Job Loss: The impact on our mental health and useful tips.

Job Loss Affects Your Entire Family

In tough economic times everybody has to tighten their belts. For you that might mean cutting back on expenses. For companies that means cutting employees. Job loss is something that is hard for everyone to deal with. You aren't the only person who has to deal with the effects of job loss, your family does too.

Job loss can bring on stress. You have to figure out how to pay your bills and where the money is going to come from. You have stress about whether you are going to get evicted or lose your home. Then there is the stress of trying to find a new job.

On top of that stress you have to deal with depression. Depression is very common for people who have lost their job. This depression can come from many things. One is stress. Too much stress can cause a person to be depressed, which can cause more anxiety and stress.

Many people identify themselves by what they do, so they feel a loss of identity when they lose that job. When you don't know who you are or how you should feel then you are naturally going to feel depressed.

All the feelings that you are dealing with can affect the way that you interact with your significant other and family. One of the toughest things on any relationship is money issues. Dealing with money in a relationship is hard enough in good times, but when those money issues are caused by job loss that can just make the whole issue tougher.

Some of the issues that can come up include resentment on the part of a working partner. This can get even worse if the person who lost their job is having a lot of problems with situational depression and doesn't help out around the house or with other family issues.

Children might not know what is going on, depending on their age, but they do understand that there is more tension in the home. Older children and teens will have at least some understanding of what is going on and they will feel more stressed, especially if they aren't able to buy and do things they had in the past.

If you have lost your job and are dealing with mental health issues, including suicidal feelings, there are places that you can turn.

Check into mental health centers in your area. They have counselors that can help you learn some coping skills to deal with the emotions that you are feeling. There will also be counselors who can work with your entire family and help smooth out all the bumps that job loss can cause.

Most mental health centers will work with you on payment and many have a sliding scale fee. If you live near a school of psychology you can see if they have services to offer.

If you need help immediately you can call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and talk to someone at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. They can help you find a crisis center, and help you find other resources.

Losing a job can affect much more than just your income. You and your family can also deal with mental health issues. You can find mental health professionals that can help you get through it.

Here are the things you can do to cope with the difficult time:

1. Acknowledge that there are things that you can control.

It is difficult to face the fact that you lost a job. In most of the cases, it was not something you could control. You may feel like someone just knocked down your life that you had worked so hard to build. It is understandable that you feel like you cannot do anything, feel powerless, and no control over your life. Thinking about things that you can control will help you get out the moment of negative thinking, and give you energy to move on.

2. Allocate your money

Many people say it is not important how much we make but it is important how we spend it. You may not want to look at your financial situations right now, but it is the time for you to face a reality and make a plan for future.

Take a close look at your income/saving and expenses. You may feel that you cannot cut anything, but you may find that you buy cigarets every month, or you have two or three cars in your family.

When we are under stress, we tend to choose more unhealthy habits to cope with immediate stress. But you will soon know that smoking a pack a day will easily cost you $150/month. That is $1,800/year. That is a good chunk of money.

You may want to ask if your family needs 2-3 cars right now at this moment. You will be able to be more creative to handle your financial situations. Creativity is unlimited.

3. Choose healthy coping skills.

We already talked about this in #2, but it is true that we tend to use unhealthy coping skills when we face a difficult time. We all create a vicious cycle of unhealthy life habits. We start thinking about our life negatively, we feel stressed, we became less active, we start smoking/drinking more, and sit around more and think that our life is as miserable as we can get.

Research consistently shows the evidence of positive effects of exercise on our mental health. If you have done exercise before, you know that how refreshing you feel after exercise. After exercise, you will less likely craving for smoking or alcohol, you tend to drink more water, and eat healthy food.

When you are doing exercise (moderate to intense level), most likely you will not think about your worries. You are in a moment of "the Zone." According to Wikipedia, The Zone: "a mental state attained by a person fully immersed in some activity." Just being more active or starting walking will help you improve your mood and life style.

4. Talk to your friends.

It is very important to establish and have a support network. When we are venerable, we tend to withdraw from other people, but it is the time to reach out to your friends. Talk to your friends who are supportive to you about your current situation, get out and do something together with them, and tell them you are looking for a job. It is the time to use power of networking and receive emotional support.

5. Ask professionals.

There is a certain time you may want to receive advice from professionals. We cannot be experts for everything, and there are always professionals out there to help you from your mental health issues to financial issues.

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