Getting laid off is one of the most stressful life changes a person can endure. In fact, psychologists often list it as a leading cause of stress, right alongside death, divorce and major illnesses. The immediate concern most people have after losing a job is maintaining financial stability. However, maintaining mental and physical health are also crucial to have the strength and sense of well-being to move forward. To keep your health in good shape despite this major blow, incorporate these four tips into your life during the transition period.
1. Make Sure You’re Insure
When you lose your job, your health insurance goes with it, which means no coverage for regular check-ups, no easy access to doctor visits for health concerns and zero financial security in the event of a medical emergency. Although this may be a financially unstable time in your life, it actually makes more economic sense to purchase short-term insurance coverage to prevent incurring a hefty bill in the event of an unexpected emergency.
2. Exercise Regularly
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, exercise and physical activity in general produce endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that naturally eliminate pain, reduce stress and promote a generally positive state of mind. Exercise can also reduce fatigue and improve alertness and concentration, both of which increase your ability to think and function at optimal levels throughout the day. With the current unemployment rate at 7.9 percent, it helps to have a good supply of energy for each and every day of the job hunt.
3. Eat a Balanced Diet
There’s a gross misconception among junk-food enthusiasts that maintaining a healthful diet means you have to spend a lot of extra money on top-notch organic products from high-end health food stores. In reality, purchasing fruits and vegetables at your local grocery store is often much cheaper than many people realize. Make sure to consult the food pyramid to ensure your dietary needs are met and talk to your doctor about what kinds of foods you should incorporate into your diet. To save even more money, try shopping at farmer’s markets for the freshest, most nutritious foods at a discounted price.
4. Get Enough Sleep
The bright side of unemployment is that you don’t have to wake up extra early to make it to your nine-to-five. Because of this, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be getting plenty of rest during this period. Sleep refreshes your mind and body, which makes you more productive during waking hours. If stress is making it difficult to go to sleep at a reasonable hour, try practicing a relaxing bedtime routine each night, such as taking a warm bath, drinking a cup of tea, reading and participating in other activities to reduce stress and keep your mind at ease.
Coping with the stress of a recent job termination is certainly not an easy task, but it’s one that many people face in the course of their lives. These tips will help you maintain the mental and physical health necessary to come out of this struggle as a stronger person. Even though this period will be challenging, make sure to take the time to treat yourself right and good things will follow.
Originally posted on November 14, 2012 @ 9:57 am