Layoffs and mental health


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Corporate Collectives

Corporate downsizing is now a common occurrence around the world. Loss and change brought on by being laid off can be extremely stressful and distressing. “Globally, 930 tech companies have laid off 1,46,407 employees in 2022”, according to Forbes’ layoff tracker. In India, starting from E-commerce to startups, there have been layoffs in many major sectors.

In this global crisis situation, that one email or phone call that says, “We regret to inform you,” can create havoc in one’s life. Even if you are not on the receiving end personally, it can be a very upsetting experience to learn that your firm is going through a wave of layoffs. In addition to causing uncertainty, financial hardship, and stress during the job search, layoffs can also result in a loss of self-esteem, which is often associated with an identity crisis.

Psychological Impact:

Being unemployed is stigmatized in our society, so layoffs can have a detrimental effect on mental health leading to stress and low self-esteem. There are repercussions that affect not only the person who loses their employment but also their families, friends, and the greater community when a corporation announces it is laying off workers. People cope with change and stress in a variety of ways. The most probable emotional, psychological, and physical reactions include low self-esteem, panic, anxiety, shock, anger, frustration, sadness, fear, and feeling worthless. It can cause fatigue, headaches, weight loss, sleep disturbances, nausea, and an upset stomach etc.

Layoffs can have long-lasting psychological effects. Some people may find it difficult to fully recover from the stress of losing their jobs for years. Hence, the following coping mechanisms can be used for dealing with the crisis:

 Coping tips

  •   Accepting feelings and emotions attached to the layoff is the foremost thing, instead of suppressing or dismissing them.
  •   In order to help people sail through this challenging time, it is crucial to have support networks in place. The majority of people find that support and empathy are particularly beneficial during this emotionally trying time.
  •   It’s best to adopt a more focused state of awareness instead of worrying about the future, whether that involves doing yoga, guided meditation, or unplugging from technology.
  •   Give time to heal. Painting, writing journals, being kind to yourself, or simply talking to friends and family can help.
  •   Finally, focus on the future. Learn new skills to make yourself more employable and focus on the positives.

It is, however, strongly recommended to seek professional help if and when you feel the emotions are taking over your daily life and are no more manageable on your own.

Rebuilding your life

Rebuilding your life post-layoff situation is what is the most crucial phase. Here are some ways by which you can rebuild your life:

  •       Use affirmations every day to regain confidence.
  •       Set goals – When you have goals, you have something to work towards. This can help you stay motivated and focused during tough times.
  •       Create a strategy for handling your finances – File for all financial benefits your organization is supposed to clear, viz. unemployment benefits, insurance covers, etc.
  •       Nurture yourself by taking a walk, listening to music, and do something every day that makes you feel good.
  •     Networking can help you find new opportunities and connect with people who can help you in your career. You can also reach out to former colleagues or managers to ask for a recommendation on social media platforms.
  •       Try finding peace by practicing mindfulness or yoga to help you realize that this phase of life is temporary and that light is glowing brightly on the other side of the tunnel.

Whenever you feel confident again and are prepared to come back to work, feel free to check your strong areas through our employability skills assessment and let us help guide you through the process of joining your next role. 

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