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How to cope with the stress of losing a job

By Esther Muchene | November 14th 2021
By Esther Muchene | November 14th 2021

Losing your job can be a devastating experience. There are bills to be paid and you have needs to take care of. It is even worse if you are the family's sole breadwinner.

Job loss is one of the reasons so many people are depressed. You suddenly realise that you no longer have that sense of security that employment gave you.

Although a job loss can cause you to fall into a pit of despair, it shouldn’t make you feel like your life doesn’t matter anymore. You finally have time to spend with your loved ones or start your own business or kick start plan B.

Accept the situation

One of the first steps to recovery is accepting the situation. In the first few days of receiving the news, you might go through different phases like anger and denial, which is perfectly normal. It’s okay to take some time to go through this emotional process but don’t spend too much time feeling sorry for yourself. Self-pity can trigger depression and make it harder for you to move towards a bright future. The sooner you accept the reality, the easier and faster it will be for you to move on.

Start applying for a new job

One thing that distinguishes those who are able to move on faster and those who take decades, is taking action. A great step is to revamp your CV and apply for new job openings. This will help to reduce the stress and anxiety because at least you know you’re trying your best.

Go for counselling

Besides offering you a source of livelihood, a job signifies acceptance. There is a sense of fulfilment when you feel you’re contributing to the success of a company. It’s great to know that you’re part of the group when you interact with your colleagues. A job loss makes you feel like a reject which can cause stress, low self-esteem and depression. Seek help from someone who can give you practical steps on how to cope.

Do something you love

A great way to help you maintain a positive mindset is reconnecting with your hobbies. While in employment, it’s hard to find time for yourself so this is the perfect opportunity to enjoy inexpensive activities like cooking, working out, painting, swimming and dancing. You can also hang out with friends and family. 

Think of side hustles

Ironically, job loss can inspire some amazing side hustle ideas. Many of us assume that the only way to survive is employment while in reality, you can have different streams of income. Don’t be afraid to expand your vision. 

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