Very few things in life are more stressful than getting fired or laid off from work.
We all need income to survive, so it does not feel good when we have zero money coming into our banking accounts. However, many individuals will have to deal with the reality of unemployment at some point in their lives.
What are some basic steps individuals can take to avoid losing their minds? Haje Kamps & Jeremy Smith from Greater Good Magazine offer some ideas.
The authors give 8 different ways to protect your mental health while unemployed. I condensed the list to 5 because I picked the ones I used in the past. Also, these five factors are great methods to live a productive life, regardless of whether you are unemployed. Here are the five factors in question:
- Exercise- There is a significant amount of empirical data that supports exercising having positive mental and physical health benefits. The endorphins released during any cardio workout do improve one’s mood.
- Seek out social connections- Social connections also have a significant amount of data proving their usefulness. The closer relationships one has leads to increased happiness and a longer life.
- Practice self-compassion- Keeping a positive mindset when things are not going as planned is difficult. One way to lessen discomfort is having empathy for one’s situation. Instead of harsh self-talk, try treating yourself like you would a friend in similar circumstances.
- Give yourself some structure- Having a schedule gives us that structure to organize our life. Developing a routine, something you can depend upon, can move you forward in the right direction.
- Find yourself a purpose-Knowing the why makes the how much easier. Defining what you stand for can establish the line for what you will and will not put up with in many facets of life.
I’m sure many people reading this article know the benefits of participating in the steps listed.
However, when experiencing higher levels of stress, you can miss what is staring you directly in the face. If one is unemployed, continuing to exercise or practicing self-compassion might seem silly to them because finding work is the number one priority.
It is important to remember that if we’re not maintaining a stable mindset, then our ability to perform competently when we do find employment might suffer.
Establishing healthy habits can aid us during good and bad times. Primarily, when things are not pleasant, but you already have your routine set, which includes the five elements listed above, you can rely on the routine and not your memory. Stress sometimes has a way of compromising our ability to recall what is best for our lives.
The only guarantees in life are death and taxes. While that might seem cynical, we all know it is true.
What gives us the capacity to live is our ability to have some control over our existence. Losing a job causes uncertainty on a massive level because it’s a loss over not just money but relationships with colleagues and the structure of how you conduct your daily life.
One way to maintain stability during difficult times is to respond effectively. Sometimes in life, the only control we do have is how we respond.
Protecting ourselves by exercising, maintaining social relationships, practicing self-compassion, developing daily structure, and knowing our purpose is the best bet. In an unpredictable world, these five steps give us a foundation to build lives that can withstand any storm we encounter.
The saying that best encapsulates this article is to prepare for the worst but hope for the best. Developing the habits listed above is the finest preparation and hope for our lives.
Vertis Williams is a Positive Habits Life Coach and a Mindfulness Trainer. He is a regular presenter at employee and team-development events. Contact him to request more info on his Workshops or on his Coaching Services! Click HERE to Request a Complimentary Habit Coaching Session!