Worried About Layoffs? Learn 6 Powerful Ways to Handle Stress When Laid Off. 

6 minute read
Laid off

Losing one’s job can be an extremely stressful experience and can impact your health both, physically as well as mentally. But what we have to keep in mind is that this experience doesn’t define you. It doesn’t define your character even. There are a variety of emotional reactions that being laid off can cause to an individual such as feelings of worthlessness, anxiety, fear, headaches, disturbance in sleep, weight gain, etc. These feelings can be very difficult to cope with but there are many ways through which one can manage and overcome them such as taking support from family and friends, going for therapy, etc. 

You should always keep in mind that life always moves forward, and this experience can turn out to be an opportunity for growth in terms of what’s coming next. One should focus on that. Don’t ever let the dismissal beat you down. And to help you overcome the stress of being laid off, we are here to help with certain ways that will help you manage your feelings. Let’s take a look at them. 

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1) Accept What you are Feeling.

This is one of the major phases of learning how to handle stress when laid off. Try and acknowledge your feelings in the situation. Process them, accept them. Don’t try and be in denial. Only when you acknowledge your feelings, will you be able to move forward. Tell yourself that it’s alright to feel anger, sadness, frustration, or any other emotion that you might be feeling. You feel multiple emotions all at once, but that is completely normal. 

It definitely will be helpful if you have someone to talk to about them. It can be a close friend, your better half, your parents, etc. Tell them what you are going through. This will help offer you some insight into such a situation.

2) Always be Kind to Yourself

When a situation like this happens, we out of all, become hard on ourselves. This can make the situation even worse as it can exacerbate the feeling of worthlessness and hopelessness, hence making it even more difficult to cope with the stress of the situation. So, be kind to yourself. Do a self-care routine, watch your favourite movie, meditate, etc. 

For some time, you can even take time from work-related activities such as job-hunting, networking, etc. In that duration, engage in activities that bring you joy such as a stroll in the park, or listening to music, playing sports, etc. Also, reinforce that positive mindset. Don’t let your own head bring you down. Say to yourself “ I have extremely great potential and am capable of finding another job”, or “I will get through this”. 

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3) Don’t let it Affect you Personally

When you have been laid off, it almost always seems personal. This can lead to anxiety. Know this, that its not personal. Don’t let it get to your head. When laid off, it doesn’t necessarily reflect your identity as an employee or an individual. There are several reasons for a layoff. Remind yourself that it’s not personal. 

4) Avoid Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms

Individuals often turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as excessive drinking or even drug use which might provide temporary relief, but they will most surely only worsen the situation. 

Hence avoid such mechanisms at all costs. Below mentioned are some tips to help you avoid such mechanisms:- 

  • Find the triggers:- Identify what triggers such a response from your side and avoid them. If you are aware of certain people, places, activities, etc. that tend to lead you towards such unhealthy behaviours, avoid exposure to them. 
  • Find Alternatives:- When you face the urge for any unhealthy behaviour, take a few moments and think of any alternative options. For example: instead of having a drink, go out for a walk or talk to someone you trust.
  • Get Support: Don’t hesitate to ask for support from your loved ones such as your family and friends. If you still find it difficult then seek professional help from a therapist who can offer advice on how to deal with such a situation.

5) Consider Seeking Professional Help

Coping with the stress of being laid off can become overwhelming. As mentioned before, dwelling on the negative emotions of such a situation can be extremely bad for any individual. If such is the case, then you should seek medical help from a professional therapist. Consult them so that you develop effective ways to manage emotions and make progress. 

6) Don’t Exhaust Yourself Looking for a New Job

When you have been laid off, it’s only natural to feel the immediate need to find a new job. That’s natural. However, you shouldn’t burn yourself out in the process. As important as it is to find a new job, it is equally important to not exhaust yourself in doing so. Take care of yourself and don’t forget to be mindful of how much time you spend on the job hunt as it can be very tempting to spend hours scrolling through job posts, networking, etc. Try and dedicate only a specific part of your day to this process. Don’t become overwhelmed by this task.

Just be patient, and take breaks throughout your day, even if the breaks are short, they will make a big difference. 

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Just Hold On

Every individual, in his or her life, has to face situations as hard as being laid off. Situations like these are the ones that make or break them. And in the same, you do have a say. You can choose to not let it break you and make you even more amazing than before. The process is definitely not easy, it will take you through downs as deep as a deep-sea-trench where the light will seem to not even exist or a dark tunnel where all you can find is darkness. But know this, keep walking or swimming and eventually, you will see that there is light after all. The surface of the ocean is glistening with the sparkle of the sun, the tunnel is finally ending and a new vivid phase full of light and hope is there to grace you. Just hold on, take care of yourself, and keep moving forward. 


Q.1. How do you cope when you get laid off?

Ans: Some of the proven strategies to cope:
-Accept what you are feeling.
-Always be kind to yourself
-Don’t let it affect you personally
-Avoid Unhealthy coping mechanisms
-Consider seeking professional help
-Don’t Exhaust yourself looking for a new job

Q.2. What are the emotional stages of a layoff?

Ans: It is normal to feel emotions like grief, denial, anger, frustration, hopelessness, and worthlessness. You may feel them one by one or you may feel multiple emotions at once. Both are normal.

Q.3. Is being laid off traumatic?

Ans: Yes, being laid off is very traumatic. Hence it is important to manage stress during this phase and take care of yourself. Be kind to yourself and don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you feel like it. 

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This was all about How to Handle Stress When Laid Off. For more such informative blogs, visit the career counselling page of Leverage Edu. 

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