22 Nov How to take care of yourself after you lose your job.
Written by: Dr. Jurgen Czechowsky D.Min, RMFT, CCAC
Let’s be honest. The possibility of job loss right now is very real. In the K-W area approximately 11,000 jobs were lost in manufacturing between 2006 and 2016 ¹. For Ontario 290,000 manufacturing jobs were lost between 2000 and 2013². Many people have moved from manufacturing to service sector jobs at much lower hourly wages compensating for some of the jobs lost. The median income (the middle point of all incomes measured) barely changed from 2000 to 2012³. Other factors that are often an obstacle to finding a job are: age, having inadequate training, more competition for jobs
So, it is only natural when job loss occurs that there are a lot of stressors, concerns and uncertainties. Shock, disbelief and anger kick in. We find it difficult to eat, to think straight and thoughts about not having work take over every waking moment and all too often our sleeping hours.
While the plan may be to get a job, as quickly as possible, the stressors we are under can actually be a hindrance to us finding a job. As long as the swirl exists in our head we will be less productive and less inclined to search for a job. So where do you start.
Admit your feelings, whatever they are. Acknowledge them and don’t try to stuff them. Talk with a partner, spouse or significant other. Talk with your friends, but be real about how you are feeling. You might be surprised at the response you get. Most people want to help and many these days know all too well the experience of job loss.
The body needs to get rid of all those stress hormones and chemicals that are generated. Get out of the house, walk anywhere, it does not matter. Find a wooded lot, a spacious field or a hiking trail. The worst thing you can do is sit on the couch and mope or play video games all day. This actually will not relieve stress, it will add to it. If you go to a gym, go and see if someone there will meet with you at a regular time and you can support each other in getting exercise.
Don’t ignore your hobbies or anything you find enjoyable. You need to distract your mind towards other things so it can process what is happening. Ever have the experience when you are engaged in a hobby and all of a sudden you come up with a solution for a problem at work or at home? I fish and that for me is probably the most relaxing thing I do for myself. It always amazes me how problems seem less insurmountable when I return home and how refreshed I am.
Don’t isolate. You may not feel like socializing, but get out there and connect with friends. Volunteer in the community. Join a group such as Guiding, Scouting, Kinette, Kinsmen, Optimist or The Lions Club. Join a hockey league, a soccer league or a baseball league, whatever you like or never tried before. Let yourself be surprised by daring to do something different.
- Schedule your week.
Plan when you are job searching, writing resumes and responding to ads or to head hunters. Include in your schedule your time with family, your hobbies, and exercise.
We challenge you to try these 5 things, though there are more, and let us know the difference they make in your life. We would be glad at ACT Associates to cheer you on and support you in your journey towards that new career.