Coping With Job Loss Due to COVID-19
According to the United States Labor Department, 20.5 million people have lost their jobs since April, and the road to recovery seems unclear for those who are facing unemployment. As many businesses closed or severely cut back their operations in efforts to limit the spread of the coronavirus, the U.S. unemployment rate jumped to 14.7 percent in April, the highest level since the Great Depression. Analysts warn that it could take years to return to the 3.5 percent unemployment rate the nation recorded in February 2020. It is unclear what the economy will look like post-pandemic.
Coping With Job Loss
If you’ve recently lost your job, you may be struggling with feelings of uncertainty. Will I have enough saved up to get me through the next few months? Will my family be alright if I can’t contribute? These are common worries many people living in America are experiencing right now. You may be stressed about finding a new job, all while dealing with the loss of your daily tasks, and a sense of security.
We understand that this rollercoaster of emotions can be debilitating and can be a source of major stress in your life. Fortunately, there are several ways to maintain your mental health during this difficult situation.
Acknowledge Your Feelings
It is important to acknowledge the feelings you are experiencing due to a job loss situation. Losing a job can be overwhelming. Unemployment can bring feelings of sadness, anger, and depression, along with a sense of shock, given how rapidly the coronavirus pandemic has unfolded. We recommend that you do not repress your emotions and, in turn, acknowledge them. Recognizing feelings such as sadness, frustration, anger, and fearfulness will give you the ability to cope with them appropriately so you can move forward. It is important to share your emotions with your close friends and family members. You can also keep a journal to express your thoughts and emotions. The main goal is to prevent isolation. Therefore if you need further assistance; you can always look into the benefits of online therapy.
Shift Your Focus
Constantly focusing on the coronavirus and unemployment can become counterproductive. It’s important to understand that some of these factors are out of your control, therefore, accepting this and shifting your focus towards something positive can be of tremendous benefit. Setting an “action plan” and tangible goals will have a positive effect on your overall mental health.
If finances are a major concern, consider where you can potentially cut back. There are state-level and federal resources you can take advantage of, in addition to applying for unemployment benefits. We found that FindHelp offers some great resources when it pertains to coronavirus issues due to unemployment, layoffs, and health insurance.
Continue a Normal Routine
We suggest you maintain a regular schedule. Though it may be tempting to sleep in or stay in bed, we recommend setting goals for the day. Studies show that following a routine can help regulate your mood and prevent depression. Having set times for your daily tasks and adhering to them can give you a sense of accomplishment. If you need help building a schedule or a routine while you're at home, Business Insider has a great sample schedule that you can utilize.
Understand This Is Temporary
It’s important to give yourself time to process the emotional loss that comes with accepting unemployment. Not knowing when the coronavirus pandemic will be over or what the job market will look like afterwards can be draining. Remind yourself that this period of unemployment and this situation is temporary. Knowing you are not the only one dealing with unemployment or job loss right now can help you put things into perspective.
The Bigger Picture
- Exercise does the body good: Exercise can help reduce stress levels, as well as trigger the release of endorphins, which are chemicals produced naturally by the nervous system to cope with pain or stress. There are plenty of exercises you can try at home. If you want to get some vitamin D, you can exercise outside, just be sure to practice social distancing. Find free workout videos by visiting Fitness Blender or simply search YouTube to discover great at-home workouts for every activity level.
- Look for your next big break: Job surfing all day can be stressful. When you are creating a schedule for yourself, try setting aside certain hours of the day dedicated to submitting applications. This will not only motivate you to be extra productive during this window of time, but it will also allow you to feel more present during other activities.
- More time can mean a new hobby: Unanticipated time off can be hard, but try to look at this as an opportunity to do something you were too busy for in the past. If you have household chores or projects you have been putting off, this is a good time to get them done finally. New hobbies can give you something to look forward to, and it's a good way to keep you busy. If you need some inspiration, many sites like MasterClass are offering free or discounted virtual classes.
- Asking for help is okay: Millions of Americans are struggling with job loss and can relate to what you are going through. Even though we are limited in physical contact, we can connect virtually with others. It’s a good idea to network through sites like LinkedIn or other online professional development groups, particularly to your field of study. Your overall physical and mental health should be your number one priority. If you need assistance, you can check out COVID Coach, a free app that supports self-care and overall mental health during the coronavirus.
How We Can Help
It's frustrating and scary to be unemployed. Although it may be difficult to plan for the future, we want you to know that we are here to help. If you are facing financial difficulties and need to cut back on household expenses, a cheaper auto insurance policy may be a good place to start. Illinois Vehicle can offer you a free, no-obligation auto insurance quote online or by phone. If you would like to speak with an agent to see what plans are best for your budget, give us a call at 888-449-0170.