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Tips to take care of your mental health in this layoff season

Losing a job is primarily a professional setback but it can have a lasting impact on an individual’s mental and social well-being. For a long time, the year 2022 will be remembered for the large-scale corporate downsizing that happened in the tech and start-up sectors. Over 135,000 employees in these industries have been laid off in 2022 so far. For many people, a job is just that – a job. But for many others, it could be their life’s calling, their passion, providing them with a sense of accomplishment and purpose. Losing it could very well leave them without a defined purpose and goal, impacting their happiness and health in the long run. (Also read: Workplace mental health: Causes, negative effect on employees, solutions )

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Prakriti Poddar, Mental Health Expert and Global Head, Mental Health and Wellbeing, RoundGlass, suggests, ” It is important to take out time to process your feelings and be assured this is not the end of the world. While your layoff may impact your current level of confidence — and finances — it is in no way a commentary about you as an individual and a professional. In the long course of professional and personal lives, this is but a bump on the road.”

She says, ” The one thing that you need the most at this point is another job. But that takes time and the journey to your next professional destination could be challenging. It is important to prioritize your wellbeing during this time and take care of your body and mind. Incorporating simple wellbeing habits and practices into your daily routine can help you navigate these challenges with grace and enhance your wellbeing.” She further shared some simple tips to prioritise your wellbeing to deal with professional setbacks.

1. Accept your feelings: Acknowledge and identify the setback and use it as a stepping stone towards growth. Listen to your inner voice, follow your courage, and act with conviction even when the going gets tough.

2. Build a routine: At a time when uncertainty is your biggest challenge, the dull predictability of a routine can be refreshingly reassuring and provide you with an emotional anchor. Set an intention for each day and maintain a routine as you followed at work. This will help you stay mentally engaged and keep your energies focused on figuring out your next steps.

3. Stay connected: As you go through this difficult phase, staying connected to people who matter and are close to you is crucial. Don’t shy away from leaning on them for emotional support.

4. Move and stay physically active: Mental and physical wellbeing go hand in hand. Stay active throughout the day – by exercising or doing chores – to reduce anxiety and maintain a positive outlook.

5. Eat healthy: You may want to binge on chocolates and ice cream to feel better but taking care of your physical health by eating mindfully will help you stay fit and mentally sharp.

6. Try meditation and mindfulness: Adopting and learning something new may sound overwhelming at such a time but these time-tested practices make you less reactive, and more resilient, and help you to bounce back.

Use this experience to get off autopilot mode and actively start drawing the roadmap to your next destination. Don’t dwell on “why” but focus on “what” and “what next”. Take a step back and look at the big picture to understand what worked and what didn’t. And how you can apply the learnings to secure and enhance your professional and financial wellbeing today and in future.

Always trust your intuition, instinct, and inner strength. As humans, we are programmed to resist change — but pushing through and coming out of our comfort zone is the only way to grow.

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