear mindset and eventually be able to figure out the best way ahead.
3. Make a point to stay social.
People who suffer a job loss tend to stay alone and feel isolated and lonely. Unemployment can take away the shreds of social connection and community you get from your workplace. Added to the burden is the whole stigma associated with a job loss that makes it difficult for affected individuals to face other people without feelings of guilt and shame.
This is why it is important that you stay in touch with people who genuinely care for you and can offer you a safe space. Therefore, ensure you are in the company of your loved ones, friends, and maybe old colleagues.
4. Adopt a realistic and practical mindset.
It might take some time for you to find a new job, especially one that caters to your needs and actually feels on par with your previous one. Therefore, be prepared for setbacks. Accepting that you might not get your dream job right next week will help you be prepared for disappointments. It is also easy during this phase to get stuck in the vicious cycle of fear, self-doubt, and worry. Therefore, it is important that you practice self-compassion and understand that even though this process is long, you will eventually be okay.
Layoffs are hard. And no tips are going to make surviving a job loss feel like a no biggie. It is normal to feel outright sad, angry, and upset because you were laid off. We hope the tips suggested above for surviving layoffs will help you. But mostly, just like all other losses in life, time is the best healer. Your tough time is not going to last forever. You will eventually bounce back and might even be in a better space than you previously were.
Now that you know layoffs and mental health are deeply connected, it is important to understand your situation properly. If you feel that you are unable to cope with your job loss alone, it is okay to ask for help. Getting help is now easier than ever with the advent of online therapy platforms. To learn more about them, click here.
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