Unemployed people are twice as likely as employed people to suffer from psychological problems (34% versus 16%). And, with American unemployment claims reaching over 6 million for the third week in a row, more and more people are finding themselves unemployed during the coronavirus crisis.
Aside from financial hardships and the uncharted territory of applying for unemployment benefits, getting laid off can lead to physical and mental ailments as well. Your routine has been shattered, you’re living in lockdown and you’re likely dealing with kids at home as you process your new normal. We get it; it can be tough.
So, if you get unemployed during this crisis, first remember that you’re not alone. Then, take a look at our helpful tips that can guide you as you navigate this new and hopefully short-lived stage of your life.
Check for Local Assistance
If you get laid off then the first order of business is to ensure that your finances are going to be okay. While you might not want to, go ahead and get it out of the way. Sit down and take an honest look at your finances and your budget and rework them where necessary.
Then, check with your local government to look into receiving financial assistance. The COVID-19 crisis has forced the government to loosen requirements for filing for unemployment. But, it’s best to check with your local state government or unemployment offices, such as NYS unemployment or the California unemployment office.
Give Yourself Time to Grieve
What we are going through right now is not normal. Every single one of us has been thrown into a routine and a new world that feels totally unfamiliar to us all. And, that’s even harder to adjust to if you’ve just been laid off and now have to think about a massive career change or are figuring out how to man an unemployment claim.
Let yourself feel that grief before immediately jumping back into the job search or feeling like you need to update your resume or take a new online course. The Harvard Business Review noted that we’re all feeling this right now. “The loss of normalcy; the fear of economic toll; the loss of connection. This is hitting us and we’re grieving. Collectively. We are not used to this kind of collective grief in the air.”
Stick to a Route
Once you’ve taken care of your basic budget and have given yourself time to grieve, watch Netflix and lounge around in sweatpants all day, make sure you try to create a routine and stick to it as much as possible. It will help you in the long-run, and during a time where life feels like something out of a movie, it’ll help add a touch of normalcy to your life.
In fact, a study published in Psychology Today found that “people who favor an active daytime routine over a nighttime one have healthier sleeping cycles. These, consequently, are associated with better mental health and minimize the risk of developing emotional difficulties.” Even if your routine only consists of eating breakfast every day at 9 am and a nighttime skincare routine, it’s something to start with and build off of.
Then, when the world begins to return to normal and the unemployment number in the country begins to decline as well, you’ll find it much easier to slowly get back into normal life and the normal routines we were once used to.
Exercise Your Mind and Body
There are few things as good for your mental and physical health as exercise. You should ideally be engaging in 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise each day. If your state allows it, get out and walk around the block to enjoy the spring sun and fresh air. Or, download a free workout app at home and participate in workouts that you’d usually have to pay for.
Interested more in exercising and quieting your mind? Meditation has been shown to increase brain performance, enhance creativity, alleviate stress, and help calm anxiety, all of which are symptoms of depression and the stress related to losing a job.
Start Planning for the Future
This will eventually pass and the world will go back to (somewhat) normal. Eventually, you’ll find another job, you’ll get back into your routine, and this will all be a very distant yet intense memory. It can help to keep this in mind and think about the future.
This includes financially planning for the future, too. Get some online classes if you feel the need to improve your skillset. If you’re learning how to navigate unemployment and bulk up your savings then one solution is paying for bills and other essentials with a debit card that’s optimized to earn you money.
Cheese Debit Card: for every dollar you spend, you can save by getting cashback. The more you spend, the more savings you get. The card is 100% free and FDIC-insured. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Join to start saving more.