For many people, losing a job not only means the loss of income, but also the loss of one’s identity.
Who they are is connected to what they do. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were millions of jobs lost in America last year which means there were many Americans struggling with the loss of identity and mental health. Americans were experiencing unexpected job loss or career changes for the first time ever and were unsure how to cope.
Studies have shown that job loss can increase the risk of suicide. It’s not uncommon for someone to feel that they’ve failed themselves or their families. Going through the grief process with a job loss is expected. However, if there are underlying mental conditions that were present before the job loss, it is more likely that you will experience even more difficulty coping with this shift in your life.
Job loss can often trigger feelings of sadness, grief, or worsen depression symptoms. If you’ve lost your job and are feeling overly worried, stressed, or suicidal, please know that you’re not alone and help is available.
There is also a shift in the workplace dubbed “the Great Resignation”. At the center of this shift is a great awakening: people are redefining life and success. The pandemic shutdown created a hiatus for employees to re-evaluate what work means to them and what matters most in their lives. More and more people are realizing that résumés, money, status, are not sustainable metrics for defining success. We mention this because there is change going on in people’s work lives on many different scales.
Your career is not your identity
Whether you choose to leave your corporate job or you are suddenly finding yourself without a job, It’s important to remember that your career is not your identity. Separating your self-worth from your job is very important. However, it is more than likely that you will grieve the job you’ve lost and that’s perfectly normal. You may go through stages of denial, anger, and depression before reaching the stage of acceptance.
If you’ve experienced unemployment and you are feeling stuck, please know that you are not alone. It is important to reach out for support from supportive family and friends, a counselor, or even a support group.
How to mentally bounce back
This is a tough process but there are ways to help you mentally bounce back. If you can’t seem to do it alone, please seek help.
- Allow yourself to grieve but try not to dwell.
- Establish a morning routine. Go for a walk, practice yoga, or journal before your day starts.
- Assess your marketable skills.
- Explore new opportunities.
- Focus on what you can control.
- Ask for help.
- Seek out professional help.
Wellness initiatives in the workplace
If you are an employer, it is imperative that you establish wellness-focused services, programs, and tools for your employees. Establishing a healthy workplace environment fosters a healthy space and creates a culture of work/life balance. In cases where job loss is experienced, the initiatives can help employees on their journey to personal wellness and empower them to move on to the next opportunity with confidence.
Examples of wellness programs and initiatives are:
- Fitness classes
- Support groups
- Employee discount programs
- Lunch and Learn series
- Alternative work arrangements
September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
2020 and 2021 have proved to be challenging on many different levels of individuals’ lives. This month is a time to raise awareness on the topic of suicide but to also provide hope to those who are affected by it. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is highlighting “Together for Mental Health which encourages people to join forces in advocating for better mental health care. For more information on how you can participate and support this cause, please visit www.nami.org.
For a list of local resources, please visit Texas Health and Human Services
At Wilco Wellness, we believe that health is a state of physical, mental, and social well-being. Your health is a journey, learning to support a state of harmony and balance. There is always more than a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to redefine how we live and who we are. People are waking up from the pandemic lockdown to recognize the value of living life purposefully, enjoying friendships and relationships, and prioritizing their health. There are new metrics that define success for the post-pandemic era of work, and the metrics will redefine a thriving workforce.
Inspirational Link: Change the Way You Think