Losing a job ranks rights up there–along with death, divorce, or a move–as one of the most stressful and difficult times in a person’s life. It can be particularly difficult for men, who often get a sense of self-worth and identity from their job and feel pride in being a breadwinner.
A job loss can lead to anger, depression, and solitude and it’s very important to develop healthy habits during this time of unemployment.
Take the following steps to create a regime of self-care.
Focus on friends and family
Seek out and spend time with those you are closest to. Meet up with a best friend for a regular lunch appointment and spend some extra time with family. Be open with those close to you about how you’re experiencing the job loss and accept the support of others.
Let’s get physical
Pay attention to your health. Now you have some additional time to ensure you can fit in a daily exercise routine, whether it’s yoga at a nearby studio, joining a local fitness club, biking across town, or simply taking a brisk walk around the neighborhood. This time will also stimulate creativity and just might stimulate some ideas regarding your next career move.
Embrace the pillow
Get adequate sleep. Make an effort to avoid staying up late to watch television or staying on a computer or mobile too long getting lost in the world of social media. Instead, go to your library and pick out some great books to read in the evening before falling asleep. Good sleep will provide you with energy and a positive attitude to continue on with the other healthy practices your implementing.
Resist the bottle
This is a time to avoid excessive alcohol consumption. Drinking will not change your situation and will only make it more difficult to practice other healthy habits. This might be a great time to avoid alcohol and instead make a switch to a healthier diet that make you feel more energized and optimistic about your situation.
Turn down the pressure
Take some time to minimize expectations and resist the temptation to put too much pressure on yourself to find a new job or make a decision about a career path. It can be difficult to make clear-headed decisions when we feel under pressure. Implement a daily practice of calm breathing, meditation, prayer, and positive affirmations to quiet the voices in your head, reduce the pressure, and set aside expectations.
When you develop habits of self-care—deepening your friendships, getting adequate sleep and exercise, eating well, and developing positive thinking patterns—you’ll be better equipped to handle a period of unemployment or under-employment.
Previously published on STAND Magazine
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