Due to recent events, many Americans have been blindsided by losing their jobs practically overnight. In March, the number of unemployed persons rose by 1.4 million to 7.1 million, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The unemployment rate increased by 0.9 percentage point to 4.4 percent, the largest over-the-month increase in the rate since January 1975.
Whether or not you’ve lost a job due to the pandemic, job loss is still a loss. With loss comes a range of emotions. As more businesses downsize or shut down permanently, feelings of grief, fear, worry, sadness, despair and anger swirl like a tornado sweeping across our entire nation. And, just like a tornado, when bad things happen that are out of our control, we can also feel out of control. It’s as if the more economically traumatized our country becomes, the more emotionally traumatized we become.
You are entitled to feel however you might feel after a loss. It is also your choice how you respond. Some people eat or drink their feelings. Some people sleep or exercise more. Some binge-watch one Netflix series after another. Others vent to their friends or pray. Consider whatever outlet you need to process your feelings, but the sooner you channel your energy in a positive manner, the sooner you will find solutions instead of more problems.
Hardship and struggle don’t define you, but how you respond and react to them do. Learning to adapt and overcome the difficult times in your life with a positive attitude can make the biggest difference in surviving even the toughest of times. So, be kind; be gentle; and have compassion for yourself. Beating yourself up or panicking won’t improve your circumstances any faster.
Positive thoughts create positive vibes, which create positive actions and outcomes. So, try to find the positive in your life and express gratitude where you can. Are you and your family healthy? Do you have a good support system? Are you able to connect with your loved ones? Are you and your loved ones safe? Are you able to practice self-care? The better you care for your health, the better you're able to handle life's challenges now and in the future. Perhaps you will find more meaning and purpose in your life now. Perhaps you will learn that you need to reprioritize your life. Perhaps you will realize you wanted a new job anyway.
Only you can define what is possible with your attitudes and actions. When you practice an attitude of gratitude and are more loving, kind and compassionate with yourself, you feel better about yourself and your life. This creates a more optimistic, relaxed and open-minded attitude that allows you to see opportunities more clearly. You might finally see opportunities that were in front of you the whole time, but had just never considered. You might even see that your skill set would be best suited for another career. You might finally be open to stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something completely new and different. Therefore, you could attract better opportunities just by letting go of your loss more gracefully and embracing your circumstances better. Of course, it can take time to get there.
But, as with everything, job loss can be temporary. Tough times don’t last, tough people do. Have faith that everything will be OK, my Pineapple, and focus on taking one step at a time to grieve your loss and attract opportunities that better serve your goals and dreams.
Live, Love and Lead with Aloha.