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Here are Some Ways Unemployment Can Take a Toll on Your Mental and Physical Health

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There isn’t a worse feeling than losing your job. It immediately triggers fear and anxiety about how bills will get paid and where your next meal will come from. Unfortunately, thousands of people have found themselves in this precarious position due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As if the stress of a world in shutdown mode isn’t enough, the added impact of lost income only compounds the problem. And besides your bank account, your mental health can also be dramatically affected.

“Oftentimes, people think, ‘How can they be feeling so sad, so depressed, so grief-stricken about a job,’ but we’re losing a lot of pieces that we’re not recognizing… that do constitute pretty significant loss,” said licensed psychologist Lisa Orbé-Austin. “People feel a sense of heartbreak, especially if the loss was sudden.

It’s important to be cognizant of the signals your body sends you after you lose a job. And here are some of the main ways areas in which you could feel some dramatic effects.

1. Sleep

From sleeping too much to not sleeping at all, there’s no doubt that your rest is going to get affected by becoming unemployed. While a few sleepless nights are understandable, be aware if a pattern begins to form.

Patricia Haynes, an associate professor in the University of Arizona’s Department of Health and Promotion Sciences, headlined a study that discovered individuals who experience hindrance-related stressors such as job insecurity and organizational politics can experience insomnia if they become unemployed. Let’s just say you don’t want that to happen.

2. Personality Changes

According to a study by the Journal of Applied Psychology, unemployment can have an instant impact not only on your finances but your personality. The study revealed that people who lost their jobs during the experiment suffered dramatic changes in their “levels of agreeableness” compared to those who stayed employed.

Those personality changes can become even worse the longer you remain without a job.

3, 4 & 5. Body Aches, Splitting Migraines and an Upset Stomach

From a physical standpoint, the stress of unemployment can take a serious toll. When the body is under stress, your fight-or-flight response kicks into overdrive. This can result in various aches and pains, mind-numbing migraines and even gut discomfort.

Speaking of your gut, you may experience significant appetite changes, and most people are familiar with the concept of stress-eating. Don’t fall into that trap, as it can send you into a whole other world of problems.

6. Staying on Top of Your Health

At the end of the day, becoming unemployed is a scary thought. And if you’re in that boat, that doesn’t mean the end is here. Give your mental health a boost by creating healthy routines, working on an engaging project and staying positive. Remember to always take care of yourself first.

What is your secret to achieving a clear mind? Do you have any mental-health routines that you follow? Tell us about them in the comments below!