Some insights into bouncing back from the stress of job loss

Some insights into bouncing back from the stress of job loss

The level of stress that hits with job loss can have a host of negative effects on an individual's well-being, which eventually may hinder their ability to become re-employed.

A new study published in the 'Journal of Employment Counselling' examines the importance of self-regulation for enabling people to effectively search for a new job and to maintain their psychological well-being. This trait allows people to manage their emotions and behaviours to produce positive results and to consider adversity as a positive challenge rather than a hindrance.

The study involved an online survey completed by 185 individuals who had recently been laid off and had not yet been re-employed.

High levels of self-regulation predicted better well-being, job search clarity, and job search self-efficacy (the belief that one can successfully perform specific job search behaviours and obtain employment).

The findings suggest that employment counselling efforts should help people improve their self-regulation in order to achieve positive outcomes after job loss.

"Together, results of this study suggest that the components of self-regulation are key to a comprehensive model of resiliency, which plays a crucial role in enhancing well-being and re-employment outcomes during individuals' search for employment," said lead author Matthew J. W. McLarnon, PhD, MSc, of Mount Royal University, in Canada.

The added stress from Covid-19 induced lockdown is also a factor that needs to be managed.

In a separate study of twins led by Washington State University researchers, people who reported increasing their physical activity after the start of Covid-19 stay-at-home orders reported higher levels of stress and anxiety than those whose activity levels stayed the same.

In the study, published recently in the journal 'PLOS ONE', researchers analysed data from over 900 pairs of identical and same-sex fraternal twins from the Washington State Twin Registry. Those who reported a decrease in physical activity within two-weeks after the start of stay-at-home orders had a perceived higher level of stress and anxiety, which was expected.

But surprisingly, many of the respondents who increased their physical activity felt the same way.

"At least in the short term, it seems there is not a lot of impact from either decreasing or increasing physical activity in terms of handling stress and anxiety, but that might be different after two or three months under Covid restrictions," said lead author Glen Duncan, a professor in WSU's Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine.


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