Archive for the ‘Anxiety’ Category

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Coping with Job Loss in a Tough New York City Market

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the current unemployment rate across the United States is 9.8%. New York currently has an unemployment rate of 8.9% which means nearly 1 in 10 New Yorkers are looking for work. Job loss can lead to several problems in your life including financial strain, emotional strain and mental strain. You may have trouble providing for your family, paying the mortgage and keeping food on the table. You may be suffering from pending foreclosure, looming credit card debt and credit report complications. You may have some reserves about accepting welfare and feel guilty about the situation. You may lack self esteem and confidence to get back out in the job market, especially with the competition for work so incredibly fierce. Whatever is going through your mind, coping with job loss is not an easy thing. You need to re-arrange your life and re-adjust your mental mind frame to start again, which can be especially hard in today’s current economic situation.

Coping with job loss has been ranked as one of the most stressful situations in one’s life, up there with divorce, moving, and dealing with a death in the family. There are a number of terms for job loss including being laid off, downsized, getting dismissed, receiving your pink slip – but the implications and the emotional reactions are the same – complete disappointment. Regardless of the reason you have been laid off, you are most likely going to feel like you have done something wrong and that you were not good enough; this can lead to serious self esteem issues. As we all know, searching for a new job can be a challenge to say the least and one of the most important things when on the hunt for a new career is to remain confident and positive.

Tips to Coping with Job Loss

Below are four tips for coping in New York City. Keep in mind that everyone has a different way of handling job loss – these suggestions may be able to help but it is up to you to make the first move forward.

  • Take time for yourself – this is probably the last thing you want to do, especially if you are currently feeling like a failure for losing your job. However, it’s important that you let go of damaging thoughts and focus on regaining the positives in your life. Think back to another time when you have had to deal with a problem – what did you do then to get out of the slump? Perhaps a walk around Central Park would clear your mind? Or maybe a long bath would help ease your fears of the future?
  • Turn to friends, family and professional help for support – you may feel like the only thing you want to do right now is curl up on the couch and sleep but now, more than ever, you need to open your door and let your support group in. Meet up in Manhattan for a cup of coffee and to vent your anger and frustration. Take in a lunch date in the Upper East Side with your parents and ask them for some advice. Or, consider speaking to a professional NYC career counselor about the situation. He can help you come to terms with what happened and focus on moving forward. He can also help you assess your strengths, weaknesses and career goals to make sure you are on the right path. Regardless of whether you belong in an office on Wall Street or in an excavator on the streets of the Upper East Side, a New York City counselor can help you see your job loss in the best of light.
  • Focus on your Finances – when coping with job loss, it’s important to assess your finances before going any further. You will need to make a spreadsheet and most likely cut down on some of those luxuries in life. You also might need to speak to your lending company about changing your payment rates. Job loss is a common problem not only in New York City, but around the United States. Most lending companies are willing to work with you while you get your career back on track. You just need to be honest about the situation.
  • Get Down to Work – once you are feeling emotionally ready to tackle the next chapter of your life, it is time to start the job search. You should consider looking for a job a full-time career. Devote 40 hours a week to perfecting your resume, searching for work, making follow up calls and scheduling appointments. If you treat the hunt for a job like full time work, then it will be easier to remain motivated at the task at hand. If you are having trouble staying focused during the day, consider using a day planner to split up the different tasks you need to do. Writing down your day will keep you busy and less likely to sleep in, watch daytime television and mope around the house.

When coping with NYC job loss, it can be tempting to simply shut out the loud noises and crawl into your own bubble. But this is not going to put food on the table and it is also not going to help you achieve your career goals. Just because your job has come simply means that another chapter in your career has opened up. Consider this positive fact when on the hunt for that next perfect position.

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

A tip for dealing with Anxiety

Many people come to me complaining of overwhelming anxiety. They complain of worry, fear, a sense of overwhelming dread. They describe how their mind spins like a hamster in it’s wheel…living and reliving the possible negative outcomes of their worry.

I’ve noticed that they are able to describe their fears in vivid detail. This is usually because they have spent so much time dwelling on it. And here in lies the problem. The more time we spend relishing our fears the bigger they become.

A nice technique that I give these clients begins with a question: What if? What if you DIDNT feel like this? What would that be like?

Imagining a different way of thinking breaks the cycle. It allows the mind to create something different. In therapy, I work with my clients to see what life would be like without the anxiety and fear – and it is this imagined reality that we work to make more vivid and real. We make that image very clear, and the more clear it becomes the more we can begin to embrace it and perhaps allow it to become an option.

I often say imagination is our strongest asset. We must begin to use it to our advantage or our natural tendency will be to use it for our destruction.

Try it today. What have you got to lose? You may have spent hours and hours making your anxieties and fears and worries as large and vivid as possible. Try using the mind’s wonderful tool of imagination for the opposite effect.

Now clearly, I’m not saying that just by doing this your problems will be solved. That would wishful thinking. But it does allow balance – and that is what good mental health is all about.

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