The idea of people as “creatures of habit” is a familiar one. What can happen when a major source of daily routine and structure is disrupted?
“Coping with Stress during a Job Loss,” an Ask IFAS publication from the UF/IFAS Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, discusses expected emotional reactions during a job loss. People may experience shock and denial, anger, resistance, and/or sadness before reaching a stage of acceptance.
The article also provides ideas to manage stress during this period. If stress-related health problems develop, they can make an already upsetting situation worse. It’s important to aim for a balanced diet, adequate sleep, exercise, time for oneself, and perspective, even if these do not feel like priorities at the moment. Understanding monthly expenses, setting aside funds for emergencies, and seeking emotional support from others are a few more ways to mitigate stress during a job loss.
Although losing a job is often an alienating experience, coping doesn’t have to be an isolated process. A robust network can offer perspective, encouragement, and potential ways forward. People in this network may include family, friends, positive individuals, support groups for job seekers, professional contacts, and/or a faith community. Seeking professional help from a doctor or counselor may be helpful to someone who experiences prolonged struggles and stress or becomes stuck in a rut due to job loss.