From Breadwinner to Unemployed: Coping With Sudden Job Loss

From the multi-millionaire business owner down to the minimum wage employee, job security is never a guarantee. Any given day something could arise that causes a once successful company to go bankrupt or a dedicated employee to be laid off. Though most people are aware of this, no one was likely prepared for the financial chaos the coronavirus pandemic inflicted on the country (and the world).

Seemingly out of nowhere the coronavirus spread through the country like wildfire prompting government officials to take quick action. They demanded that all non-essential businesses temporarily close their doors and highly-requested that all citizens remain sheltered in place to slow the spread. As a result, many businesses had no choice but to lay workers off to fill the financial gap leaving millions of Americans without a job. 

The Psychological Impact of Unemployment

Most men see themselves as providers for their households. You’re used to working hard to keep a roof over their head, clothes on their backs, food on the table, and keep the bills paid. Your family relies on you and you take pride in being able to supply their needs and desires. Yet suddenly, you find yourself without a job in the midst of a pandemic when your family needs you the most. 

Unemployment takes a psychological toll on a person. It eats away at your pride and for some, the very essence of what you believe manhood to be. This is especially true for men who were the breadwinners, sole providers, or those who feel they’ve left the burden on their spouses. You can’t help but feel helpless as the foundation you’ve provided for your loved ones starts to crumble. 

You start to feel useless, frustrated, angry, worried, scared, and depressed. In an effort to keep it all together you start looking to unhealthy gateways to cope. You might start gambling with the hopes of a huge payout, thinking about or participating in illegal activities like robberies or selling drugs, or self-medicating with drugs and alcohol to numb the pain. 

If you’ve started showing physical or psychological symptoms resulting from your recent unemployment, it is important to get help. Talk to your doctor, seek counseling, join a support group, rely on a trusted friend, relative, or mentor, and, if necessary, look for inpatient or outpatient treatment for addicts

Dealing With Unemployment Like a Boss

How do you deal with the realities of being unemployed during the coronavirus in a down economy? Here are some suggestions on how to deal with unemployment like a boss: 

  • File for Unemployment – The moment you’re let go from your place of employment, you should file for unemployment. The government has made some adjustments to the eligibility requirements making it possible for more people to qualify. This would, at the very least, give you some reliable income and also ease your stress. 

  • Apply for Assistance – Don’t allow pride to get in the way of you supporting yourself and your family. If you’ve recently been laid off due to the coronavirus there are government-funded programs you can turn to. These programs can help to pay for food, rent, utilities, health insurance, and more. Whatever programs you qualify for is one less thing you have to worry about.

  • Get Serious About Your Budget – Until you’re able to find another income source, you’re going to need to work with the money you have. Whether it’s cash from your emergency savings, your spouse’s income, unemployment benefits, or a monthly government stipend, calculate your monthly income. Then, compare it to your expenses. Any expenses that are unnecessary need to be eliminated or significantly reduced. Everything else, find ways to save or cut the costs. Manage your budget and be mindful of your spending to weather the storm. 

  • Find Ways to Make Money – While you’re putting in job applications you can also create other sources of income. There are several opportunities to make money online during the pandemic. While some will only generate a few bucks, others can supplement your income entirely. So, do some research to determine which options best fit your schedule and needs. 

  • Take Care of Your Health – Above all else, prioritize your health. If you are not physically or emotionally at your best, you’re unable to be there for your family during these uncertain times. Make sure that you’re eating right, exercising, getting plenty of rest, and indulging in activities that you enjoy (i.e. video games, reading, listening to music, working on a hobby, spending time with the kids, etc). 

Coping with sudden job loss during the coronavirus pandemic is nothing short of challenging. Be that as it may, allowing this to eat away at your emotional and physical health will only make matters worse. Though things may be tight right now, the best thing you can do for yourself and those who rely on you is take a few deep breaths, create a plan, and overcome unemployment like a boss.

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