Coping With Job Loss During Covid-19

Patsy Litunya | 21 June, 2021

Millions of people around the world are suffering job loss as a result of the covid-19 pandemic. The loss of a livelihood not only poses financial loss but it also has a psychological effect.

Whether the job loss is temporary or permanent, it may lead to stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental challenges. These challenges may include:                 

  • Loss of identity and sense of purpose.
  • Feeling unappreciated and no longer important.
  • Being angry and scared.
  • Feeling lost, and wondering what to do next.
  • Worrying about how to take care of oneself, family, and provide for basic needs.

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Steps to manage thoughts and emotions:

The following are steps to help one cope with the mental and emotional effects of job loss.

  1. Accept that your feelings are normal.
  2. Acknowledge your grief and address these feelings as you would, in the case of any other loss. Such other losses may include missing activities that may bring meaning and purpose to your life, career opportunities that you feel would have given you a sense of belonging and identity, or relationships with co-workers.
  3. Maintain Perspective: Try to bear in mind that Covid-19 is causing many organizations the world-over, to make difficult decisions. Remind yourself, therefore, that under-sizing and other not so pleasant staffing decisions are consequently being made based on the Covid-19 pandemic effects, and not having you as the target.
  4. Assume the best in others: Life during the Covid-19 pandemic has caused high levels of anxiety to many people. This has led to feelings of sadness and helplessness. If you are struggling, know that others around you may be struggling too. These feelings may cause people to say and do things in unexpected ways. When this happens, try and be the sober-minded one. Have compassion and know that, just like you, they may also be trying their best to manage their feelings during these unprecedented pandemic times.
  5. Use your energy wisely: Try to do more, of the things that boost your energy. Avoid being hard on yourself or focusing on your losses. Be kind to yourself and focus on the positives.
  6. Focus on the present moment: Try to bring your thoughts to the present. Focus on what you can control at this moment, rather than, on concerns over your future.
  7. Take care of yourself: If you are unemployed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, remember that while you may not control what happens to you, you can control how you respond.

Patsy Litunya is a Psycho Therapist/Counselor at Kenya Utalii College. She is also a motivational speaker.

Read: Utalii College Wins Disability Award

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