Coping With Job Loss – How To Get By Without Stress

How to Handle Unemployment

A job loss isn't limited only to a setback in your career. It can also affect your relationships and overall health.

The first step you'll need to take is to sort out your financial plans for the next few months. Once you've completed this, you can begin making longer-term plans.

  • Care for Yourself
  • Know the Facts
  • Find a New Income
  • Unemployment Payments


Care for Yourself

If you're having emotional difficulties or dealing with depression related to losing your job, you may need to seek assistance. Talk to trusted family or friends about the way that you're feeling. Seek out Medicaid while you're unemployed and then find a therapist to help you work through the issues you're experiencing.

If you are having serious depressed thoughts or are having thoughts about harming yourself, call 911 or text the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

Know the Facts

You'll be able to make better financial decisions once you're aware of how much money you actually have. As you try to get your budget under control, you'll need to:

  • Determine what you have in savings
  • List all of your expenses for the next two months
  • Include information like the amount of your rent, any loans, your healthcare expenses, medication amounts, COBRA insurance premiums if you'll be purchasing this insurance, car and home maintenance expenses, groceries, and utilities.
  • To best calculate how long your money will hold out, it's best to assume that you won't have an income for the first several weeks.

Smart Tip
If you don't have much money saved, and you didn't get a severance package or won't be receiving unemployment, it's possible that you'll need emergency money assistance. You can contact local charities and HHS to learn about the programs that are offered in your area.

Limit Your Spending
If your income drops substantially, you'll need to adjust your spending habits accordingly.

You may have to delay vacations, limit things like coffee, alcohol, and cigarettes, lower your television or cell phone bill, or spend more money shopping to find the best prices for things.

Avoid using your credit cards to cover the difference. You'll only have to pay more interest over time, which will add to the financial burden you'll experience.

Paying Bills
If you're struggling to pay your utility bills, contact the providers to see if they can set you up with a hardship arrangement or put you on a budget plan.

If you're having issues paying on personal loans or credit cards, speak to the lender to see if they can grant you a hardship variation due to the financial difficulties you're experiencing. Taking action to communicate with them may help stop a small issue from becoming a major one over time. Learn more about help with bills here.

Find a New Income

You may want to consider temporary or part-time work while you're searching for a permanent job. Spend extra time networking, list your information with temp agencies, apply for part-time work driving for a ride-share or delivery app, and reach out to local businesses to see if they need extra help in the evenings on weekends.

Reach out to the Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) to determine what government programs may be able to offer you assistance. Your reduced income may qualify you for temporary benefits, food assistance, Medicaid, or childcare assistance for your new job.


Depending on how your job was ended, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits. The HR department there and your state unemployment office will be able to explain how you apply. These payments will typically be a percentage of your previous salary.

It can be extremely stressful to suddenly lose your job. Be sure to spend time preparing a budget, cut back on your spending, and take the time to reach out for financial and emotional assistance as necessary.

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