How to Manage Stress After Job Loss

Author: joe theu

Colleagues, ex-colleagues, and employers: greetings!

Over the past twelve months, millions of people worldwide have lost their jobs. I know we are all feeling bad about this, but life has to go on. This is another year, and that’s what 2008 brought for us in 2009.

For those of us who are still on the job, we may feel lucky but we still do not feel safe. Every day brings its own new uncertainties as we watch our employers press the panic buttons. The next thing we know, more of our colleagues are gone. When we sometimes confront our employers to do something about it, they tell us that there is nothing they can do (this is usually true today) and that there is no one to bail them out. Besides, conservative politicians denounce this “bail out” business and call it socialism!

Whatever it is, we want colleagues to be able to put food back on their tables for their families, keep or rescue their homes, and send their children back to school—very basic needs. And we can’t stand aside and look while colleagues despair. So we urge employers to show that they care so that our ex-colleagues’ feelings are not hurt. But colleagues are not asking for sympathy—they are asking for solutions.

They need to know how to plan a new life under these trying times. We know employers may be equally uninformed, so they may need guidance from others on how to manage employees’ stress during the recession. Many available resources exist. These resources may be available right in their company premises. Some of these employers may have to hang on to some of their resourceful staff for a little longer so that they might be put to good use.

One sure way is to use such staff to counsel colleagues. Financial experts could take on the responsibility of giving financial advice to others. Psychologists and others could do the job of counseling on handling the stress that comes with this major life crisis and other crises that may follow, such as bankruptcy, foreclosure, and, inevitably for others, crime. And talking of crime, lawyers could give preventative advice as ex-colleagues may have to prepare for the trying times out on the streets. But they may also give legal advice on foreclosures, bankruptcy, and possible divorce, etc.

Collectively, all of us have to do something about it . . .

Here is what I suggest ex-colleagues should do to cope:

  1. They must clear their minds of emotion and engage in the process of intellectualization so that they may identify the main cause of their stress.

  2. They may then rationally measure the magnitude of their life crisis in many ways, including the use of the Social Readjustment Scale. This may give them the insight into what resources may be required to overcome their problem and may include identifying the need to seek professional counseling

  3. It may be a little hard to make rational decisions for some especially if their personality is that of the emotional type. Many of us do not know our personality types anyway, so consulting a psychologist or taking a quick test like the one found on and other credible online sites may suffice. Whatever your personality turns out to be, you could use it to your advantage in reorganizing your life.

  4. Ex-colleagues need to understand that they shouldn’t be blamed by anyone, including their families, nor should they feel guilty and ashamed. To successfully achieve this feat, they need to master repression.

  5. To be able to do all this, they need to be in good physical and mental shape and this can be attained if the diet is modified to suit someone who is under stress. Quick ones include staying away from caffeine containing foods and drinks like coke and chocolates—very unpopular of-course.

  6. And last but not least, ex-colleagues need to do what is most important: craft short-term and long-term life goals. Planning goals will help empower them with solutions, rather than keep them suffering in the loss. This means that they need to engage in regression.

Losing a job can disrupt your whole life, and in a recession like we face today, no one feels safe at work. These steps can ease the stress and fears of losing employment, and they can help you get your life back on track if you find yourself in this situation.

All these strategies are explained in many psychology books, but can all be easily found together in a simple and interactive way in "7 proven Steps: How to Defeat Stress without Going through the Embarrassment of Counseling" available on and other major bookstores. This book focuses on how to deal with major life crises of job loss, bankruptcy, divorce, scandal, etc.—all these issues ex-colleagues and colleagues may have to deal with at one time or the other.

Colleagues, ex-colleagues, employers, and experts: what is your contribution to our less fortunate friends? Feel free to visit our blog at and make your suggestions.

About the Author:

Joe Theu, M.D., is the author of the book: 7 Proven Steps: How to Defeat Stress without Going through the Embarrassment of Counseling, which describes these strategies well. The book is available on and other major bookstores. If you’d like more information about how to cope with stress and about all these psychology strategies, visit

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