Your question: “I have lost my job and my finances are in bad shape. I don’t know where to turn or what to do to get this thing turned around. I am feeling depressed about it all. I don’t even know where to begin.”
You know, that is a very important question, especially given the state of our economy. There are many individuals such as yourself who are going through very difficult times. I guess first of all my condolences go out to you, and I understand that you’re feeling depressed; you’ve lost your job. I was looking up some research on this and researchers have found that a common state is depression because you feel hopeless and that is a very difficult thing to feel. So I want to acknowledge that that is a common thing. Then I want to shift to help you with your last statement, “I don’t even know where to begin.”
FIRST, Believe in Yourself.
A lot of research has found that oft times it’s when individuals feel this way that they look inside and find an inner strength that they previously were not aware that they had. It’s not uncommon for individuals to yes, initially become frustrated, discouraged, down, and depressed, but then there comes a point where they just hang in there. They’re resilient (see my post on resiliency) and I’ve found in some of my readings that this is the time where people find not only those inner strengths, but they also find a job that they’re more interested in and that’s a better fit for them.
So my suggestion of where to get started is to believe in yourself. Write down your own strengths. Identify your strengths, because it’s not uncommon for individuals in your situation to feel like “Maybe nobody wants me.” So take a proactive stance that can help you during this battle.
SECOND, Write Everyday.
This actually comes from a research study about jounaling. Dr. James Pennebaker talks about a group who’d lost their jobs due to downsizing and were feeling depressed about it. He suggested that these individuals write about their emotions for 20 minutes each day for 2 weeks. The individuals who wrote about their emotions for 20 minutes each day for 2 weeks, 8 months later 2/3 of those participants had full-time or satisfactory part-time employment. Now what’s interesting is in the group that didn’t write during that same period, less than 1/3 had found employment. Dr. Pennebaker, said what they found is this unemployable group realized that they had not done well in job interviews during the previous year because they had not handled their feelings well.
Research with many other groups has also documented improved coping abilities when people under pressure write about their feelings regularly. So based upon scientific research, I would suggest that you write about your emotions regularly. For more about journaling, see my post on it here.
THIRD, Take Care of Your Personal Health.
Continue exercising or start exercising. Do things that are proactive for your body and for your mind. Eat right. These things will help you be more effective in trying to find a job and help you present yourself better. I would also make sure that you’re taking care of the relationships that matter the most, the people you care the most about.
Having strong relationships is key to our physical and emotional health. I highly recommend looking through my assessment at Discover and Change to learn more about helping your relationships be a help to you!
Those are some things that I would strongly recommend during this difficult time.