Crackerjack Greenback Prudent Advice for a Prosperous Future

December 26, 2008

How to Overcome Depression When You’re Laid Off

Filed under: Laid Off — Paul Williams @ Crackerjack Greenback @ 4:00 am

       I was laid off on December 3, 2008. I wasn’t really expecting it, and it hit me pretty hard at first. However, I found ways to deal with the oncoming depression quickly and have managed to keep a positive attitude so far even though my job prospects are bleak right now. You can read more about my experience being laid off by checking out the ‘Laid Off’ category and reading the first post in my “Laid Off” series.

       But today’s post is not about me. It’s about ways you can overcome depression if you’ve been laid off. These are some things that have worked for me as well as some other suggestions I haven’t tried yet. I hope they’ll help you overcome or avoid depression while you’re laid off as well.

Pray & Talk

       The most comforting thing I’ve found while I’ve been laid off is praying to God. By praying and giving control to God, we can get His peace and protection for our hearts and minds.

       6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)

       Spend time with God in prayer and commune with other believers at church. You will be lifted up and encouraged—a powerful way to fight depression. Spend time with supportive family and friends as well, especially if you’re not a Christian. Talk to them about your feelings and ask them for encouragement. Getting your emotions out in the open will help you deal with them much better, which leads us to the next suggestion.

Manage Your Emotions

       Although being laid off can feel much more stressful than past situations, you can still use the methods that previously worked for you to deal with the stress you’re under now. Consider some of the ways you’ve successfully dealt with stress before and try to use those ideas now. Another suggestion is to start a journal as it can help you clear your mind and calmly reflect on your situation.

View Your Layoff As an Opportunity

       Though it might have felt like the floor dropped out from underneath you, getting laid off is not the end of the world. Look at it as an opportunity to make a major change in your career—possibly finding a better job, changing careers completely, or starting your own business. Take time to assess your interests, values, and strengths, and work to align your next move with your passions. If you can’t do exactly what you’d like, use this time to plan how you will reach your goals in the future.

Stick to a Schedule

       Laying in bed all day is definitely not going to help you avoid depression. Try to stick to your regular schedule even though you’re laid off. Get up when you normally would have, take a shower and get ready, and use your “working hours” to search for your new job and plan your next move. Make lists and plan your job hunting activities each day. This will help keep your mind occupied and focused on what you need to do next.

Exercise, Eat Well, and Get Enough Sleep

       A healthy body is key to overcoming depression or preventing it altogether. Make time in your schedule to exercise. Psychology Today explains why exercise is so important in the quote below.

       Exercise is an important adjunct to any therapy. Exercise directly alters levels of neurohormones involved in circuits of emotion. It calms the hyperactivity of the nervous system and improves function of the brain’s emotion-sensing network. It also improves the ability of the body to tolerate stress. What’s more, it changes people’s perception of themselves, providing a sense of personal mastery and positive self-regard. It also reduces negative thinking.

       However, just telling a distressed person to exercise is futile, as depression destroys initiative. The best thing a loved one can do is to simply announce: “Let’s go for a walk.” Then accompany the person out the door.

From Psychology Today’s “How to Fight Depression and Anxiety

       If you don’t have the initiative to exercise on your own, find a partner to exercise with you and keep you accountable. Take time to eat healthy meals as well. By cooking at home, you can save a lot of money and eat much healthier than you can in most restaurants. Finally, be sure you get an adequate amount of sleep each night so you’re fully rested and ready for the next day.

Remember to Laugh

       While this may be the hardest suggestion, laughing really does help to improve your mood. Spend time with happy people and friends who make you laugh. Laughter has some great benefits, especially when it comes to dealing with stress. If you need some help loosening up, read these tips on WikiHow about how to be playful.

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