Chat with us, powered by LiveChat
Skip to main content
24/7 Helpline
730 Middle Tennessee Blvd. Suite 10. Murfreesboro, TN. 37129
Our Location

You wake up to a notification from your employer informing you that you are being laid off. For some professionals, this news may bring relief and temporary respite from the demanding daily routine accompanying many modern-day occupations. However, realizing the consequences of being suddenly a victim of workplace layoffs can be a stunning and unwelcome update to your everyday life.

Around 1.5 million Americans are laid off by employers each month, and over 80% of Americans are worried that they may lose their jobs in 2024. Not only can a sudden layoff deprive you of a steady stream of income, but it can create an unexpected and unavoidable disruption to your life. A layoff can harm your mental health and may lead to falling back on unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with newfound feelings of stress. 

The following sections of this guide will give you information on how being laid off can impact your mental health, tips on the steps you can take toward regaining your sense of control and empowerment after being laid off, and alternatives you can seek if you find yourself going down a negative spiral of coping.

How the Effects of Being Laid Off May Manifest

After the initial shock of being laid off settles in, you may feel overwhelmed emotionally and unsure what to do next. Finding yourself abruptly without a job can immediately impact your life, health, and happiness.

Emotional Symptoms

You will likely experience several intense emotional feelings upon finding out you got laid off. An immediate reaction may be shock followed by outrage and confusion, especially when your employer gives you little to no notice and few resources to deal with the next steps. 

Often, people who have spent months or years with a company find themselves getting let go with little to no explanation. The change can lead to intense feelings of frustration and helplessness. 

As you begin to accept your situation, the solid and understandable feelings that follow can make it especially difficult to find the motivation to pursue a new job. At this time, it is essential to allow yourself to feel your emotions and come to terms with your situation.

Mental Health Conditions

Being laid off can stir up old symptoms or be the cause of a variety of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other trauma-related disorders. These mental health conditions often present as symptoms such as trouble sleeping, being easily irritable or constantly on edge, and finding it difficult to enjoy the activities you would typically do.

It is critical to be mindful of the symptoms, feelings, and thoughts you are having now. If you feel like you are falling back into bad habits or engaging in unhealthy behaviors that you usually wouldn’t find yourself doing when you were employed, remember that it is okay to ask for help.

Over 50 million Americans live with mental illness, so if you find yourself becoming concerned that your symptoms might fall in line with a mental health condition, you are never alone. Isolating yourself and falling into a pattern of rumination and negativity will only be counterproductive and prolong 

Other Ways Being Laid Off Can Impact Your Life

Besides the emotional and mental ways in which being laid off can affect your life, being suddenly without a job can additionally cause strains on your relationships and financial situation.

If you are facing dire financial straits due to being laid off, reaching out for help from friends or family or seeking financial advice may be a necessary first step before seeking new employment options. Remember that there is no shame in relying on loved ones and friends or seeking additional aid as you take steps to regain control.

It is also important that the friends and loved ones you have relationships with be patient and supportive as you begin to come to terms with and grasp your situation. If you find that being laid off negatively impacts your relationships, strive to be open and honest and avoid isolating yourself.

workplace layoffs

Healthy Coping Strategies

Maintaining healthy coping strategies after finding yourself suddenly without a job is crucial as you get back on your feet and take the following steps to achieve employment. The following sections contain essential perspectives to consider as you traverse this sudden shift in your life.

Understand Why

Layoffs often occur outside employees’ control and without much prior notice, so feelings of helplessness may also accompany frustration, stress, and anxiety. Over 95% of one career coach’s clients were laid off not because of their performance but due to business decisions such as company restructuring, downsizing, and mergers and acquisitions.

Thus, it is crucial to recognize that your employer’s decision to lay you off is likely due to no fault of your own. While knowing that there is nothing you can do at this point after the time and dedication you spent working tirelessly at the job that just laid you off may be hard to accept at this point, acknowledging that your situation is likely due to no fault of your own can be critical to your self-esteem.

Build a Support Network

A support network of friends and colleagues is vital for mental health. As you’re going through this period of unemployment after being laid off, your support network can be critical for your mental health and in securing a new employment position.

Building a support network encompasses reaching out to friends, families, and colleagues to learn about and pursue new employment opportunities. If your previous colleagues also got laid off by the same employer, reaching out to them can help remind you that you’re not alone in your situation and provide critical insight on the next steps you should take in your specific industry or field.

Using your time to volunteer at community events and organizations is another way you can build a support network while engaging in fulfilling activities. At the same time, you are searching for new employment options. Engaging in volunteer work, if you are able, is additionally an excellent experience you can add to enhance your résumé.


Self-care is a great way to become more in tune and at ease with yourself and your emotions. You can engage in self-care activities in multiple ways, depending on your interests and goals. Self-care for you could mean diving back into a hobby you haven’t been allowing yourself time for or taking extra time for your skincare or relaxation routines.

Allowing yourself extra time and attention to soothe and care for your mind and body can give you the rejuvenation and energy you need to get back out there. Practicing mindfulness and patience during your self-care rituals is a great way to center yourself as you figure out the next steps of your journey.

Résumé and Cover Letter Building

One of the most valuable assets you have after being laid off is time. Maximize your time by improving your résumé and cover letters before applying to new jobs. There are a multitude of free resources at your disposal you can utilize to craft a résumé and cover letter that will pique the interest of potential employers.

Reaching out to colleagues, acquaintances, and former mentors can help you get the traction you need to find the proper employment position. An excellent application to a potential employer can be the first step to getting your foot in the door, and sound advice and feedback from those in your support system and network can be crucial as you craft your professional portfolio.

Understanding Strengths and Weaknesses for Best Career Search

Reflecting on your past experiences and employment positions can give you a better understanding of your professional personality. Honing in on and having a good perception of your strengths and weaknesses is essential for boosting your self-confidence and for potential questions you may receive in interviews.

Understanding where your strengths best lie will additionally help in your job search. Narrowing your search for jobs you know you will be good at will help motivate you to find a job that will be the most fulfilling for you.

Seeking Treatment

If you find yourself continuously engaging in unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as drug or alcohol abuse, it is important to remember, first and foremost, that you are not alone. Deciding to seek treatment is a crucial first step for many individuals’ recovery journey, and TRUE Addiction & Behavioral Health can help.

Start your path toward freedom from mental illness or substance abuse. Contact our dedicated team anytime to begin developing your personalized treatment plan. There’s no need to wait–start today by calling our 24/7 helpline at (615) 527-8610 or contacting