Dealing with unemployment during the pandemic

Losing a job can severely affect your life and your state of being. During the pandemic, firms started firing massive numbers of employees, often because they did not have the necessary resources to sustain a large workforce anymore. 

If you too lost your job due to the pandemic, you must have felt absolutely lost and confused as to how to proceed. Since the pandemic continues to rage on, you struggle to pursue alternative options, and none of your potential employers has given you a positive reply. You must have realized by now that it would take you a bit longer than you anticipated to get back on the workforce, but that doesn’t stop you from feeling stressed and anxious all day long. Hopefully, some of the tips given below will help you feel a bit better and sustain you through this period of uncertainty. 


Deal with your emotions 

You will experience a multitude of emotions immediately after you lose your job, and these could occasionally pop up during the next few months. You might feel that you have lost your sense of purpose and that there is nothing about you that can be appreciated by others. You might feel envious towards those who managed to keep their jobs and unsure about your next step. 

Often, unemployed individuals go through the various stages of grief, much like someone in mourning. So, it is essential to remember the fact that you are only human and experiencing all these feelings is natural. Allow yourself to go through these emotions one by one as they emerge, take a deep breath and accept your feelings. 

Create a budget

Budgeting is an imperative tool for both individuals and institutions. It becomes even more crucial when you have lost your job, and you no longer have a reliable income source to support your lifestyle. Creating a monthly budget can help significantly reduce the financial stress you might feel during your period of unemployment. If you are the primary provider, your family will also feel the stress of your unemployment. You might feel inadequate at your inability to cater to their every need, but keep in mind that this too shall pass. 

Sit down at the end of each month with your family or by yourself and allocate money for all the basic necessities. Try to stop spending money on unnecessary products or impulsive online shopping. Remember to keep tabs on your spending habits to make sure that you do not go overboard. The goal is to sustain yourself during this period without acquiring any severe debts. 

Enquire about resources

If, despite budgeting, you struggle to make ends meet for you and your family, do not think it beneath yourself to seek help. If you ask around or make enquiries at any official agencies, you will come across community resources that can help with all your basic needs, including food and shelter. Your Government will most likely have put forth measures to help those dealing with unemployment during the pandemic. You can also avail health insurance that you might have lost when you were asked to leave. 

Additionally, you could file for unemployment and receive a bit of financial income that way.

Seeking help from trusted resources nearby can reduce the anxiety you experience while searching for your next job. 


Keep yourselves occupied

It is easy to spiral down into a pit of despair when you have hours and hours with nothing to do. Consider this period an opportunity to explore your passions and get creative. You could easily establish yourself as a content creator on the internet once you find your niche and the right audience. If you are ready to put in a reasonable amount of effort, you can even turn it into an income source. If you love gaming , why not stream it on YouTube or Twitch? You will spend many hours either planning your live streams or playing in front of an audience. Naturally, there will be less time each day for you to feel upset and angry about your unemployment. 

If you are uninterested in online content creation, you can always carry out tasks that you have been putting off for months. Look around the house and check if there are any repairs or renovations you can do by yourself. Carrying out these tasks will give you a sense of accomplishment and will also keep your mind occupied. 

Engage in part-time or voluntary work

When you face hardships during the pandemic, remember that there are many who are even worse off than you. Many might have lost their minimum-wage jobs and would be struggling to survive with their large families.

It is a good time to display a bit of selflessness and put in your efforts to help others. Contact your local NGOs or government agencies, and ask if they need assistance for any tasks related to helping those in need. Such volunteer assignments will make you feel a bit happier about yourself and help you put things into perspective. 

If you have any talents that could be used in another sector, you could also request a part-time job in essential services. During the pandemic, services like that provide repair works became indispensable to sustaining the community. If you have any skills in certain areas, you can contact your local establishments and as if they have any part-time job openings. This will return to you a sense of purpose and make you feel like you are once again, contributing to society. Since it is part-time, you will also have enough time to work on your job applications and contact potential employers. 

Explain your situation to your lenders

The pandemic has affected almost everyone around the world, so do not feel anxious about asking various institutions for a bit of leniency. Explain your recent unemployment to your credit card company and your lenders. They will most likely reduce the amount you have to pay monthly and will even give extensions. This will provide you with some time to recuperate, assess your savings and determine the best way to move forward. 


Turn things around by using this as an opportunity to learn more and acquire skills with which you can embellish your resume. You can easily go online to find a course you have always wanted to do or take up a class in your area of expertise. If you always found difficulties with communicating with clients and your co-workers, you can take a course on improving that, and return to the workforce with your new and improved abilities. 

Many of these courses can be completed in just a few weeks and are available either for free or at a low price. If you take up a completely unfamiliar course, you might even rethink your career and divert to an entirely new direction where you might be much better skilled.

Self-care is imperative

After taking a few days to come to terms with your new situation, you must remember to take care of yourself. Do not give up on your daily, healthy routines and lose all motivation to maintain your health. Even though you no longer have any 9-5 commitments, create a schedule and stick to it. Go to sleep at an appropriately scheduled time and wake up in the mornings. Regularly take all your proper meals and home-cook them as much as possible. This is not the time to binge on junk food and takeaways. Use this as an opportunity to try out new healthy recipes and have fun cooking sessions with your family. 

It is not necessarily safe to visit your gym, so set up a small workout area at home with the most basic equipment necessary. A simple yoga mat and a couple of weights will not strain your budget too much, but remember to keep exercising every day. In the evenings or mornings, put on your mask and go running down less-crowded paths and enjoy the outside air. 

Stay connected

It is easy to feel isolated when you have just been asked to leave a well-loved job filled with co-workers who turned into friends. You might feel like you are no longer part of a community and have lost your support system. But, this does not have to be the case. Many others from your firm would have also lost their jobs and will be struggling to go about their daily lives. Get in touch with your colleagues and friends via social media, interact with them regularly and schedule group video calls. These can be great for unwinding, sharing your troubles and offering support to whomever necessary. Knowing that you have all these friends to help you and back you up in times of crisis will give you renewed energy to get back into the workforce. 

Also, keep in touch with your family members. Remember, they too will feel concerned when they hear of your unemployment. Call up your parents and siblings regularly, update them on how you are doing and ask them what’s been going on in their lives. It will be relieving for them to see that you are doing pretty well and staying motivated. 


Research ways to relieve stress

Stress can negatively impact your life and health while you are in search of a new job. It could adversely affect your potential opportunities and abilities, making the situation appear even worse. 

If reaching out to a therapist does not seem the most viable option at this time, there are some alternatives you can pursue on your own. Keep a diary in which you jot down all your thoughts, fears and hopes. Make it a regular habit to spend some time documenting everything that happened. 

Find Yoga tutorials online and dedicate several minutes each day to do Yoga or meditate. Carry out research on how to combat anxiety and remember them the next time you feel your heartbeat racing, and you start to feel the panic rise within you. 

Stay away from substances that could harm you.

Many individuals on the throes of unemployment might turn to harmful substances like alcohol and drugs to make themselves feel better. Remember, these are not solutions and can often worsen your situation. Though alcohol and drugs might help you numb the pain in the beginning, you may soon start finding yourself unable to survive without them. These dependencies could lead to issues when it comes to getting hired at a new job or sustaining your family. The most pivotal thing at this time is to stay focussed, healthy and hopeful. You do not want anything getting in the way of that. 


Unemployment can be extremely tough for everyone who experiences it. You will feel buried in a ton of emotions, unable to plan your next move. But with the help of a few of the techniques mentioned above, you can keep your head above water and battle it out. Soon, you will come across a much better job opportunity and get back on your feet. 


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