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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Barsky

How to Cope If You Were Laid Off Around the Holidays

Losing a job is always hard. Losing a job right before the holiday season is especially hard. Layoffs are sweeping the country and our nation is experiencing an economic downturn. Finances are creating extra stress on top of the already stressful season.

If you have found yourself in a situation where you no longer have a job this December, know that you are not alone. You may feel lost and even afraid, but you’ll get through it. Below are some helpful tips to cope with newfound unemployment this holiday season.

Gain perspective on the holidays

When thinking of the holidays, your brain may automatically go to unwrapping gifts and purchasing presents. However, take a moment to think about what the holiday season really means to you. Are your favorite holiday memories about the toys you got as a child? Or are they of time spent with your friends, family, and loved ones?

Before alleviating the stress of benign laid-off and financial troubles, remember, the holidays are not what you get but rather who you are with. Once you remember this crucial lesson, hopefully, money seems much less important in comparison.

Take time to mourn

Even though there is no “good” time to get laid off, unexpectedly losing a job just before the holiday season and end of the year feels like an extra punch in the gut. It is completely natural to want to mourn this sudden loss. Even if you were not working in your dream job, having financial stability is a benefit many people overlook.

Do not ignore the sadness and anger you are feeling. Take time to become accustomed to this sudden change. Once you are ready to start looking at the job market, ease yourself back in slowly, and start with tasks you find more manageable. However, be sure to not take too much time off, or you may lose momentum.

Get realistic about gift giving

Despite wanting to give your loved ones exactly what they want this season, financial instability caused by unemployment does not give you the freedom to do so. Even though it may not be fun, set aside an afternoon to seriously go through your budget and how the holiday season fits in. Plan for holiday travel, lavish holiday dinners, and, of course, gifts for family and friends.

Gifting within your means is critical. Receiving the present they really wanted may light up your child’s face, but providing financial security for them is so much more important in the long run. Create a strict budget and stick to it. This way, you can keep your savings safe and will not find yourself in trouble at the end of the year.

Find holiday work

Seasonal work might sound like something reserved for high school students, but there are plenty of options to find last-minute positions. Even though it will likely not be glamorous, staying busy and creating additional income is a great way to spend your time.

Do not forget to make time for yourself

It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of December. However, be sure that you have not forgotten to make time for yourself as well. Take a few minutes a day to go on an extra long walk by yourself, journal your thoughts, or practice meditation. Any time you can carve out to dedicate to yourself is time well spent.

Of course, turning to a trained professional for some extra emotional help this holiday season is always available. Therapy can help lower your stress and anxiety concerning unemployment and holiday stress. If you are interested in learning more, reach out to me on my website today.

If getting laid off is making you feel really down, and you'd like some information on treatment for depression, follow the link!


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