COVID-19 has changed lifestyles and has forced us to adjust to a new normal. Many businesses have shut down or are decreasing operations at an unprecedented rate, thereby causing significant emotional strain on employees who’ve lost their jobs.
Here, we explore ways to support your mental health while experiencing job instability during these uncertain times.
Breathe and Be Kind to Yourself
It’s easy to feel like you’re not good enough or that you’ve failed after losing a job. But, remember that sometimes, the reason for most people being unemployed has nothing to do with their performance.
Layoffs can take place due to various reasons, such as an economic downturn, a company downsizing, and more. In these extraordinary times, many of us are going through difficult periods where we need encouragement and support more than ever before.
Remind yourself what your work life means. Work may bring joy into your life but it should not define you.
Prioritize Your Mental Health
Once laid off, make sure to focus on your relationships and exercise. Make time for yourself by doing the things that bring you joy and peace. It is also important to know where help can be found if needed during this tough period in your life.
Turning off the TV and disconnecting from social media is a great way to alleviate anxiety. It can be especially beneficial to those who work in healthcare as they may feel overwhelmed by what they see on every news channel out there.
Disengaging with mainstream media doesn’t mean ignoring national or global issues; it means not letting them become part of one’s daily routine.
Make the Right Calls
There are many questions to consider when your company lays you off.
- Did they call it a layoff or did they tell you outright that this was the end?
- Is there any way for them to bring me back to work if my unemployment benefits run out before I find another job?
- What happens in cases where employees have been laid off due to illegal reasons? These reasons may include discrimination based on gender identity or pregnancy status.
Connect and Communicate
When a person is facing unemployment, they need to remember that connecting with people is not just about seeking comfort or sympathy. It is an important way for their mind to stay occupied.
Seek Support From the Federal Government
The Federal Government, in an effort to support those affected by COVID-19 is offering a variety of financial assistance programs. Some of these include:
- Employment Insurance – There are temporary changes that will allow individuals who have been out for more than 7 weeks access EI benefits from September 27, 2020, until September 25, 2021.
- Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) – Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) is the only national, federally funded income security measure in Canada’s social safety net which assists disadvantaged and vulnerable citizens during periods of unemployment or underemployment with monthly payments of up to $1,800 per person depending on family size.
- Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) – The Canadian government has put together a program to help sick people get back on their feet. The CRSB provides economic assistance if you have been diagnosed with any of the following diseases: cancer, multiple sclerosis or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
- Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) – The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit, also known as CRSB, is a program that offers compensation to those who need time off from work due to an illness. The government of Canada has realized the importance of compensating sick workers so they can continue providing for themselves and their loved ones.
- Mortgage support – If you need help paying your monthly bills, there may be a solution available to you through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). Their website provides information on how homeowners can avoid foreclosure by arranging their mortgages so they pay less each month.
Here is a complete list of support and up-to-date information on the Federal Government’s COVID-19 Response Plan.
The Importance of Networking
In almost all cases employers are trying their best during this difficult time and how you act will speak volumes of your character.
You should avoid posting negative things on social media to maintain relationships with your ex employer.
Always keep looking for better opportunities. Use multiple resources when looking for jobs. Don’t just stick to one place, try different employers who are hiring wherever you go. Stay positive and don’t lose hope if you have lost a job due to COVID-19