“In his recent letter to the nation, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that South Africa faces a difficult road ahead following the outbreak of Covid-19”.
“He said that the economy is now ‘in the throes of the anticipated fallout from this global crisis’ and that the predictions of businesses shutting down and jobs being lost are materialising.”
“Analysts, economists and the Reserve Bank have warned of a massive jobloss in the country, with predictions putting South Africa’s post-corona virus unemployment rate as high as 50%.”
Reading this news may result in an employed individual feeling rather concerned and anxious about their future. The impact on those who have already received news of retrenchment or offered a retirement package may be far reaching in terms of their mental, physical and financial well being.
Sudden and unexpected retrenchment and retirement news to those families where breadwinners’ support dependants often from more than one generation, may feel the impact severely. Some of the concerns are about future job prospects, loss of income, anxiety and stress linked to fear of the future. “Jobs and careers are not just a way to make a living but also provides for structure, purpose and meaning to life”.
Research reflects that major losses in life (including job loss) can result in a grieving or change process.
Well known author Kubler-Ross wrote about the internal emotional journey that individuals experience when dealing with death, change and transition. The journey consists of a number of stages that people may go through as they navigate change in their lives: shock and denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Help is available and at hand for those who are going through these life changes.
Helpguide.org offers “Coping with Job Loss Stress Tips” which may help individuals navigate this challenging time of their life.
- Allowing yourself to grieve the loss of job, income, professional identity, self-confidence, a daily routine and work-based friendships.
- Reach out to others: Expand your social network; join or follow professional groups on LinkedIn, Join a support network; Talk to a friend.
- Involve your family for support: Open up to your immediate family; listen to their concerns; make time for an enjoyable family activity.
- Find other ways to define yourself: Try a new hobby; spend time in nature; volunteer at an NGO.
- Get moving to relieve stress: Exercise for 30minutes or more per day incorporating rhythmic movement; focus on the body and the external element and not your own thoughts to maximise stress relief.
- Eat well and Keep Focussed: Minimise sugar & refined carbs; Increase Omega 3 fatty acids; Avoid nicotine & limit alcohol.
- Take care of yourself: Get enough sleep (7-8 hrs per night); practice relaxation techniques; maintain balance.
- Stay positive and energised: keep a regular routine; creating a job search plan (applicable to those in the job market); focus on what you can control; journaling regularly.
If you have been impacted in anyway by the loss of your job and would like to engage in an individual confidential online counselling session, then contact Lynette Woodberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or 068 099 4955.
SADAG: The South African Depression and Anxiety Group http://www.sadag.org/
SADAG is available on the numbers and social media mentioned belows:
- Chat online with a counsellor 7 days a week from 9am – 4pm via the Cipla Whatsapp Chat Line 076 882 2775.
- FREE online #Facebook Expert Chats daily, 1pm – 2pm on the SADAG Facebook Page.
- SMS 31393 or 32312 -A counsellor will call you back. Available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
- SADAG Help lines provide free telephonic counselling, information, referrals & resources 7 days a week, 24 hours a day – Call 0800 21 22 23, 0800 70 80 90 or 0800 456 789 or The Suicide Helpline 0800 567 567.