COPING with the shock of redundancy is similar to a grieving process, where you are initially consumed with a sense of loss of what probably gave you a central meaning to each day, the focus on rising, getting ready, heading to work and settling in to ‘the job’ for the day.
That provided a certain supportive structure to your day, and now it is gone.
In addition to the shock about your loss of ‘the job’, you then have all of the worries associated with less income, or in some cases very limited income. This loss of financial security brings with it worries about your ability to play your part in supporting your family and paying those dreaded bills.
Physical distancing due to Covid-19 does not help either as, in addition to having lost your social network at work, you are now somewhat cut off from other family members and friends some of whom would normally be a support in your current situation. This makes your world a really tough one at the moment.
The passage that you might be going through right now is quite similar to the grieving process whereby you will pass through some or all of Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression on the way towards Acceptance. It is often good to try to find someone in whom you can confide and with whom you could problem-solve some of these fears, be that a family member or perhaps a close friend that you might be able to Facetime, Zoom or Skype call.
During this time many of you may be haunted with the notion of ‘Why Me’? But it is really not about ‘Me’ as the current Covid-19 is the driver of the situation. It is not something that ‘Me’ or ‘You’ created. You are something of the victim here, not the one that created this situation.
Getting in touch with a trusted colleague or friend is critically important if your current situation is leaving you ‘feeling a little down in yourself’.
There is nothing wrong with such ‘down feelings’ but all the better if you can find your way to talking with a friend about how you feel or in contacting one of the many helplines that are available across the nation.
And so, I now want to bring you to just one exercise that ‘You’ could do to help yourself and it is quite easy to do once you have gotten over the shockwaves.
It is perhaps a really good time to focus on yourself once all of the initial energy has been exhausted by ‘jobs’ such as garden, repairs, cleaning and decoration.
If you wanted to get your body into a better place and a little more fit than it currently is, you have a good idea of the type of exercise that you could do. However I want to look at the fitness of your mind with the following suggested exercise for you.
It might serve you well to spend a little time each day in looking at ways in which you can unwind and de-clutter your mind.
One of the disadvantages of modern living is the pace at which we run and race, often without taking a mini-break to focus on ourselves.
So, how about taking just 10/15 minutes a day to sit and dream….not with TV, Netflix or any other distraction. While there, just concentrate on breathing a little deeper than normal. For the moment, do no more. If you nod off, that’s allowed. But just take a few minutes of ‘you time’ and see what it does for you.
At a later stage you could move to focusing on some key relaxing thought or image that takes your mind of current busyness of your mind.
Over time, you could deepen the process and move towards Relaxation or Mindfulness, but that is for another day.
In the meantime allow yourself cope with the shock to your system and climb out of that shock towards investing a little time in yourself and moving towards the next stage of work or career for you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Frank Scott-Lennon is the Founder and Principal Consultant at HR for Better Workplaces. Frank has been consulting in the HR space for over 30 years, trading through his own company as well as previously holding senior HR positions in the industry and at the Irish Management Institute.
Frank regularly consults to SMEs and larger organisations and has worked in Ireland, the UK, Sweden, Luxembourg, Canada, and in America.
In 2008 Frank founded a publishing company – ManagementBriefs.com – which publishes short books of essential insights for busy managers; this is a global business and the books have been sold across the world.