4 Ways to Cope if You Lose Your Job Tomorrow

We spend more time at our jobs than we do cultivating personal relationships, and similar to relationships, our jobs are important parts of our lives and often define a large part of who we are. Losing a job is similar to breaking up, and the coping mechanisms necessary to survive the transition address so much more than simply knowing how to budget severance pay or updating your resume.

(Photo Credit: bottled_void/Flickr)

1. Stress Release

Everyone needs ways to cope with traumatic events. Some people meet with friends and vent and talk about it. Some people exercise, either by going to the gym and working out or throwing on sneakers and going for a good run. Some people find that meditating helps calm them and relieve stress. Yoga and meditation are quieter ways to find release. Others may fill the new void in their lives by throwing themselves into volunteer work, at least for a little while.

2. Avoid Bad Habits

The point is, you must have a way to deal with the pain and stress of job loss in order to preserve your own mental and physical health. If you don't relive stress with a healthy coping mechanism, it will, essentially, find ways to cope for you that are unhealthy. Avoid drinking more or overeating to compensate. Zoning out in front of the television or computer is usually unproductive and unhealthy. If you find yourself falling into unhealthy habits to deal with or even avoid problems, turn to healthier alternatives.

3. Budget

You knew this was coming. It is necessary to deal with the potential break in income. The alternative is denial which will likely have devastating results.

Take a good, hard look at your expenses, and trim anything unnecessary. How many channels do you pay for but never watch? Magazine subscriptions, Netflix, and other regular expenses for entertainment may not be the best use of your financial resources at the moment.

Other categories of expenses you might trim include cleaning bills, such as dry cleaning or housekeeping help.

While these decisions are personal and individual, take a good look at where your money goes in an attempt to conserve.

4. Take Time to Regroup

Now is the time to remind yourself what you want in life. Instead of simply updating your resume and trying to get a "better" job doing essentially the same thing, take the time to ponder how and why things didn't work out. You may discover that there is a part of you that wants to do something different.

This is the time to reinvent your career, change direction, or find something better.

Tell Us What You Think

Have you ever lost your job? How did you cope? Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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