If you’ve experienced a lay off, or are struggling to find work at the moment, know that you’re not alone. The Covid pandemic has triggered a steep rise in unemployment.
Unemployment is one of the toughest things a person can go through and has been linked to increased depressive and anxious symptoms.
Dealing with unemployment requires a holistic approach, making sure that your mental health is maintained while also moving forward with a job search. This can be a delicate balance and we will look at some ways to develop coping skills while facing this challenge.
Take some time to decompress
Unemployment can be a major blow to your sense of self. Acknowledge those feelings and try to take some time in the aftermath to process.
Sometimes racing thoughts can make a situation feel overwhelming. Journaling about what you’re going through can help you to gain clarity and make a plan for moving forward.
Talk to friends /family
Talking helps! Try to lean on your support system. Planning a walk or a phone call with a friend can be a good way to take your mind off everything.
Financial worries are often front of mind when out of work. There are a number of support systems in place for those who have lost their jobs due to Covid, or job seekers who have been negatively affected by the pandemic.
Do some research into what supports are offered in your country and explore your options. Reducing financial worries can help to ease anxiety around money, allowing you to focus on your next steps.
Look after your mental health
Eat well, exercise and see people. These may seem like simple steps but they are the cornerstone towards strong mental health. It is very easy to burrow yourself away into a job search but your wellbeing needs to be prioritised.
Develop your coping Skills
Coping skills are important. When you find yourself ruminating, build a plan to distract yourself. Call a friend when you are having negative thoughts. Go for a walk and get your blood pumping when you find yourself stuck in a negative spiral.
Lack of purpose is a major pain point for those who experience unemployment. Try to work out another way of creating purpose in your life.
Maybe you could check in on elderly family members, or volunteer your time. Having a sense of meaning and purpose can make a marked difference in one’s mental health while seeking work.
Once you feel confident that you have taken care of yourself, you can begin the job search. Treat it like a job. Resuming the job hunt can be overwhelming. But it cannot occupy your entire day. Treat the job search like a job itself. You can set yourself clear hours when you will review your CV, draw up a cover letter and apply for jobs in your field.
This is a scary time for many people and unemployment can exacerbate stress. If you’re struggling, there are a number of different support resources available.If you’re based in Ireland, the Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed have some great info and support options : https://www.inou.ie/For those in the UK, Renovo can help find you new opportunities : https://renovo.uk.com/
If you would like professional support with anything you are going through turn2me provides free, confidential online supports for young people and adults in the Republic of Ireland.
- Peer support – A free and safe space where you can find and give support by connecting with other people who have been through similar experiences.
- Group support -Facilitated by a mental health professional, support groups are a safe space to connect with others and share solutions and coping strategies on a variety of mental health topics.
- Counselling – Support for whatever you are going through, this is a safe space to talk with a professional counsellor to help you understand your feelings and work together to develop the tools you need to get through tough times.