Return to Stronger Minds home

How to manage the stress of a layoff

Featured Image

Dr. Khush Amaria, clinical director for BEACON digital therapy, recently told Global News that the first step in managing the unexpected stress is to be proactive, which can start simply by talking.

“Talk to the people who are in your circle of support, whether that’s family members or friends, in this case, colleagues or people in your community,” Amaria said. “We’re all used to getting support from different people but it’s really important to talk about something like this with whoever you’re comfortable with.”

She said, for most people, if an issue isn’t faced head-on, it can get much bigger and have an even stronger negative impact over time. Amaria said if a person is laid off, they should still keep up with their routines rather than withdraw or make any other big life changes.

Employment is a large part of a person’s identity, she notes, so people need to know and be told that there are other parts to their identity.

Furthermore, guilt can play a part in what a person is feeling after being laid off. People should be reminded that a layoff, more often than not, is about the economy rather than an individual’s skills or capability. That’s especially true right now.

For family members or someone connected to someone who has been laid off, Amaria said they should pay attention to signs of decline in that person.

“We know that if someone is dealing with a stressor, we expect them to have lots of different reactions. There’s going to be some sadness, anger, some denial and people can become more irritable or withdrawn,” Amaria said.

Family members and friends can be there to instill hope in the affected party.

“They might be the ones who can help them to talk about the emotional piece of the layoff even if you can’t help them with the practical strategy of finding a job,” Amaria said.

Employment is a large part of a person’s identity, she notes, so people need to know and be told that there are other parts to their identity.

Return to Stronger Minds home

Subscribe to Stronger Minds by MindBeacon

Get all the latest mental health news and info direct to your inbox every month!