In the UK, the official count stands at 1.62 million people. Those are people that have lost their job during the pandemic. This, on top of the already difficult situation created by the virus, can make anyone feel lost. We will probably see the real impact on people’s mental health in the years to come.
If you are reading this article, you probably need some advice on what to do. The first tip is not to panic. Instead, try to be calmed. Here are some tips to help you overcome the crisis.
Recognize Your Feelings
The first step to managing your feelings is to identify them. Losing your job, especially if it was something you love to do, can make you grieve, almost like you just lost a friend. In addition, if you have people that rely on your income, you may be suffering from a lot of stress and anxiety. All put together can push you into a depression pit that is hard to get out of.
Take some time to really think about how you feel. Once you accept it, you can start looking for activities that will help you feel better. For example, working out is an excellent option to manage stress and anxiety. It might even be worth looking into some of the apps available to help with rest as you cannot underestimate the value of a good night’s sleep.
You can also pick up other habits, like going for a walk in the woods near your home, or just stepping outside and breathing fresh air in the mornings. Even if you don’t believe it now, those activities can make a huge difference in your overall well being once you incorporate them into your daily routine.
Keep Up With Your Morning Routine
Another thing many people do after losing their job is to stop their morning routines. They think that since they don’t have to go to work anymore there’s no need to wake up early. But this is the first step to creating bad habits. Instead, you should keep up with your morning routine and take advantage of the free time you now have.
Maybe you can use the mornings to send job applications and attend interviews. Or you could work out and go visit your family. Whatever it is, it’s important that you get out of bed and out of your pyjamas even if you are going to work on your computer in the kitchen. This will help you fend off negative feelings during this time.
Spend Time With Loved Ones
During the Covid-19 pandemic, many people felt more isolated than ever because of the few weeks of lockdown and the distancing measures. This was worse if you lost your job. You wouldn’t have any activity to distract you. It is important to accept the help of others.
Instead of isolating yourself even more, you should do everything you can to spend some time with loved ones, such as friends, family, and anyone in your community. You aren’t alone in this situation, the whole world is suffering the effects of the pandemic but even a Zoom call may help. Having the support of close friends or family can help you overcome the crisis and move forward quicker. Never feel you’re alone as there are many charities that will help both financially and mentally, just get in contact with your local council for initial advice or speak to friends and family.
Learn a New Skill
One of the most valuable things you can do with the free time you probably have is to learn a new skill. The first option is to learn something that will help you stand out when looking for a new job. For example, you could learn how to use the latest software in your industry or improve your interpersonal skills. You can start by conducting some research and finding out what employers are looking for.
Some soft skills that are highly sought after by employers are strong communication, teamwork, resilience, leadership, and creativity. They vary for each career but you can find exercises or courses online that will help you improve those skills or develop them if you don’t have them.
You can also learn a skill you’ve always been interested in like painting or coding. It doesn’t matter if it is not related to your current career because it will help you have something to do. Being busy with different activities that will be beneficial for you is always a good choice during this time. I’ve written previously about the value of learning a new language on positive and wellbeing, work skills are identical – once you’re on a roll, you feel more positive!
Consider Changing Careers
Finally, another option is to consider changing careers to professions that didn’t suffer during the pandemic. For example, the healthcare industry was at the frontline fighting the pandemic. Thus, any job in this sector is a good option, but it’s not for everyone. Medical school is one of the most expensive and in the UK it can take from six to twelve years.
The tech industry is another option that saw an increase in demand so any tech profession is a good choice. You can also become a tech professional in a few months with a coding bootcamp. The courses are much more affordable and you will be investing your time for a few months. You can also find tech professions with very different paths.
If you are looking for a path that needs creativity, you can choose web design or UX design. Those are about creating easy to use and beautiful websites, applications, and programs. But if you prefer something more analytical, with math and statistics, you can follow the data science or machine learning engineering paths.
Losing your job during the pandemic is a challenging situation for anyone. You lost a stable income during one of the greatest economic crises in many years. You should first recognize and manage your feelings. It will help if you keep up with your morning routine and spend time with your loved ones.
Finally, you can keep busy by learning something new. You can even decide to change careers to something with more opportunities. Start by researching which careers were resilient to the pandemic. Maybe you will find something new you are passionate about that has a better outlook for the future. The important thing is to make a plan on how to keep going even in the hardest moments.