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How to Recover From the Emotional Impact of a Layoff

No matter how resilient you may be, being laid off is very stressful and disturbing. Even the thought of a layoff sends people reeling.

And although moving on might be a relief from a toxic workplace, people still experience anxiety, a sense of overwhelm, disappointment and situational depression as well as physical symptoms like difficulty sleeping, headaches, nausea, abdominal distress - especially in today’s work climate where getting a new position takes months or years.

How to Cope

Accept Your Feelings – Emotions and Physical

Many of us don’t like to think we are affected by change. But it’s only human to react to changes, especially those which impact our ability to provide for ourselves and our families.

Instead of pushing down your emotions, acknowledge them and be kind to yourself. It makes sense that your concerned. Who wouldn’t be!

Start a journal and write whatever comes to mind. It’s for your eyes only so allow yourself to be honest with your best friend, you. Pick a time when you have 15 – 30 minutes to just free flow.

It’s very useful way to detox negative feelings as well as clarify issues that you might be struggling with. It’s amazing how much better people feel when they permit themselves to write about their thoughts and feelings. It’s a clearing house that energizes.

Pay attention to your body. Where are you feeling discomfort? What specifically does it feel like? When have you felt that in the past? What does it remind you of? How did you handle it in a positive way in the past? What might help now?

Access Your Support Network

-Share what’s happening with supportive friends and family [NOT those who don’t have your back and could use it to berate you. We do know the difference, even though we wish it was not so.]

-Reach out on Linked In to your contacts to see who might be able to help. A personal introduction goes a long way.

-Go to networking groups – local chambers of commerce, meet-ups, BNI – connect and create mutual support.

Attend to Your Body

-Exercise is an important antidote for stress

-Do your best to get enough sleep – ideally 7 – 9 hours. You know what you need.

Be Nice to Yourself

-Even for just a short time each day, do something that you enjoy – anything from going for a walk, hanging with a friend, listening to an intriguing book, getting a massage . . . Do what makes you feel good.

Remind Yourself of Good Things

-Pay attention to what you are saying to yourself about the situation. People tend to be self critical, telling themselves scary things – everything from “I’ll never have a good job.” to “my spouse with leave me” to “I’ll be living on the streets.” When you hear your inner thoughts, reframe it. “An even better position is on the horizon.” “I have what I need to find my better career.” “I am working on finding a great job.” “My next place will be so lucky to have me.”

-See this as an opportunity to try something new. Maybe you’ve always wanted to be a _____________. Do a self assessment. What strengths and skills do you have to get to that goal. What do you need that might be missing. Go find the training – so much is available inexpensively online – and do it.

Life is change. Embrace it rather than fighting it and watch how positive outcomes will happen.

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