Coping with the Emotional Impact of a Layoff

Being laid off from work can be a stressful and overwhelming experience, especially if you were not told why and if you have been working on the job for a long time. For some, the layoff can become a new break for them to try something new or closure to an already strenuous relationship with the business after getting over the shock of the news. Others will take the experience to heart and slowly feel the gravity of the situation, which can physically and emotionally affect their recovery.

If you are in this situation, take your time to find control over your emotions as you deal with the layoff. Here are some tips to help you cope with the feelings brought on by the experience:

1. Acknowledge Your Feelings

Feeling angry, scared and confused is expected when you get laid off work. Don’t be scared to let it out and grieve the loss when you feel these emotions.

2. Have The Proper Support From The Right People

Don’t be afraid to lean on your family and friends to get emotional support during this period. A great support system can help you recover much quicker and give you another perspective on your experience.

3. Don’t Use Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms

While recovering from the layoff, don’t turn to vices to cope because it will only create more stress and reduce your motivation to find new work.

4. Take Care Of Yourself

One way to deal with the stress you may get from being laid off is by finding a healthy way to release it. You can do meditation, exercise and get a good night’s sleep and food. This will help you function well and stay in shape as you recover.

5. Write Your Emotions Down

You can also write down your feelings in a notebook and clear your mind from all those negative thoughts. You can also use the time to think about your experience better and learn from it.

6. Stay Positive

You should also try your best to stay positive and surround yourself with positive thoughts and ambience. If you stray into negative thoughts, tell yourself to stop and say you can get through this experience and focus on the future.

7. Seek Professional Help If Needed

You can seek counselling or therapy if your emotions are getting out of hand and you can’t control them. A doctor or a mental health expert can assess whether you need additional medical support and guide you through your road to recovery.

Layoffs can happen at any time, and when it happens to you, they will change your life. But, instead of letting it get to you, take a short pause, assess your situation, and take the necessary steps to help you cope healthily. Be patient because it may take a while to recover, but once you do, you will be confident about yourself and try building your career again.

If you are heading towards unemployment, don’t be despair. Check out these articles to help you:
Conversation with Patty Wolters on Unemployment During Pandemic Times
Feeling Ashamed of Being Unemployed
How to Negotiate a Severance Package

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Keith says:

    Kally, good post, but let me add a few comments as context, primarily for companies and management. First and foremost, the people who are not being laid off see how a company treats its people when they let them go. They know there but by the grace of God go I. If they see it done poorly, they will put their resumes in order. There is a movie called “Up in the air” with George Clooney about an outsourced firm to do layoffs. This concept makes me ill.

    The other comment I will make is companies forever seek more loyalty and engagement from employees. The trouble is companies are the ones that killed it. Annual layoffs, ceilings on salary increase budgets, cutting training, etc. are on a long list that helped kill employee engagement. I learned a new term the other day “quiet quitting.” Employees don’t leave, they just work less hard and less time.

    I agree that a person should leave with dignity, but often, the company is not matching that dignity.


  2. C.A. Post says:

    Kally, you are always spot-on with your counsel, and encouraging for discouraging situations. The only addition I would add would be one resource for those “right people” for support.
    While some involved in religion are there for themselves (we would call them weeds among the wheat – Matthew 13:24-30) most are genuinely trying to find how to live for God and His kingdom.
    Thus, a Christian church can usually provide some of the best support for almost any crisis.
    If one complains, “Well, so-and-so in the church doesn’t act very Christian,” think of what you would think of a 5th grade ‘orchestra’ playing Beethoven’s 5th Symphony.
    Would it be reasonable to condemn Beethoven as a lousy composer because the ‘orchestra’ sounded so poor? So when evaluating the help one gets from a church or Christians, one needs to evaluate how closely they actually follow Jesus.
    ❤️&🙏, c.a.


  3. Kally, your points are good ones to consider for people facing work layoffs. I was laid in back-to-back years during my early years in the teaching profession. The first time felt like being gut-punched. I never saw it coming, but I weathered the next one much better in the following year.


  4. Thank you for sharing. Have a great week.


  5. Coping with a layoff can be difficult emotionally. Following that, spending a long time looking for your next job, and putting in hundreds of applications with few interviews can also be emotionally difficult.


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