REDUNDANCIES CAN BE VERY STRESSFUL AND CAN MEAN A SIGNIFICANT LIFE CHANGE. THEY CAN AFFECT OUR SELF-CONFIDENCE AND CHALLENGE OUR SENSE OF PURPOSE AND IDENTITY THAT WORK PROVIDES. IT IS COMMON TO EXPERIENCE FEELINGS OF DISBELIEF, DENIAL, ANGER, LOSS OF CONFIDENCE AND SADNESS IN THE FACE OF A LOSS WHICH IS USUALLY OUTSIDE OF OUR CONTROL. SOME OF US MAY THINK ‘WHY ME?’

Others may be more relieved and feel excited to start something new. We all react differently in times of change and uncertainty and it is completely normal to feel worried, sad or stressed as a result, especially if it comes as a surprise.

How to cope with anxiety, worries and stress during significant life changes

Change inevitably creates uncertainty. When things stay the same we feel comfortable knowing what to expect on a day to day basis. When something shifts, even our sense of who we are can go through some odd and potentially uncomfortable alterations. Try not to judge yourself. It’s okay – and perfectly normal – to be nervous about change. It’s also normal to have a hard time managing the transition.

No matter how awkwardly or uncomfortable you might feel though, it’s important to be kind to yourself and share your feelings with others. Social support is a great way to deal with uncertainty as it allows you to proactively troubleshoot problems and consider different approaches.

Whilst this redundancy may have come as a shock to you, try to embrace the experience and consider this transition as an opportunity to build internal psychological, emotional, and intellectual “muscle” that will help you with the next change.

How to support someone who is made redundant?

Sometimes, when it comes to helping others we can feel a little lost, especially when it comes to mental health and emotional wellbeing. Remember that simply being there for someone can make all the difference. If you are supporting someone through a redundancy, some helpful things you can do are:

  • Listen to how they are feeling. Having a chance to talk openly could help someone to feel calmer and more able to move forward.
  • Ask open questions (e.g. “how do you feel”) and actively listen.
  • Avoid telling them how they should feel (e.g. “you shouldn’t be this stressed”) or invalidating their feelings (e.g. “you don’t need to be this upset”) as this can reinforce low self-esteem.
  • Reassure them that stressful situations can pass and support them in the next steps. However, try to prevent phrases like ‘it could be worse’ … ‘it happens to a lot of people’… ‘You never liked that job anyway’. All this may be true. However, the risk can be that the person is not in an emotional position to see this.
  • Help them to identify the triggers of their stress.
  • Do not be surprised if the individual is angry. This anger may not just be directed towards the job loss but could be about anything. Irritability can be common during this transitional period.
  • Help them to learn and practise relaxation techniques.
  • Support them to seek professional help. Make sure the individual has the contact telephone number of someone who will listen if they are distressed as for example 24 hour crisis centres such as the Samaritans.

 

Original article ‘How to manage anxiety caused by redundancies’ Written by Joanna Scheutzow Published by The HR Director

 

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