Coping with redundancy 

Losing your job can have an impact on your health and wellbeing. In this video, Clayre describes how losing her job affected her mentally and socially, and an expert gives advice on how to cope with redundancy.

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Transcript of Coping with redundancy

Redundancy can be a terrible shock

and, as such, people tend to become very miserable, very low.

They can become quite anxious, quite short-tempered,

argumentative, difficult,

all the sort of emotions that you'd expect.

And they're reasonable, appropriate emotions

when something terrible happens.

Anger, stress, anxiety, real concerns about money.

And ultimately a social loss in a way

because you're leaving something that you've made a strong social bond with.

Redundancy can make people feel as though they've lost their self-esteem

lost their worth, their sense in society, their responsibility.

And that is almost separate from all the physical bits that go with it,

losing the money, having something meaningful

to get up to do in the morning.

That turned into a total lack of confidence and lack of self-esteem,

the whole thing about "Why me? Why not somebody else?"

"What did I do wrong?" sort of self-blame.

And then for me that rapidly turned into almost agoraphobia.

I actually found that within about four weeks

I was struggling to talk to people on the phone

or even leave the house.

So it was quite a devastating impact quite quickly.

I think the important thing to realise is that there are ways to help yourself,

that this isn't a feeling that is going to be with you the rest of your life,

it isn't a feeling that is going to stop you from doing anything else,

it will go away.

(Clayre) I did find it hard when I was initially made redundant

that there wasn't a purpose to every day

and suddenly not to have to get out of bed in the morning

whilst, if it had been a weekend it would have been fantastic,

but suddenly during the week it was the worst thing in the world.

It's not helpful to stay in your pyjamas and dressing gown all day

watching daytime TV.

It's helpful to get up at a regular time each morning,

to get dressed, make yourself look respectable,

so that you are feeling as though you have some worth to yourself.

I found it quite helpful to go back to the gym and start doing some exercise

and taking fresh air and going for walks.

And all that I think really helped put me in a more positive mindset.

There are books you can borrow from the library,

Understanding Depression, Understanding Anxiety,

a range of books which take you through a set of exercises

that we know are effective at helping you look after your own mental welfare.

If the symptoms and the feelings that you get are more disabling,

more distressing for you,

you might want to go and talk to your GP as a first stop

because there are some psychological interventions that will be helpful

and, for some people, medication.

I think advice I would give others would be very much around,

treat yourself well and get yourself to a happier position first of all

because you'll start to feel happier and more confident

and that's an excellent starting point.

The important thing to remember is that these changes are reversible.

People do get better. When they get a job,

these things do turn round and they feel better in themselves.


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