Coping With Unemployment Due to Covid-19

Image by Ulrike Mai from Pixabay

“COVID-19 represents the single greatest inflection point that global society has experienced. How we manage through this pandemic and its aftermath will impact the course of humanity for decades to come.”
Tom Golway

Millions and millions of workers across the world are losing their jobs due to mitigation efforts of governments to slow the transmission of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Not since the Great Depression have so many people been out of a job and unable to support themselves and their families.

If you are one of those unemployed right now, my heart goes out to you. I have shed more than one tear contemplating the physical, mental and spiritual pain you are going through during this very uncertain time.

As uncertain and brutal as the situation is, all of us must learn how to cope and make it through this unearned personal tragedy. In hopes of offering a few ideas on how to survive until you can see light again, consider the following as you are able:

Save Your Money

  • Put together a budget. Start with your basic necessities like rent (mortgage), groceries, insurance, and utilities. Next, list expenses that are important but non-essential. These might include cable TV, eating out, alcohol, and entertainment. Add up the amount you spend on necessities and add it to the amount you spend on non-essentials. This number represents your current monthly expenses.
  • Cut back on unnecessary expenses. Look for ways to reduce or eliminate non-essential expenses like eating out, manicures, memberships, subscriptions, and cable TV.
  • Reduce your expenses on essentials. Use coupons, look for sales and ask for discounts. Check with your cell phone, internet and cable TV carriers to make sure you are getting the best deal possible based your use.
  • Ask about loan deferment programs. If you have credit card bills, car payments or student loans, call the loan companies and ask if you can reduce your monthly payments, or delay them entirely until you can get back to work once the COVID-19 mitigation restrictions are withdrawn. 
  • Apply for unemployment. If you lost your job due to COVID-19 mitigation programs, you are eligible for unemployment benefits.

Manage the Emotional Impact to Your Life

  • Have a routine. Get up early and have a to-do list of what you want to accomplish for the day. Staying in bed until noon and watching TV all day is unhealthy for your physical and mental well-being. Get outdoors for some exercise and sunlight for a natural lift-me-up.
  • Stay in contact with your family and friends. They are your support system for encouragement and empathy during this difficult time.
  • Ask for help. If you are unable to control melancholy and depression, seek help from your friends, family or your local mental health center.
  • Reduce or eliminate your use of alcohol and other drugs. Though they may provide temporary relief from stress, they tend to increase stress in the long-term. Alcohol is also a depressant, so you should avoid drinking too much during a time that you are feeling low already.

You will get through this.
We care about you and your well-being.
Know that you are loved!


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Published by W. M. Brown

I am a retired U.S. expat living in Ecuador. I was a business owner for 32 years before retiring in 2012.

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